Strawberry Tarts

Makes a 10" tart or 8 individual tarts

225 grams butter
110 grams powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
170 grams superfine brown rice flour
110 grams cornstarch
30 grams tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
pinch of salt

Cream the butter and powdered sugar together. Add the zest and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Press the dough into tart molds. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes. 

Blind bake the tarts by lining the mold with a piece of parchment paper and filling with pie weights or dry beans. 

Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes until golden brown.  Leave the baked crust in the mold but remove the parchment paper and weights immediately.  Be careful when you do this as the crust is extremely delicate when hot.  

Let the crusts cool completely before unmolding. 

For fruit tarts: Fill baked crusts with pastry cream and arrange fresh fruit on top.  Glaze the fruit with melted apple or currant jelly.

Pastry Cream

Makes enough to fill a 10" tart. 

2 cups half and half (or whole milk)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
4 Tbs cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Heat half-and-half, 6 tablespoons sugar, and salt in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.

Whisk egg yolks in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until sugar has begun to dissolve and mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in cornstarch until combined and mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

When half-and-half mixture reaches full simmer, gradually whisk simmering half-and-half into yolk mixture to temper. Return mixture to saucepan, scraping bowl with rubber spatula.  Return to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on surface and mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. 

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl.  Using a rubber spatula, pass the pastry cream thru the strainer.  Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream, and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 48 hours.