dinner (11) bread (10) dessert (7) quick and easy (7) cookies (6) pasta (6) muffins (5) snacky (5) Paleo (3) Pie (3) chocolate (3) lemon (3) basics (2) breakfast (2) shrimp (2) soup (2) Pizza (1) apple (1) beverages (1) cake (1) dressings/sauces (1) nuts (1) prep (1) pumpkin (1) side dish (1)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mini Strawberry Tarts

Raise your hand if you're sick of hearing me talk about cleaning out my pantry before I move across the country! Let me tell you, I'm waving my own hand pretty violently. I'm SO ready to go...and I still have four more weeks! AH!

In any case, I think this is one of the more successful of my recent experiments. I made some changes to the recipes that originally inspired this, because *GASP* I ran out of sugar! And I'm cheap and don't buy fresh strawberries very often. But I DID have a big bag of frozen strawberries from a few weeks ago when I mistakenly thought that they would help me turn down the ice cream that my husband was buying. Ha.

The good news is that my ice cream indulgence meant that I had plenty of strawberries for these cute little strawberry cream pies!

For the crust: Flour, powdered sugar, butter, and ice water

Cut butter into cubes. Remember the butter needs to be COLD.

I use my cute little food processor for just about everything. Dump the flour, sugar, and butter in and pulse until it looks crumbly

Then add in a little bit of ice water and pulse until it looks like this:

Dump it out and quickly form it into six thick discs, which will need to be refrigerated for half an hour

After it's been chilled, you just roll it out and stuff it in the wells of a muffin tin

I found it works well to do that small piece at the bottom then squish small rectangles together to cover the sides

It bakes for just 5-10 minutes, and then you carefully pop them out of the muffin tin to cool. Be REALLY careful with this step. My cute little crusts fell apart amazingly easily.

I also pushed down those puffy centers while they were still hot so that it would harden flat on the bottom and more filling fit in each one.

Now for the filling: strawberries, corn starch, lemon juice, salt, gelatin. YUM.

This all gets cooked in a saucepan, but I don't think you really need pictures of that whole process.

I arranged all my little crusts inside a container that I could easily transfer to the refrigerator. The one in the glass dish had a lot of cracks in it, so I filled it in the glass dish to catch the drips. It still set nicely and tasted great :)

After chilling for an hour or two, eat, eat, eat! Eat like a cookie or be a little more dignified and plop some cool whip on top and use a spoon.

Mini Strawberry Tarts
Adapted from Sing For Your Supper
Crust from The Weeknight Cook

2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1 stick cold butter (I used salted and it was fine)
ice water

Note: This makes enough for one large pie crust, but the crust-to-filling ratio is much higher with these little ones. I ended up only using about half of the filling in my mini pies. Plan on making one large pie or double the crust recipe if you want to use all of your filling.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes and refrigerate while gathering other ingredients
  • In a small cup or bowl combine about 1/4 cup water with an ice cube or two
  • In food processor (or with a pastry cutter), pulse the flour, sugar, and butter together until crumbly. I pulsed quickly before adding the butter to make sure that the sugar was evenly distributed in the flour
  • Drizzle about 2 tbsp of the ice water over the top of the mixture, and pulse just until it looks evenly moistened, but still crumbly
  • Dump onto a clean work surface and pat quickly into a cohesive lump. Avoid touching the dough for any longer that you absolutely have to. We want the butter to stay cold.
  • Cut the lump into six even pieces and quickly squeeze each one into a ball and roll it into a disk. Again, don't overwork it. Just quickly pat it into the right shape so it will stay together
  • Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes, then preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Roll each disk flat and press each one into the well of a muffin tin, making sure it goes evenly up the sides. I found it worked best to cut out a small disk to press into the bottom of the tin, then press smaller rectangles onto the sides. I was afraid of warming up the dough too much with my hands while I did this, but the crust turned out fine.
  • Freeze for 5 minutes before baking for about 5 minutes
  • Remove each crust from the muffin tin and let it cool on a wire rack
1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries (about 3 cups whole, frozen strawberries thawed and pureed)
1/3 cup condensed milk
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
  • In a small saucepan, combine strawberry puree and condensed milk
  • Combine lemon juice, corn starch, salt and a tablespoon or so of the strawberry mixture and mix until smooth, then add it to the strawberry mixture.
  • In a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of the strawberry mixture and sprinkle the gelatin over it and set it aside
  • Heat the strawberry mixture over medium heat. When it starts to boil, reduce heat to low and let bubble for a minute or two
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly
  • Meanwhile, add some of the hot mixture to the gelatin, to soften it up
  • When it's smooth, add the gelatin to the strawberry mixture and mix thoroughly
  • Poor or spoon mixture into your cooled crust(s). If some are broken, or of you wish to fill them right to the top, it works well to put the cooled crusts back into the muffin tin and let the filling harden there. 
  • Chill for a couple of hours

1 comment:

  1. ooo tarts! i have only had a lemon one once (from My Friend's Bakery in NH) and it was amazing. they actually don't look hard to make, though anything with a two step process tends to intimidate me :)
    PS I used your pizza stone for the third time today- yum!