Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rose Water Tartlets with Vanilla Sugared Berries

Rose Water Berry Tartlets

I have horrible luck transporting tartlets. I've been trying to figure out why I have this problem, and I think it stems from my serious love of these things. (Because I do have a serious freaking love of tartlets.) It's like I try to be too careful, which results in me overcompensating, which results in exploded tartlets inside my pastry carrier--smears of pastry cream, runaway berries, broken tart shells--and a sad me. It's not a pretty sight folks. Delicious, yes. But definitely not pretty. Unless you're into that whole abstract, deconstructed dessert thing. Then tart explosions are for you! For me, though, they only result in something like a toddler who lost her mom at the grocery store. And as an adult woman, that, too, is not pretty.

Anyway, can we talk about how pastry cream is this amazingly magical thing. So easy to make yet so incredibly satisfying and delicious and adaptable. I want to do a million different things with pastry cream, make a million different versions of pastry cream, put a million different things on and in pastry cream, and, ya know, eat it out of a cute bowl with berries and a spoon...

[In retrospect, perhaps that also contributes to my transportation problem--I get a tad overzealous when filling tartlet shells with pastry cream, thinking I can fit much more than I actually can. Not good for transporting. But very good for eating.]

Now, let me tell you about these particular tartlets. I took one picture of them. Just one. (See above.) Because I needed so badly to eat and share them. These might be the loveliest, most feminine tartlets I've ever made. Which is saying a lot, because I'm stupidly girly, and there's nothing that I love more than stupidly girly dessert.

Rosewater Pastry Cream

Rose Water Tartlets with Vanilla Sugared Berries

Fill tartlet crusts with pastry cream, smoothing the tops down lightly. Top with sugared berries. Tartlets should be consumed the same day they are assembled.

Tartlet Crust

Short dough (crust recipe here)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut circles of dough large enough to fit inside 4 3/4-inch tartlet pans (I use these). Shimmy into pans and poke bottoms and sides with a fork. Pop crusts in the freezer for about 20 minutes, until firm.

Remove crusts from freezer, line with foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 14 minutes or until very lightly golden around the edges. Remove weights or beans and foil and continue baking for 7 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottom and cooked through.

Let cool for 15 minutes in pans then remove to cooling rack. Will keep for 3-4 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Rose Water Pastry Cream
makes enough to fill 4-6, 4 3/4-inch tartlets (depending on how much cream you use for each)

480 ml (2 cups plus 1/2 Tbsp.) whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
30 g (1/4 cup) cornstarch
115 g (1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
55 g (a little less than 1/4 cup) butter
1+ Tbsp. food grade rose water

In a medium saucepan, lightly whisk milk and vanilla bean seeds and pod or paste until combined. Bring to a boil. While milk is heating, whisk cornstarch, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add eggs and whisk lightly until smooth.

Slowly pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking vigorously. Pour back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until boiling and thickened. Remove from heat. Discard pod, if using, and stir in butter until smooth.

Pour into heatproof bowl, cover with parchment paper, and let cool for 30 minutes. Whisk in rose water to taste, adding 1 tsp. at a time and keeping in mind that the rose flavor will become more prominent as the cream cools. Will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Sugared Berries

1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
Berries

Place sugar in a bowl and rub vanilla seeds or paste into the sugar until distributed and fragrant. Place berries in a bowl, sprinkle with as much or as little vanilla sugar as you'd like, and toss lightly, being careful not to break the berries. Lay berries out flat on a paper towel lined plate. Lay a single paper towel over top and let sit out for about 30 minutes to dry.

14 comments:

  1. This looks amazing! Love your blog, so I nominated you for an award! See my post for details: http://tinyurl.com/7plqvlr

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it :)

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  2. I can't wait to try these for myself. I did a small shout out here on my blog http://lusciousdelights.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/luscious-delights-loves_22.html because I like them so much.

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    1. Awesome, just be aware that the rose water pastry cream is super addicting and you might be eating it by the spoonfuls. Thanks for the shout out!

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  3. Anything with berries works for me. Using them in tarts scores big with me!

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    1. I'm with you--I eat tons of berries in the summer! And vanilla sugared berries are tops, especially on tarts!

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  4. Rose Water Pastry Cream !!! Girl.. Where can I place my order for some of these. : )

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    1. Right here!! Making tartlets to share is probably my all time favorite hobby!

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  5. This looks so luscious - I can't wait to try it! Brilliant!

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    1. Oooo luscious is a fantastic word for this. You're brilliant!

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  6. These tarts are just another reason i want to sugar some berries! It makes them magical.

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    1. No need for fairy dust, just add vanilla sugar!

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  7. These are beautiful, and look super delicious!

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  8. Love these tarts - so delicate and pretty, and must taste delicious with sweet rose water and tart berries :-). Pinned!
    Also, now that I'm here, I would like to invite you to try out a new recipe sharing website RecipeNewZ.com . In less than 2 months we already have hundreds of food bloggers on board. You submit a photo of your recipe, we publish it within minutes and link back to your blog. It would be great to see your wonderful recipes there. And hopefully we could help more lucky foodies discover your site.

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