Sunday, July 1, 2012

Silly Simple Strawberry Tarts for July 4th

Oh my goodness - these tarts are SO VERY GOOD and so ridiculously easy - to be honest one could happily forget the tart part and just eat the white chocolate cream filling with strawberries. If you go ahead and make this recipe you will think I am the bees knees for finding it in the June issue of British Country Living - the best magazine IN THE WORLD!!!

YOU DO NEED TO START THIS RECIPE THE DAY BEFORE YOU WANT TO EAT IT - because the cream needs that much time to set up and achieve it's delightfully luxurious and divine consistency - you can bake the tarts cases the day before too and keep them in an air tight container overnight!!

For the tart crust - I made baby tarts as you can see - if you want to make one tart this recipe is for a deep 8"/20cm radius tart pan - other wise this makes about 10 mini tarts - of course that depends on the size of your minis! I made mine with Pate Brisee from Martha but I made it too thick and I think the following recipe would be so much better as it is easier to make thinner and also doesn't shrink - which is important if you're using the mini cases!! It is from my friend Lindsey at Let Them Eat Cake Bakers in Belfast.

Pre-heat your oven to 325F...thank you!!

EASY PEASY SWEET TART CRUST: I made 10 miniature tarts from the recipe here:
1 1/2 cups/6ozs of unbleached white flour
1/2 cup/2ozs confectioners/icing sugar
1 stick + 1 tablespoon/ 4 1/2ozs butter VERY COLD
1 large egg yolk
a tad of milk or cream if your dough doesn't stick together

1. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium sized bowl.
2. Grate the butter into the dry ingredients and rub in until like breadcrumbs.
3. Add egg yolk and blend carefully until the dough sticks together
4. Mine didn't stick together with just the egg yolk so I added baby drop by baby drop some cream until it did start to come together...be careful once it does start to come together it does so quite quickly...don't let it get sticky!!
5.My mini tart cases are about 1 1/2" round so I rolled a ball of dough about the size of a large walnut and popped one into each case.
 This is too thick - do try to make it thinner than this, you'll thank me for it :)
Allow the tart cases to cool completely then melt some white chocolate - about 2oz - melt in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water and be careful not to get any water in the chocolate or it will seize and that's no fun!!! Then coat the pastry cases with a nice slather of white chocolate.
With their coating of white chocolate
Now for the best part WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM - so easy!!!

9 oz neufchatel cheese (I used this) OR cream cheese would work as well - the original recipe called for marscapone but I couldn't bring myself to spend nearly $7 on a container of it!! but if you want something really special then use the marscapone!

7oz white chocolate - luckily I can buy Callebaut callets (little dots) at the Belfast Coop for a very good price - use the best you can afford or find.

4 tablespoons heavy/double cream - you need this for the neufchatel or cream cheese but not if you use marscapone.
Also -  6 fluid ounces heavy/double cream - I really like Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream - really thick and delicious and whips so well - so whip it up and set aside.

Here's the hard part - put the cheese, white chocolate and small amount of cream if you are NOT using marscapone - in the top of a double boiler or in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water - wait until the chocolate seems completely melted - take off the heat and stir until well blended - allow to cool some and then put in the fridge covered overnight to set up perfectly!!
NOTE: If the chocolate is not completely melted before you stir - and this did happen to me - when you stir it it may get lumpy - not completely smooth - if this happens you need to let it cool quite a bit and then put in a blender and blend until completely smooth.

Day of devourment: A couple of hours before you are ready to assemble your tarts slice up the best strawberries you can avail yourself and macerate in a bowl with a few tablespoons of sugar  and set aside until needed.

Beautiful local strawberries - ahhhhh
Take your faboo white chocolate cream out of the fridge - STOP yourself from eating all of it now - dollop as much of this sublime nectar into either your mini tarts or your full size tart, smooth and cover with as many strawberries and strawberry juice as you feel necessary!!
EAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy July 4th everyone!!!

This post is part of the Tea Time Treats challenge hosted by Lavender and Lovage
in collaboration with What Kate Baked

Lavender and Lovage
 http://wp.me/p287Dn-566
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