Introduction:

Fresh Berry Tartlets are a delightful and visually stunning dessert that encapsulate the essence of summer in every bite. These mini tartlets burst with the sweet and tangy flavors of fresh berries, nestled atop a buttery and flaky pastry crust, and crowned with a luscious pastry cream. This recipe combines the elegance of a French pastry with the natural goodness of seasonal fruits, making it perfect for any occasion, from picnics to formal gatherings.

History:

Tartlets have been a beloved dessert for centuries, with origins dating back to medieval Europe. They were often served at royal banquets and were a symbol of luxury and indulgence. Over time, tartlets have evolved to incorporate a variety of fillings, including fresh berries, which became increasingly popular in the 19th century as transportation methods improved, allowing for the easier distribution of fresh fruits. Today, Fresh Berry Tartlets continue to be a cherished treat loved by people around the world.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 tartlets

Ingredients:

For the Tartlet Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

For the Pastry Cream:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Berry Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam, melted (for glazing)

Instructions:

Tartlet Crust:

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour and sugar. Pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and ice water.
  4. With the food processor running, slowly pour the egg yolk mixture through the feed tube. Continue processing until the dough just comes together.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times to bring it together. Form it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  7. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out six 4-inch circles and gently press them into tartlet pans.
  8. Prick the bottom of each tartlet crust with a fork and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Pastry Cream:

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it’s steaming but not boiling.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch until smooth.
  3. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and comes to a boil. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove the pastry cream from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap (making sure the wrap touches the surface of the cream), and refrigerate until completely cool.

Assembling the Tartlets:

  1. Once the tartlet crusts and pastry cream have cooled, spoon the pastry cream into each tartlet crust, filling them about halfway.
  2. Arrange the fresh berries on top of the pastry cream in an attractive pattern.
  3. Brush the melted apricot jam over the berries to give them a beautiful, glossy finish.
  4. Refrigerate the tartlets for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

NUTRITION FACTS:

Serving SizeCaloriesTotal FatSaturated FatCholesterolSodiumTotal CarbohydratesDietary FiberSugarsProtein
1 Tartlet (approx)36018g10g131mg32mg44g2g21g5g

Conclusion:

Fresh Berry Tartlets are a delightful blend of crunchy, creamy, and fruity goodness that will leave your taste buds singing with joy. They are the perfect dessert to celebrate the vibrant colors and flavors of the season, and they are sure to impress your guests with their elegance and taste. Whether enjoyed as a sweet treat after a meal or as the centerpiece of a special occasion, these tartlets are a true testament to the beauty of simple, fresh ingredients coming together to create something extraordinary. So, go ahead, indulge in these Fresh Berry Tartlets and savor the taste of summer all year round!