Friday, July 11, 2008

Raspberry Tarts ala Z

This is great! Z does a great deal of the work, and I get to post the picture! We baked off the tart shells on Thursday the 26th of June, then painted the inside with chocolate to protect the crispiness of the baked shells. Then we packaged them up, and Z took them to eastern Washington along with a cooler filled with pastry creme, (some cookbooks list this as creme patisserie), raspberries, fresh mint, and piping bags. Then the assembly - pretty self explanatory really - fill tarts with pastry creme, arrange raspberries decoratively, pipe on some whipped cream, add a mint leaf or two and a shaving of chocolate and voila, you've got wedding dessert for 80 people.
Now I personally think you should always have a wedding cake, but this turned out wonderful. And we threw in a side serving of pine nut tarts!

Pastry Creme

1 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream

Scald the milk. In a clean pan whisk together the egg yolks, the sugar, the cornstarch and the vanilla. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Simmer for 3 minutes -- it will be very thick --transfer it to a bowl and chill it, its surface covered with plastic wrap, for 4 hours or until it is firm. (May be made one day ahead.) Beat the heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks. Whisk the pastry cream until it is smooth, whisk in half the whipped cream, fold in the remaining cream gently but thoroughly.