Thursday 31 March 2016

Raspberry Tartlets

Starting a bit early on the "simple things done well" theme for April. I wanted to do something quite delicate, and try to work on the presentation a bit more. I was also slightly depressed after having watched Bake-Off : Creme de la Creme, which basically pointed out that everyone is just playing at doing desserts.

Anyway...this was a mish-mash of a few different recipes, but the focus was on getting good pastry cases (my tartlets have always looked a little rustic previously), and a good custard base. The fruit could be anything, whatever is to hand really. I went out on a limb a bit with the crème patisserie, and turned it into crème diplomat with the addition of some whipped double-cream, making it a lightly, slightly softer texture.

Things I'd change... Firstly, I tried making the pastry entirely in the food processor, and I think it got over-worked. Next time I'll do the rubbing in using teh food processor, but the addition of liquid by hand.

Secondly, I think I'd glaze the fruits before adding them to the top of the tart. The jam ended up globbing a bit, and looking a little in-delicate. I think if I'd dipped the raspberries , then once set put them in it would have been a better look

Raspberry Tartlets - Recipe

Sweet Crust Pastry Ingredients

  • 375g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 140g butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 egg
  • Chilled water
(Note - this will make more than you need. I was able to line a 20cm tin and a 12cm tin as well as the 12 tartlet tins)

1) Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor

2) Add the butter into the food processor

3) Blend until you get to a fine breadcrumb texture

4) Add the egg to the food processor, and mix in

5) Add the water a few drops at a time until a dough starts to form

6) Tip the dough onto a work surface, and using your hands form a dough ball, and knead a few times

7) Flatten to a 1-inch thick disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour

(Note - while this is chilling you can make the crème patisserie, as it needs to cool)

8) Pre-heat the oven to 190'C

9) Roll the pastry out to 3mm thick (I once again used batons), and cut 12 x 12cm circles (I found this was the best size to line the tartlet tins), re-rolling the cut-offs as required

10) Line 12 tartlet tins with the pastry should get a small over-hand on each tin.

11) Once lined, cut off the edges by passing a rolling pin over the top, trimming the pastry against the tin

12) Prick the bottom of the tartlets

13) Line the inside using cling-film and baking beans/dry rice

14) Place the tartlets on 2 baking trays

15) Bake in the oven for 14-15 minutes

16) Remove the cling film/baking beads, and bake for another 7-8 minutes to dry out the base

17) Remove to wire racks to cool

Crème Patisserie/Crème Diplomat Ingredients

  • 500ml full fat milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour
  • ½tsp vanilla pod seeds
  • 200ml double cream
1) Put the milk and vanilla seeds in a large saucepan over a low heat, and warm up (don't boil)

2) Put the egg-yolks, sugar and flour in a large heat-proof bowl, and whisk until pale and creamy

3) Slowly add the heated milk to the egg yolks, whisking constantly

4) Return the custard to the pan, and whisk over a low heat until it thickens (this will be as it starts to boil, but go gently)

5) Once the custard has thickened, turn out onto a baking tray (with a lip, for obvious reasons. I used a Swiss roll tin), spread out, and cover with cling film

6) Place in the fridge to cool completely

7) Once cooled, scrape the custard into a clean bowl, and stir to loosen it

8) In a separate bowl, whisk the double-cream until it forms soft peaks

9) Fold the custard and cream together until completely combined


  • 84 raspberries (about 300g)
  • 4tbsp raspberry jam
1) Put the custard into a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle

2) Pipe the custard into the tartlet cases

3) Place 7 raspberries on each tartlet, arranged in a circle in the middle

4) Pass the jam through a sieve to remove the seeds

5) Heat the jam in a small saucepan over a low heat (don't boil)

6) Using a pastry brush, glaze the fruits with the heated jam

7) (optional) Place any spare jam in a small piping bag, chop off the very end, and pipe the jam into any gaps between the raspberries.