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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Vanilla brulee tarts with strawberry purée

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A crazy amount of 21st birthdays have been approaching, and along with gifts, I like providing some sweet delights. In this case, I decided to make some tarts (I got a bit bored of making cakes). I have always wanted to make tarts, and I finally got around to it.

This recipe is by the famous Bourke St Bakery. Unfortunately, mine didn't taste as good, but I never expected them to. Furthermore, due to some time restrictions and not the greatest blow torch, I couldn't quite get the burnt sugar effect on top.

Also, lucky for me, my sister had a whole bunch of pastry left over from a previous tart she made so I didn't have to make the shortcrust pastry. But the recipe she used was   a Matt Moran, sweet shortcrust pastry as seen on MasterChef Australia: http://www.masterchef.com.au/recipes/sweet-shortcrust-pastry.htm


Vanilla brulee tarts with strawberry puree

Makes 20 (8cm tart)
**I used a large round tart pan (~23-25cm) and 5 small tart cases (8cm)


Ingredients

Vanilla Custard
720 ml of thickened cream
1 vanilla bean (or equivalent = 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
10 egg yolks

80g (1/3 cup) caster sugar

Strawberry Puree

250g strawberries, washed and hulled
120g caster sugar



Method:
Vanilla Custard
1. In a saucepan combine vanilla into the cream.

2. Bring to the boil over high heat, as soon as it boils remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Place egg yolks in a large stainless steel bowl. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

 4. Pour the slightly cooled cream through a sieve over the egg yolks (discarding the vanilla bean pod - if used, and further removing any lumps.)

5. Whisk the mixture to combine.
6. Put the stainless bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water.

7. Continue stirring the mixture with a whisk for 10-15 minutes, or until smooth and thick - continually scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula.
**NOTE: Do not stop mixing or the mixture will curdle (i.e. the eggs begin to cook).

8. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk briskly for about 2 minutes to cool the mixture.
9. Once the mixture is off the heart, whisk the mixture every 10 minutes for 1 hour.

10. Place plastic wrap on top of the mixture and refrigerate over night.

Strawberry puree

1. Combine strawberries and sugar into a food processor (blender and hand stick blender will do the same job) until smooth.
2.  Wrap and refrigerate until needed. 

Pastry
1. Roll out the pastry until about 3mm thick. (using flour to prevent sticking)

2. Using the rolling pin, place the pastry into the case and pinch in the sides. Cutting off any excess pastry.
3. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven at 190 degrees Celsius.

5. Place greaseproof paper over the top of the tarts, and fill with weighing beads (or uncooked rice)


6. Bake for 15 minutes.

7. Remove greaseproof paper and beads, and bake for another 10 minutes or until light brown.

8. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before filling.


Assembly

1. Spoon about 3/4 teaspoon of strawberry purée into the base of the tart shell (that is for the 8cm cases, for the big tart I probably put equivalent to a few tablespoons).

2. Pipe the custard into the tart shells (this is so the strawberry purée stays in the centre). **NOTE: I just spooned the custard around the strawberry purée and put a dollop at the top, this works as well as long as your are gentle.

3. Smooth the top of the tart.

4. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

5. Sprinkle a teaspoon of caster sugar on top of the custard and burn with a blow torch until caramelised. (This step doesn't have to be done, but to get the full effect it is advised.)



Going on with the time restrictions, the custard in the big tart case didn't set as well as the custard in the small tart cases, but regardless, it was still tasty.


Good food, good times!

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