Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fruity Tarts

I've been on a puff pastry kick and decided it was time to make a dessert. What is better for dessert than fruit? Fruit flavors with chocolate!  Of course, we love dessert in our family, so anytime I start to experiment with something new, I have 2 little noses at my side and a plethera of questions as to the readiness of said experiment and whether or not they get to "lick the spoon, the bowl, and the beaters."  This time, they got to sample all the parts and were very excited to jump into the finished product. Banana, stawberry and chocolate topped with whipped cream and served in a tender, flakey, edible bowl--what could be bad about that?!?

Fruity Tarts

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

Roll puff pastry until even and about 18" x 12". Cut into 6 equal squares, 6" x 6". Remove 1/2" edge from each square and apply the strips to the remaining smaller square, adhering with a little water, creating a dam of sorts.  Poke several holes in the center of each  tart so the middle doesn't rise. Place each tart on a baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.
Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and poke the center of each tart if it has risen. Let cool.

1 1/2 c heavy cream
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 tsp pure vanilla

Bring cream and sugar to just boiling, stirring often. Put the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl and pour hot cream over, let sit for 2 minutes before stirring. Stir gently, being careful not to incorporate too much air, and continue stirring until smooth. Set aside.

Easy Strawberry Filling
1 12 oz pkg frozen strawberries
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 c water
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine strawberries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and boil until liquid begins to reduce and thicken, stirring often. If needed, add cornstarch while stirring vigorously. Boil an additiona 1-2 minutes until very thick. Remove from heat and cool. When nearly cool, add vanilla and stir to combine.
Set aside.

Banana Custard
1/4 c unsalted butter
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
2 c milk
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 tbsp  banana flavoring

In a saucepan over very low heat, mix the butter and sugar and cook for 3 minutes. Beat the eggs into 1 3/4 cups of milk and slowly add to the butter/sugar mixture, stirring all the time.
Blend the flour with 1/4 c of milk and add to the hot mixture and cook until thick. Let cool and add salt and flavorings. Cover tightly with plastic wrap to avoid a skin from forming. When cold, custard will be very thick. Add a little milk, if necessary, to thin.

Whipped Cream
1 c heavy cream
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whip cream in a medium bowl until frothy. Add vanilla and sugar slowly while continuing to whip until medium stiff peaks form. Keep cold.

 Assemble the tarts: Pour a layer of ganache on the bottom of each tart. Add a layer of banana custard and then strawberry. Top with a generous spoonful of whipped cream. Dip a fork in the ganache and drizzle over whipped cream. Serve immediately...as if anyone would be willing to wait!

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