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Star-Studded Berry Tarts with Vanilla Pastry Cream – the perfect dessert for patriotic holidays!
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Star-Studded Berry Tarts with Vanilla Pastry Cream
For the crust:
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup pecans
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into ½-inch pieces
- 6 Tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
For the pastry cream:
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅔ cup coarse or granulated sugar for topping divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons buttermilk divided
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1 pint blueberries
- powdered sugar for dusting
To prepare the crust:
- Combine the flour, pecans, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Drizzle the cold water on top and pulse until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap. Press the dough into a large disc shape and cover. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. While the dough is chilling, prepare the pastry cream.
To make the pastry cream:
- Combine the milk, ⅓ cup of the granulated sugar and the vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring the milk mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk ½ cup of the buttermilk, the egg yolks, cornstarch and the remaining ⅓ cup sugar together in a medium mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle (temper) the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture whisking constantly. Return the combined mixture back into the saucepan and heat while whisking constantly until it is thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat and add the last remaining 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Pour the cream into a clean bowl and lay plastic wrap on the surface. Refrigerate about 45 minutes. While the pastry cream cools, prepare the tart crusts.
- Lightly flour a large sheet of parchment paper. Roll out the dough on the parchment to about a 10-by-14 inch rectangle. Trim into an 8-by-12 inch rectangle, reserving the scraps. Cut the rectangle into eight 3-by-4 inch rectangles. Separate the pieces slightly on the parchment and use your fingers to crimp the edges. Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Lightly flour a small piece of parchment paper. Gather the dough scraps and roll out to the same thickness as the tarts, about ¼ inch, on the parchment. Cut and crimp another 2 or 3 tarts into 3-by-4 inch rectangles plus enough stars to top each one. You should end up with about 10 tarts and 10 stars. Transfer the parchment to another baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
- If you still have a small amount of left over dough, roll into cookie size balls and flatten to the same thickness as the crusts. Bake along with the crust for a nice lightly sweet cookie.
- To bake the crust, preheat the oven to 375°F. Poke holes in the crust with a fork. Brush the stars and the edges of the crust with the beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool completely before topping with the pastry cream.
- To assemble the tarts, divide the pastry cream on top of each tart crust. Top with fresh berries and a cookie star. Sprinkle with a dusting of confectioners' sugar and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Here are a few more of our favorite summer holiday dessert recipes:
Nectarine Blueberry Pie ~ bake the season with this juicy, tangy, sweet pie filled with ripe nectarines and plump blueberries. Topped with a homemade flaky crust cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutter, you’ll be the star of your next celebration with this delicious dessert! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Our Mixed Berry Trifle is made with layers of fresh berries, chunks of sweet pound cake smeared with a little strawberry jam and a luscious vanilla cream custard. This lovely dessert is great for any occasion, it’s easy to make and it serves a crowd! Click HERE to get the recipe.