Saturday, May 17, 2008

When a Berry Tart turns into a Parfait....

...you have a very pretty individual dessert! For Mother's Day, we had my in-laws over for dinner. I had originally planned on making Dorie's Quick Classic Berry Tart. It sounded light and fresh and not heavy after a big meal. Perfect, right? Well, it was until the crust broke. I admit, it was totally my fault. I unmolded the crust from the tart pan and put in onto a cake stand that was too small and had a dip in the middle, so when I filled with it with the pastry cream, the middle sank. So, that was OK...I could get by with that, until I went to push it from this small stand to a little bigger one, that it broke into about 15 different pieces. I had my meltdown for about 10 minutes, and then the pastry angels whispered into my ear...hey, make parfaits! Hallelujah....it is not ruined after all! We will have dessert!!

Now, TWD chicks have made the pastry cream before with the brioche snails. I wasn't able to make it then, so I was eager to make it for this, and it did not disappoint. I would eat it by itself. This pastry cream is simple to put together, and not time consuming. I would definitely recommend it if you need something quick to put into a pie shell!

For the pastry cream:
2 Cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in a bout 1/4 cup of the hot milk-this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get into the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1-2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold.

Sweet Tart Dough
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 T) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in- you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal fakes and others the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses- about 10 seconds each- until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change- heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate and dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To press the dough into the pan: butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy handed- press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferable longer, before baking.
To partially or fully bake the crust: center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, against the crust. (since you froze it, you can bake it without weights). Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, carefully press it down with the back of a spoon. For partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack. To fully bake the crust, bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

**1/3 cup red currant jelly mixed with 1 tsp water, for glazing.

To assemble:
Smooth the pastry cream by giving it a couple of strong turns with a whisk. Spoon enough of the pastry cream into the tart crust to come almost to the rim, then even the surface with a rubber spatula. Carefully lay the berries on the cream, arranging them in any pattern that pleases you. If you are using strawberries, either halve them from top to bottom or slice them, depending on the size of the berries and your whim.

Bring the jelly and the water to a boil in a microwave oven or on the stove top. Working with a pastry brush or pastry feather, dab each berry with a spot of jelly. Or, if you like, you can glaze the entire surface of the tart, including the bit of pastry cream that peeks through the berries.

Or, to make the parfaits, just crumble a little bit of crust in the bottom of whatever you are using, spoon in some of the pastry cream, top with berries. Then, just drizzle over the jelly. I would recommend not skipping the red currant jelly. It gives it just a little tartness to help with the sweetness of the cream and berries!

8 comments:

marye said...

It still looks awesome April! You did great!

Megan said...

I could go for a parfait right now. It looks so cool and refreshing and its so darn hot here. 103 already!

dorie said...

Quick thinking -- the parfaits look great and they look like something you made "on purpose."

C.L. said...

GOD BLESS parfaits! It looks delectable and I totallly know how you feel with turning a possible disaster into something magnificent!

bunny said...

you did good...very good!!

Erin said...

The parfaits look wonderful. Definitely a creative way to still have a delicious dessert!

disa said...

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

When a Berry Tart turns into a Parfait....

...you have a very pretty individual dessert! For Mother's Day, we had my in-laws over for dinner. I had originally planned on making Dorie's Quick Classic Berry Tart. It sounded light and fresh and not heavy after a big meal. Perfect, right? Well, it was until the crust broke. I admit, it was totally my fault. I unmolded the crust from the tart pan and put in onto a cake stand that was too small and had a dip in the middle, so when I filled with it with the pastry cream, the middle sank. So, that was OK...I could get by with that, until I went to push it from this small stand to a little bigger one, that it broke into about 15 different pieces. I had my meltdown for about 10 minutes, and then the pastry angels whispered into my ear...hey, make parfaits! Hallelujah....it is not ruined after all! We will have dessert!!

Now, TWD chicks have made the pastry cream before with the brioche snails. I wasn't able to make it then, so I was eager to make it for this, and it did not disappoint. I would eat it by itself. This pastry cream is simple to put together, and not time consuming. I would definitely recommend it if you need something quick to put into a pie shell!

For the pastry cream:
2 Cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in a bout 1/4 cup of the hot milk-this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get into the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1-2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold.

Sweet Tart Dough
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 T) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in- you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal fakes and others the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses- about 10 seconds each- until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change- heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate and dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To press the dough into the pan: butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy handed- press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferable longer, before baking.
To partially or fully bake the crust: center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, against the crust. (since you froze it, you can bake it without weights). Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, carefully press it down with the back of a spoon. For partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack. To fully bake the crust, bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

**1/3 cup red currant jelly mixed with 1 tsp water, for glazing.

To assemble:
Smooth the pastry cream by giving it a couple of strong turns with a whisk. Spoon enough of the pastry cream into the tart crust to come almost to the rim, then even the surface with a rubber spatula. Carefully lay the berries on the cream, arranging them in any pattern that pleases you. If you are using strawberries, either halve them from top to bottom or slice them, depending on the size of the berries and your whim.

Bring the jelly and the water to a boil in a microwave oven or on the stove top. Working with a pastry brush or pastry feather, dab each berry with a spot of jelly. Or, if you like, you can glaze the entire surface of the tart, including the bit of pastry cream that peeks through the berries.

Or, to make the parfaits, just crumble a little bit of crust in the bottom of whatever you are using, spoon in some of the pastry cream, top with berries. Then, just drizzle over the jelly. I would recommend not skipping the red currant jelly. It gives it just a little tartness to help with the sweetness of the cream and berries!

8 comments:

marye said...

It still looks awesome April! You did great!

Megan said...

I could go for a parfait right now. It looks so cool and refreshing and its so darn hot here. 103 already!

dorie said...

Quick thinking -- the parfaits look great and they look like something you made "on purpose."

C.L. said...

GOD BLESS parfaits! It looks delectable and I totallly know how you feel with turning a possible disaster into something magnificent!

bunny said...

you did good...very good!!

Erin said...

The parfaits look wonderful. Definitely a creative way to still have a delicious dessert!

disa said...

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