Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Custard Cream tarts & Happy Easter!

I am so glad that this is a short week. For this, it means longer weekend and more rest and quality time with family. Yippee! Although we didn't have much planned up for this Easter holiday weekend, but my little ones are sure looking forward to it...pronto! Why? That's because my hubby and I had promised them an Easter Egg hunt at home! Sounds like fun isn't it...well, at least for the kids. :) But before I show you folks what I have install for my kids, lets first get on to today's recipe: Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Custard Cream Tarts. Sorry if you were expecting some Easter bake from me. :P Maybe next year?
I got this wonderful recipe from none other then Carol ????. This is such a wonderful sweet treat! Refreshing strawberries, nice creamy perfectly sweeten vanilla custard cream and a light flaky pastry crust that didn't turned soft the following day. That's important right? It's a big deal for me!

The pastry not turning soft means I can make a day ahead and it still taste heavenly when served. Sweet! The trick? Read on for the recipe, roughly translated:

Recipe for Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Custard Cream Tarts: (makes about 16)
Vanilla Custard Cream:

a: 300ml fresh milk, 1/2 vanilla pod
b: 3 egg yolks, 60g caster sugar, 30g cake flour

In a small mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and caster sugar and mix well. Add in the cake flour and mix till everything comes together into a thick creamy consistency.
Pour the milk into a heat proof sauce pan and add in the vanilla seeds that has been scraped out from the pod.
Place sauce pan over medium low heat and stir constantly and keep watch not to over boil. Once there's tiny bubbles appearing on the edges, remove from heat.
Slowly and carefully add the heated milk into the egg yolk mixture and stirring constantly at the same time. When all the milk has been added in, whisk well and strain the mixture through a fine sieve back into the sauce pan.
Place the sauce pan over medium low heat again and stirring constantly and be watchful not to over cook it. Once the mixture thickens and reaches ribbon stage, remove from heat. If over heated, the mixture will turn clumpy and not smooth...not good eats. :P

Vanilla Custard Cream
Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and cover it (in contact with the surface) with plastic wrap to prevent the "skin" from forming. Set aside or chill until when needed.
Sweet pastry dough:

130g cake flour, 60g cold unsalted butter, cut small, 50g confectioner's sugar, 2 egg yolks, 1/8 tsp salt


In a large mixing bowl, add in the cake flour, powder sugar and salt. then using only your finger tips, work the cold butter into the flour mixture. Alternatively, use a mixer to combine the ingredients till it resembles bread crumbs.
Next add in the egg yolks and gently work the dough but not over kneading it. Over kneading the dough will make it hard and not flaky.
Chill the dough in plastic wrap for at least 30 mins till ready to be used.
Grease the mini tart tins. After chilled, take out the dough and divide the dough into 16 equal portions, about 25g each.
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Roll out each dough portion into a circular disc about the size of the tart tins. Then use your fingers to gently press in the pastry dough to shape it nicely to the tin shape.
Prick each of the dough base with tooth-pick or fork to prevent the dough from puffing up while baking. Repeat till all the pastry doughs has been shaped into the tins.
Bake the pastry tarts in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160C and bake for another 3-5minutes.
Remove the pastry from oven and let cool completely. In the meantime, melt the semisweet chocolate and let cool for 10 minutes before using.
Brush the cooled chocolate to the base of the pastry tarts so as to prevent the tarts from turning soft when it is topped with the custard later. (That's the trick folks!)
Chill the chocolate base coated tarts in the fridge till the chocolate set. Then take them out to assemble the topping. Note that all the above steps can be done days ahead and chill in the an airtight container up to a day or 2.
Scoop or pipe about 1.5 to 2 tbsp of the vanilla custard cream into the cavity of the tarts. Then top with sliced fresh strawberries. Glaze the strawberries with warm jam to finish it off.

The final product. Chill it for another 2 hrs before serving.
These tarts were very well received. In fact I will be making it again next week for the family, I'm very sure my kiddos will favor that idea. :) Thanks again to Carol for this great recipe. :) Please head over to her website for more step by step detail recipe.

This recipe is quite versatile, you can top it with any fruits you like. Meaning you can substitute strawberries with seedless grapes, kiwi, mango and even blueberries and raspberries! Yum! Try it, you'll love it. :)

Back to Easter Day fun. Check out the little eggs I've prep for my kids!

I've stuffed them with chocolates, candies, toy rings, dollar coins and even coupons for game time and hugs, heehee! I bet my kids are gonna have so much fun scavenging for them in the house tomorrow. Nothing grand but pure kids fun...hope it'll give them fond memories in the future. :) So what have you planned up for this holiday? Easter dinner feast or a mini get away?

So before I sign off, I hope everyone has a nice relaxing long weekend and Happy Easter to All!

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