Since I’m the host of this month’s Aspiring Bakers’, I figured I should post a little more than usual, and cover different types of pies and tarts to start you guys going. I’ve already received quite a number of entries, and all of them entice me to bake more tarts and pies! Hopefully I’ll be able to find the time between my French classes and work! =S

First up, I have one of my favorite types of tarts, the fresh fruit tart. I can’t remember when was the first time I tried them, but these tarts are always the first things I’ll take when there’s a catered event in my school. I still remember sitting through boring workshops, and looking forward to the “light refreshments and finger food” at the end. The caterer would most definitely serve this, with kiwi, peaches, blueberries, etc. But now that I’ve learnt to make my own, I’ve realized just how simple they are to make. All you need to do is to make the crust, bake it, add the cream and top it with some fruit and you’re good to go! Alright I’ve to admit that it’s quite time consuming, but what I usually do is to freeze my pie doughs (they freeze really well and I’ve kept some for up to 3 months!) and some are already pressed into tart tins, so when I’m ready to bake them, I just take them out, crank up the oven and I’m good to go. I also make the pastry cream ahead of time, so all I need is just to assemble on the day of baking!

In fact, the tarts you see in the photos are the result of a last-minute decision to make fruit tarts for a small birthday celebration. I had pie dough in the freezer and pastry cream in the fridge, as well as strawberries in the abundance, so these were the answer!

I know I could use some help with decorating the tarts. Just some of the tarts on my newly bought dessert stand :D

It was my cousin’s big three-oh, and he didn’t want anything huge and fancy, so he basically booked a room at MBS for the night with his fiancée, and invited my family and his to have a look around since most of us haven’t step foot there. It was a small gathering of just two families, and we were supposed to head out to eat, so these were my perfectly imperfect “rustic looking” tarts which served as appetizers. I didn’t have much clue how to place the peaches nicely on the tarts, so I merely diced them up. Doesn’t look too appetizing but it was good!
And confession time – being a mountain tortoise (swaku) that I am, this was the first time I ever stepped foot into Marina Bay Sands! Yes really – it was also the first time to Marina Bay Shoppes for me as well >.<

Anyway, we were lucky, because it happened to be a Saturday, and Singapore being kiasu Singapore, was having the 1230759th rehearsal for this year’s National Day Parade and we had a bird’s eye view of what was happening. What was even more exciting was it was a full dress rehearsal, complete with fireworks. Needless to say, we had superb “live” entertainment because the fireworks were set off THIS close to us. Spectacular really. And it was just a few fireworks but entire minutes worth of them! I couldn’t get good shots of the fireworks mainly because the room was lit and the full-length glass windows were extremely reflective, but oh well, I’m glad it’s captured in my mind :]

Check out the fireworks!

Because there were at least 8 of us dying to go upstairs to walk about in the Sky Garden, I really didn’t have time to dilly dally. Plus the fact that tripods are not allowed up here for security reasons, most of my shots were pretty bad. I did like this photo below though, which I converted to black and white because the colors were rather washed out. The lady’s enjoying her solitary time at the edge of the pool, looking out into the urban jungle that is Singapore.

 

 
Fresh fruit tartlets

Makes 24 1.5-inch (or 4-cm) tartlets

For the pastry crust: 
I used half of my Foolproof Pie Dough recipe.

 

For the pastry cream: 

I used a quarter of the Pierre Herme’s recipe.

For the topping: 
Fresh fruit or canned fruit, of your own preference.
I used 2 whole canned peaches and about 80g of strawberries.

For the glaze (optional):

1 tbl apricot jam

1 tsp hot water

To assemble: 

  1. Prepare the pie dough according to instructions in the recipe. After resting in the fridge, line the tart tins with the dough and freeze for 30 minutes before baking. Line the tarts with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 25 minutes at 170°C, or until golden brown.
  2. While waiting for the tarts to bake, prepare the pastry cream if you haven’t. You have to refrigerate the pastry cream for at least 2 hours before using.
  3. Cut and wash the fruits that you wish to use on top of the tarts.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the glaze for the tarts. Add the jam into the hot water and mix until well combined. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. After cooling the tarts, spoon the pastry cream into the tarts (I prefer using a piping bag), and top with the fresh fruit. Add the glaze to the fruit and you’re all done! :]

Janine’s jots: 

  • Taste: Like I said in my previous entry, I love the pastry cream. I also like this pie crust a lot. Be sure to use good quality butter because the buttery taste is very evident in pie crusts. The combination of a sweet, slightly sour strawberry, with sweet pastry cream and a buttery crust is heavenly.
  • Texture: Like the melding of tests, you get different textures in one bite – the slight give of the fruit, the silkiness of the cream, and the flakiness of the crust. LOVE.
  • Serving size: The guys were able to finish this whole, as in, one bite per tartlet. This actually made for neater eating because then the fruit and pastry cream wouldn’t threaten to spill out. You can easily finish one in three small bites and they’re really addictive too :] Be sure to make more if you’re serving it for more than 5 people.
  • Storage: After assembling the tart, do sure to refrigerate it and consume within the day. This is because the pastry cream does not hold up well in heat and will liquefy, resulting in topsy fruit toppings. The crust will also begin to absorb the moisture of the pastry cream. Separately, the components will keep well for at least a week in the refrigerator.
  • Would I make this again?: Fo’ sho! [street speak for "for sure" if you didn't get it.]
Whole-strawberry tarts. Delicious.
Messily arranged tarts, packed in my tupperware ready to go to MBS!

This will be my first entry to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by myself. I have actually made a few other types of pies and tarts, but I just don’t have time to upload the photos and do up blog entries for them, so fingers crossed! I’m hoping to clear my work before the National Day holiday so that I can indulge in more baking!

14 comments

  1. DG says:

    Looks really refreshing yummy with the fruit on top. Btw, check with you, as you said we can freeze the pie dough, when we want to use, how long do we need to thaw before baking? Thanks in advance :)

  2. Love your fruit tarts, they look gorgeous !

  3. Pretty little tarts! Good to know the crust can be frozen, then I can make more in advance. I know nothing about pies and tarts and I learn something new here. Thanks for sharing!

    Btw, why do you need to freeze the dough 30 min before baking?

  4. That is a great view of the spectacular looking fireworks!
    And your tarts looks so pretty and delicious! Been thinking of making so many tarts and pies! Time is the main factor though! Have a lovely weekend!

  5. Janine, your fruit tarts looked really appetising and colourful! I’ve not made them for a long time too! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  6. Janine says:

    @DG: What I usually do if I know I’m going to bake the next day is to put the frozen dough in the fridge overnight and it’ll be soft enough to roll out the next morning. If you’re in a rush, you can just take out the frozen dough and thaw it at room temperature for about 30 minutes or less. It softens very quickly!

    @lpv, pab and kitchen flavor: thanks :)

    @ssb: the reason for freezing it before baking is mainly because then it won’t shrink too much when blind baking. My hands are rather warm, so by the time I’m done with lining the tart tins, the dough’s all soft, so I freeze it. In fact, if you freeze it for a longer period, you don’t even need to use any pie weights and it won’t shrink!

  7. arh… why didnt you use Pierre Herme’s Pate Sucree recipe???

  8. Thats one delicious looking tart.. I would love to try.. Great recipe..

  9. Zoe says:

    I can see that the mini fruit tarts are made with lots of love and dedications. What a beautiful treat for such a beautiful occasion!

  10. They don’t need any meddling. They look perfect to me :)

  11. Janine says:

    @Alan: I tried it once before and it kinda failed me, but I’m trying it out again later this week to see if it works cos Pierre Herme has been quite good to me for all other recipes!

    @Kitchen Boffin: do try it out! And thanks for visiting my blog :)

    @Zoe and Shaz: Thanks for the compliment!

  12. delicious looking tartlets looks wonderful fireworks from inside looks beautiful

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