Monday, April 22, 2013

Four layered strawberry tartelettes!

An assortment of mini strawberry pies

Strawberry must be one of my favorite fruits. I love their juicy tartness and their aroma that fills the air with an inviting and too hard to resist scent. Strawberries are one of the fruits that are great fresh on their own, but they become greater with a sprinkle of sugar as this enhances their sweet flavor.

I always look forward for strawberry season and when the season arrives I always keep some in my fridge to consume fresh during the day to benefit from the healthy dose of vitamins they contain  body or to use with the myriad of desserts these red berries go greatly with.

Decorate to your liking, strawberries offer you lots of possibilities

I also love pies or tarts whether a normal  sized tart  or mini ones as the french call them tartelettes.

So what better recipe for fresh strawberries than these cute tartelettes with pastry cream?
For the crust you need ( enough for 10 to 15 pieces):
  • 200 g flour
  • 100 g cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 30 g sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • Beans of half vanilla pod (or vanilla extract)
  • Ice cold water
Combine flour, sugar, salt, vanilla and zest in a food processor, pulse until all combined. Add the butter and pulse again until you get a sandy mixture. Now you either can slowly add the cold water into the food processor, or transfer the mixture into a larger bowl and add the water one tsp at a time  and mix until the dough forms a ball. The quantity of water will depend on the flour and butter, I only needed to add one tbsp!
Form a disk and wrap it in plastic, put in the fridge for at least an hour (you can make it a day ahead).
Roll your dough and cut to fit into mini tart shells. Blind bake in a 180 C oven (preheated) for 10 to 15 min, until dry and with slight golden color on the edge!

The different components of  your layered tartelletes

For the pastry cream (creme patissiere):
  • 250 ml milk
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 20 g corn flour
  • zest of a lime
  • few drops of vanilla essence
Heat the milk in a sauce pan, in a bowl whisk the egg with the sugar, lime zest, vanilla until almost double in volume, then add the flour. Mix well then slowly add the hot milk (not boiling) add it very slowly over the egg mixture, and whisk non stop! Put the mixture in the pan on soft heat and keep stirring, it will start thickening after few minutes. When it drops slowly from the spoon then it´s ready; it will continue cooking until it cools down so you don't want to get it too thick while it is still on the flame.

For the strawberry sauce:
  • 150 g strawberries
  • 40 g sugar
  • Tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • A vanilla pod (I used the one left from making the pastry)

Fruit, cream, fruit sauce and pastry shell, 4 layers for one great desset
Dice the strawberries and combine with the other ingredients and let it simmer on a very gentle heat for about 20 to 30 min. Make it a day ahead as this will allow all the flavors to combine and it will taste better.

Get your ingredient ready for the final assembly

Time to assemble:

Put about a teaspoon of the sauce in the bottom of the shell or the enough amount to cover the bottom. Cover with the cream and top with strawberry. I called this dessert as four layered strawberry tartellete because it has four layers from top to bottom: the fresh fruit on top followed by the rich smooth pastry cream and the refreshing strawberry sauce all carried by a buttery, fragrant and crumbly pie crust.

To prevent the strawberries from drying while they cool in the fridge you can brush with a glaze of heated strawberry jam or you can do what I did. I had around 4 tablespoons of juice left from the strawberry sauce, so I soaked 1/4 tsp of gelatin powder in a tiny amount of water, heated the juice and added the soaked gelatin and  stirred till  it dissolved well. I allowed the mixture to cool down before brushing it on the strawberries. This surely gives the fruits a beautiful shine and protects them from drying before you have the time to consume them all.

A note about decoration. There's really no rule for that, just do what feels more appropriate. I tried to make different patterns to inspire you, but I am sure you can come up with more creative ideas.

Beautiful, elegant and tasty tarts
And here you have it, a crumbly, creamy, tart and sweet dessert. It is really hard to resist!


  1. Wow they look beautiful actually! It's a shame to eat such art :D

    1. Thank you so much! Well there r only 2 left, they r really hard to resist! :)

  2. Ummmm que bueno y que bonito..