How to Make Strawberry Tarts

strawberry-tarts-01

Ingredients
125 g (4.4 oz) butter
250 g (8.8 oz) plain flour
2 to 3 tbsp cold water
Some butter to grease
200 g (7 oz) cream cheese
2 tbsp icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
450 g (16 oz) small ripe strawberries
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
Some fresh mint
1 egg yolk
1-Make the pastry. Place 250g (8.8 oz) of plain flour in a large bowl, and add 125g (4.4 oz) of butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Don’t squeeze it as this will crush all the air out. Rub it gently, lightly lifting your fingers as you go. Keep going until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add in 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar, and mix with a fork.

2-Make the pastry. Place 250g (8.8 oz) of plain flour in a large bowl, and add 125g (4.4 oz) of butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Don’t squeeze it as this will crush all the air out. Rub it gently, lightly lifting your fingers as you go. Keep going until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add in 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar, and mix with a fork.

3-Add egg and water. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to the egg yolk and quickly whisk with a fork. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add a little of the egg and water. Work the mixture in, adding more egg and water until it begins to form a ball without being too sticky. If it’s too dry, add a little more water.

4-Shape the dough into a ball. Wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.

5-Prepare the tins. Grease the baking tins using a little kitchen towel dipped in butter.

6-Roll the dough. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap and cut into quarters. Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour onto a clean work surface. Press the dough with your hands to warm it, then use a rolling pin to roll out. Don’t put too much pressure on the rolling pin. Press gently and turn frequently. If it feels like it is sticking, rub a little flour onto the rolling pin. Roll the pastry until it is about 5mm thick. If it tears, don’t worry, just push it back together.

7-Shape the cases. Loosen the pastry from the work surface with a pallet knife, drape it over the rolling pin and lay it into the baking tray. Cut of the excess with a knife and shape the top with your fingers.

8-Chill the pastry. Line each of the pastry cases with a square of tin foil, and fill each with baking beans. These will help the tarts keep their shape and stop the pastry rising up when it is cooked. Place them back into the fridge for about 15 – 20 minutes to chill.

9-Preheat the oven. Meanwhile turn the oven to 200ºC or 400ºF.

10-Bake. Remove the pastry cases from the fridge and immediately put them in the oven to bake for 7 minutes. Then, remove the beans and foil. This can be tricky, so there should always be an adult around to help. Return the cases to the oven and bake for a further 3 minutes. Then place them on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

11-Prepare the filling. Put 200g (7 oz) of cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Sift in about 1 tablespoon of icing sugar. Add half a teaspoonful of vanilla extract and beat well with a wooden spoon. Have a taste, and add more icing sugar or vanilla extract if you think it needs it.

12-Prepare the strawberries. Remove the leaves and stalks from the strawberries, and clean the tops with a little kitchen towel. Carefully slice each strawberry in two. To be extra safe hold them like this – make a bridge shape with your fingers, put the knife in the gap, and slice.

13-Fill the cases. Place a small amount of the cream into each pastry tart and smooth it around. Arrange the chopped strawberries on top.

14-Make the jelly glaze. Put 4 tablespoons of redcurrant jelly into a saucepan over a low heat and leave to melt. Add a couple of tablespoons of water after about 3 minutes, just enough to make it runny. If the mixture begins to bubble, give it a quick stir and lower the heat. It will be ready in about 8 minutes. Use it straight away before it solidifies. Ladle a little glaze over the strawberry tarts. Garnish with fresh mint.




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