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Friday 27 July 2012

Gluten Free: Fruit Tartlets

There are some things we do really rather well in the UK; polite queuing, sarcasm and summer berries. Despite all our complaints about the recent weather (something else we do pretty well), the warm and sunny spring well had this year had brought us some wonderful strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, red currants and black currants. I haven't found any gooseberries yet, but I'm fairly sure that they'll be brilliant this year, too.

I have, on occasion often, been found with my nose pressed against the glass of my local bakery or the display case of a patisserie, gazing wistfully at all the beautiful treats. The thing that mostly catches my eye are the colourful glazed fruit tartlets. I want them all. So, when all our wonderful berries are in season (right now) I get myself to a kitchen and make my own.

You can make your own gluten free pastry, or pick up a readymade block from the freezer section of your supermarket. If you really can't be bothered, you can buy the creme patissiere, too (just check that it is gluten free, some recipes use wheat flour). 

You'll need (to make 12 mini tartlets, or 6 10cm tartlets)
  • a selection of summer berries (about 500g worth)
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 200g gluten free shortcrust pastry
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 37g caster sugar
  • 20g cornflour
Make it!
  • Take about 100g of your berries and squash them in a bowl, sprinkle with 1 tbsp granulated sugar and leave to rest for at least an hour to allow the juices to come out. 
  • Roll out the pastry to about the same size as your shallow bun tin and cut out 7.5cm rounds. Press the pastry rounds into the shallow bun tin, you can use the end of your rolling pin or a spare blob of pastry to avoid tearing it. 
  • Prick each pastry round with a fork and bake at 180°C for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool.
To make the creme patissiere
  • Heat the milk and vanilla extract in a pan. Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a bowl until they turn pale, add the cornflour and whisk until smooth.
  • Remove the milk from the heat and allow to cool for about a minute before pouring over the egg and sugar mixture, whisking all the time. Return to the pan and keep whisking as you bring the mixture back to the boil. Still whisking, simmer for 1 minute before transferring to a clean bowl to cool. (Top tip, cover this with a sprinkling of icing sugar to stop a skin forming)
To make the glaze
  • Strain the juice from your squashed berries into a jug and make up to 125ml with water. Pour into a pan and add the remaining 5 tbsp sugar and bring to a boil, let it boil rapidly for about 5 minutes until it reduces by a quarter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
To assemble your tartlets
  • Spoon the creme patissiere into the pastry cases and spread to cover the base. Arrange your berries over the top and brush with the glaze, or dust with icing sugar.

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