Summer's last little hurrah y'all. Bit sad isn't it?
My fall semester begins in less than a week and a half. And I'm not ready for it.
It's a two-sided coin - on the one side I'm going into my last year of my Bachelor's and I'm very much ready to get this finished. But on the other, I have to start figuring out . . . everything (I'm entering that final countdown every soon-to-be-college-grad faces).
But what do I have to complain about, really? Education is a major blessing that I'm so grateful for. So. . . LET'S GET THIS DONE.
And then I have to figure out where to go for culinary school (so excited!), get a job (Martha Stewart, if you're reading this, I'm available), and figure out why the heck I'm still single (Henry Cavill, if you're also reading this, I'm available).
Actually scratch that last bit. I love being single. Love it. No sarcasm.
Let's eat dessert!
Simple Fruit Tarts
For the Shortbread Pastry
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 cup flour
For the Pastry Cream
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons butter vanilla baking emulsion (or vanilla extract)
For the Topping
1/2 pint strawberries, sliced
2 kiwis, sliced
*or any other type of fruit you would like on top (mangos, raspberries, blueberries, apricots, figs, pears, etc.)
1) Make the pastry cream. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until pale and ribbony, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the flour and salt. Warm the milk in the microwave for 1 minute. Gradually whisk milk into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
2) Remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a medium bowl. Stir in butter, cream cheese, and baking emulsion (or extract). Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream (to prevent a skin from forming on the surface), and refrigerate 1-2 hours until chilled.
3) Make the shortbread pastry. Preheat oven to 375F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and salt until combined - make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the flour, mixing until a ball of dough forms - it will look crumbly at first, keep mixing.
4) Grease 4, 4-inch tart pans (or 1, 9-inch pan). Press 1/4 of the dough into each pan. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes, until a light golden color. Let cool completely before filling.
5) Assemble the tarts. Place 1/4 of the pastry cream in each tart. Top with desired amount of fruit. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Will keep 2 days in the refrigerator.