Mixed Fruit tarts with orange and vanilla custard

25 Aug

This week is the last week of winter. There has only been a very slight change in temperature but in the last week or so, the plum tree in our backyard has burst into bossoms and little blue flowers have popped up everywhere in the garden. Even the gnomes are out and about – I haven’t seen any of them around since last autumn.





For me, I still feel the cold, which I have actually enjoyed more than I usually would this winter (I am worried about what climate change might do to me this summer). As we tiptoe carefully into the warmer months, the market begins to fill up with spring and summer fruits. The strawberries were cheap and are in excellent condition at the moment.


Here;s a batch of summer fruit tarts with freshly made orange and vanilla custard encased in a sweet shortcrust pastry that I made for the people at work. It went down a treat. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients for sweet shortcrust pastry:

  • 175 grams Butter
  • 100 grams Caster sugar
  • 25 grams egg
  • lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 250 grams plain flour – sifted

Ingredients for the Orange & Vanilla custard:

  • 500 ml Milk
  • Seeds from 1 Vanilla bean
  • 50 grams Sugar (Sugar A)
  • zest from 2 oranges
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 50 grams Sugar (Sugar B)
  • 25 grams plain flour
  • 25 grams corn flour

Other ingredients:

  • 150 grams of melted 70% cocoa solids chocolate

Fruits for garnish *you can use your favourite fruits*

  • Strawberries
  • Canned Longans
  • Canned Peaches

Method for the sweet short crust pastry:

  1. Firstly, make the sweet short crust pastry.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar until all the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add lemon zest and vanilla to the egg and add half the egg mixture to the butter mixture slowly. Stir through with a wooden spoon. Repeat this for the rest of egg mixture.
  4. Sift the flour.
  5. Add flour to the mixture and mix to a smooth paste with a wooden spoon (*Do not overmix at this stage*)
  6. Wrap the dough in glad wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until it is ready to be used.
  7. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  8. Roll out the rested shortcrust pastry and use a flutted biscuit cutter to cut out little pastry rounds.
  9. Carefully line each pastry round in disposable aluminium bases(you do not need to grease the tin)
  10. Blind bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until pastry is brown.

Method for Orange & Vanilla custard

  1. To make the orange and vanilla custard to fill out pastry shells, whisk the egg yolk and sugar B together with a hand whisk till just combined (do not overmix).
  2. Add sifted plain flour and corn flour to the egg mixture and mix together.
  3. In a saucepan, bring the milk, seeds from the vanilla bean, orange zest and sugar A to a boil.
  4. Pour half of the milk contents into the egg mixture and stir.
  5. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and place it back on the heat (Low heat) while stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat when the mixture thickens.
  7. Put the mixture through a sieve to remove zest.
  8. Set aside to cool down.

Assembly of the summer fruit tarts

  1. Brush the pastry shells with dark chocolate.
  2. Pipe the custard into the pastry shells and top with the summer fruits.

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