For the tart shell:
- 3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 large egg yolks
- 4 to 8 tablespoons heavy cream
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the b utter and beat until the mixture is the consistency of cornmeal, about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of cream. Add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. If the dough does not come together into large chinks, slowly add the remaining cream, a little bit at a time, until it does. Gather the dough into a ball, pat it into a disk and wrap it tightly in plastic bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Divide the dough to make tyne portions you need and again pat gently into disks. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each dough disk into a round about 1/4 inch thick and about 1 inch greater in diameter than the pan you're using (8 inches for a 7-inch pan; 4 inches for 3 1/2-inch tartlet pans). Drape the rolled-out dough into the tart pan(s), gently pushing it into the bottom edges and against the pan sides to make a strong and straight shell. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the pan(s) using a sharp knife, or roll the rolling pin over the edges to cut off the excess dough. Prick all over the bottom with the tines of a fork and place in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the shells until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.
For the pastry cream:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup ( 3 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Pour the milk into medium pot. Use sharp knife to slit the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk. Put the pod in the milk as well. Heat the milk until almost boiling (bubbles will begin to form at the edges). Cover and let steep for 1 hour if time permits, otherwise proceed as directed.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Set the bowl on a kitchen towel or nonskid surface and whisk the egg mixture while pouring about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the mixture to temper. Gradually pour in the rest of the milk, whisking constantly. Pour the contents of the bowl into the pan and set over medium-low heat.
- Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a slow boil, about 2 minutes. Immediately strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container. Discard the vanilla bean or wash and reuse it. Let the pastry cool to room temperature, 10 minutes, and the whisk in the butter. You want the butter to be incorporated without being melted.
- Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- Spoon a good amount of chilled pastry cream into the pre-baked pastry shells. Top with the fruits of your choice.
Recipe was taken from Miette cookbook by Meg Ray with Leslie Jonath