Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Earl Grey Custard Berries Tart

It's the prettiest thing I've made so far. Then again, with the abundance of berries in it, it is no wonder why I termed it as so isn't it?

 Earl Grey Custard Berries Tart

There was no difficulty handling the tart dough and I managed to maneuver it into the tart ring without tearing the dough. It baked up beautifully and evenly, I was quite happy with how it turned out. It's honestly hard to work with tart doughs (well, anything that has to do with butter generally) in this hot tropical climate. I had some leftover dough so I used it to line four smaller tart molds.

Nothing beats using fresh produce. Well, as fresh as it can be since technically those berries are imported into the country. Ha! Sometimes, I wish Singapore's climate would be cooler, if only to enable growing certain fruits such as berries and meyer lemons.

As I had bought a few punnets of raspberries, blueberries (and blackberries - not used in this tart), I decided that I should showcase them in their full resplendent glory in a fresh fruit tart. I even took the time to sort through the berries (to categorise berries of similar sizes) and arrange them one by one onto the tart.

 Mini tartelettes

The custard was a lil too sweet for my liking. I can't pinpoint exactly whether there was a strong presence of the earl grey flavour even though I upped the amount quite significantly. Perhaps it is hard to gauge as custard itself has quite an egg-y flavour to it. Nonetheless, fresh fruit tarts are always appreciated and my family and I devoured it for the next coupla days. The tart shell was crispy, but I recommend eating the tart fast as when filled with the custard, the crust will tend to lose its crunch factor after a day or two of sitting in the fridge.

Close up on the custard

Earl Grey Custard Berries Tart (adapted from here and here)
(makes one 7" tart and 4 2.5" tartelettes)

Sweet Tart Dough
60g unsalted butter, room temperature
70g salted butter, room temperature
100g sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg, room temperature
250g all purpose flour

Combine butter, sugar and salt in large bowl. Beat together till smooth, then add the egg and mix until smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula before adding all the flour. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
On a lightly floured work surface, shape dough into a disk. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured work surface until about 3mm thick. Transfer to a tart pan, easing it into the bottom and sides, and then pressing gently into place. Trim the dough level with the top of the pan with a sharp knife. Dock the bottom of the tart shell with a fork. Place pastry shell in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until it is firm.
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place tart shell in the oven and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool completely.

Earl Grey Custard
2 cups (and another 1/4 cup more) whole milk
20g loose earl grey tea leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
115g sugar
30g cornflour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
55g unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Heat milk and earl grey tea leaves till it just comes to a simmer (don't let it boil). Remove from heat and let cool to steep for half an hour. Strain the mixture, squeezing the tea leaves to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the tea leaves. Measure out 2 cups of the earl grey milk, add salt and reheat till simmer.
Whisk together cornstarch and sugar, add the eggs and mix well.
Gradually pour the hot earl grey milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
Transfer the custard back into the saucepan and continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes before adding the butter by the tablespoon, whisking well till smooth. Strain the mixture to remove any cooked lumpy egg bits.
Cool the custard completely, before folding in the whipped cream.

1 tart shell, cooled
1 batch earl grey custard, cooled
2 cups of mixed berries

Spread the cooled custard onto the tart shell, top with berries.
Best served on the day it is made, or eaten within the next two to three days. Refrigerate leftovers (if any).


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