Sunday, 10 August 2014

Strawberry tarts! :-)

First of all I want to take a minute to thank all of you who who have been messaging me and commenting on the blog! Thankyou!! :-)
It is such a lovely feeling when people tell me the blog has been coming handy to them or that they enjoy reading my ramblings. I really really appreciate it! And I'm really sorry for not posting for so long :-(

..Okay okay I admit it. This time it's been unacceptably long since I blogged. I wanted to. I HAVE been baking and cooking and stuff.. I've just had some sort of a mind block.
I don't know how to write anymore. Well maybe it's sleep deprivation.
Yes it WAS sleep deprivation.
And I have one kid! ONE!
May I take a moment to take my hat off to all those mummy's out there.. Especially those with more than one little kid!.. And if you mums manage to leave the house without wearing your clothes inside out.. I ADMIRE you!


(Nope I Haven't left the house with some part of my outfit inside out. I'm totally put together and with it!) :-P

Okay, so I've been obsessed with trying to get pastry shells for tarts rights. I've tried a couple of recipes..and made mistakes. Plus I really need to make a trip to the shops to invest in some baking beans. I think they will do a world of good!

Today I finally made strawberry tarts that I was pleased with!! Yay!!!
The strawberries are simply gorgeous right now and I devoured a large amount while cutting and washing them.

At least they are healthy!

I got the recipe for the sweet short crust tart from JoyofBaking who makes totally awesome videos for all her recipes. The recipe yields five small pie shells or one large one.

My pastry shells :-D

Ingredients for the short crust base:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) plain flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, beaten


In a separate bowl, whisk your flour and salt.

Place your butter in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until softened. Add in the sugar and beat till light and fluffy.
Gradually add the beaten egg till just incorporated.
Add the flour mixture all in one go and mix until just combined.
Flatten the pastry in to a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Lightly butter your tart pans or spray with a cooking spray.

Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, evenly pat it onto the bottom and sides of the tart pans. If rolling it is easier for you instead, then go for it! When that is done, cover it in plastic wrap again and  place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 205 degrees C and place the rack in the centre of the oven.

You may either place a sheet of baking paper on your pie crust and weigh it with baking beans or prick the bottom of the pastry crust with a fork to prevent it from rising.
Bake the shells for five minutes and then reduce the oven to 180C.  Remove the baking beans if you have used them and continue to bake for another twenty minutes until the crust is golden and baked.

Since we will be filling the crust with a creamy mixture, seal it by glazing the baked crust with an egg white glaze. You may wish to put it back in to the oven for a minute or so.

Whilst the tarts are baking in the oven, I sliced some large strawberries and left some whole. I placed them on a large plate and sprinkled them generously with caster sugar and placed it in the fridge so the strawberries would sweeten and produce a syrup.

For the cream base I went for a quick and easy cheesecake style base that I filled my short crust case with.

Ingredients for filling:

150grams cream cheese
4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Some vanilla essence

Place all the ingredients except the lemon juice in a bowl and stir. Gradually add the lemon juice while stirring thoroughly.
Taste the mixture and add more lemon juice if needed. You don't want it to be too too sweet!
The mixture should be slightly runny but will firm up when refrigerated in the tart shells.

For the top of the shells:

A 375ml tub of double cream whipped to stiff peaks with about two tablespoons caster sugar.

Finally assemble the tarts once the short crust case is cooled.

Pour in the cream mixture at the bottom of the tarts. Pipe on the sweetened double cream on top generously and then place the strawberries on top!

You may wish to pour a little of the strawberry syrup on top of the tarts to make them extra yummy :-)

These were totally awesome and I can't wait to make them again!! They're super easy to make and SO good!

 Totally worth it :-)


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