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Cardamom Strawberry Tartlets

This past Sunday I want it to finally celebrate spring with strawberry tartlets. It’s been a cold and rainy 
Spring in New York but this weekend was so nice and sunny, I was so inspired to bake and set up for the photo-shoot outside, in my terrace and just spent the whole day there. It’s was a nice weekend overall. On Saturday, my cousin Raquel took me to this amazing fabric store where I found the cutest fabrics for props. I went crazy trying to choose from hundreds or even thousands different styles. I felt like a kid in a candy store. After that, I made a quick stop on the market to pick up some fresh strawberries and oranges which, by the way, made great fresh squeezed orange juice on Sunday.
On to the tartlets! This recipe is good because it holds very basic pastry recipes. It’s always great to have
a good tart pastry recipe on hand because it’s versatility, it could easily go from sweet to savory. The creme patissiere it’s very basic to have too, to spice things up I added a little bit of cardamom.
For the tart pastry:
1 3/4 cups flour
6 oz unsalted butter,
well chilled and diced
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt
Cold water
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Sift the flour, sugar and salt. Place the mixture into a food processor and pulse a few times, just to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of water and pulse until the dough comes together. If the dough is not coming together, add 1 or 2 teaspoons more of water. Bring the dough together with your hands forming a disk and Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to line six 4-inch tart shell , about 1/8″ thick. Place the pastry back into the refrigerator for another 20 minutes. Line the pastry shell with a with crumpled parchment paper and fill it with tart weights or you can use dried beans too. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly brown. Set aside to cool.
Creme Patissiere:
3 Egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2 vanilla pod 
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
Whisk together the egg yolks and half of the sugar until the mixture is very pale yellow. Sift in the cornstarch and add the cardamom and mix well. Place the milk in a saucepan, add the remaining sugar and vanilla pod and bring it just to a boil. Whisking constantly, pour the hot mixture over the eggs. Pour the mixture back into a saucepan and bring it to a boil stirring constantly. Don’t worry if you start to see lumps, it will smooth out
as you stir. Boil for about 2 minutes and mix in the butter. Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap placed directly over the top to prevent the formation of the skin. set aside to cool then refrigerate until cold.
To Assemble:
Fresh strawberries, hulled and slice.
Fill the pastry with the creme patissiere and arrange the strawberry on top.

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