I have to admit, these mini tarts were made with “leftovers”, I did not have the time to think of a better finishing, so I kept it simple, but the taste was so amazing!
The creamy yuzu custard, the juicy strawberries, the nutty roasted pistachios and the crispy crust made a perfect balanced association.
This tart is made of:
- pastry crust (a pâte sucrée)
- yuzu crémeux
- roasted pistachios
- fresh strawberries
I always prepare this almond shortcrust with the quantities below, use what I need and freeze the rest of the dough for a maximum of one month, wrapped properly in a cling wrap and placed in an airtight container. I rarely freeze it once cooked, but it can be done for a few days, especially if you don’t have the time to prepare the whole tart on the same day. You can for instance freeze the crust half-cooked, and when needed you just finish blind-cooking it or fill it with almond cream and cook it, in both cases without unfreezing it.
This dough requires 3 hours of resting time, try to respect it, otherwise it will shrink in the oven. And once lined on the tin, it needs at least one more hour to rest. What I generally do: I prepare the dough in the evening, let it rest overnight, and in the morning I line the mold, and bake after at least one hour.
- Stand mixer with flat beater
- Cling wrap
- 6cm stainless steel mini tart rings
- 150 g Butter At room temperature
- 1 g Fleur de sel French sea salt
- 95 g Icing sugar
- 1 piece Vanilla pod
- 30 g Almond powder
- 60 g Egg One medium egg
- 250 g Flour All purpose - Cake flour - Type 45
- Cut the butter in small cubes and let it soften at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. At the same time take the egg out of the refregirator.
- Place the soft butter in the bowl of the stand mixer equipped with the flat beater.
- Mix and combine (in this order) with the salt, icing sugar, vanilla seeds, almond powder and the egg.
- Sift the flour.
- Add approximately 1/4 to the dough and combine.
- Add the rest of the flour and mix quickly, just until combined. Do not overwork the dough otherwise it will become elastic and shrink during the baking. At this stage the dough is "creamy" and that's normal.
- Place it on a cling wrap and flatten it (approximately 2cm thickness). Wrap it properly and let it rest for 3 hours if possible.
- Grease the rings and place them on a tray covered with a silicone mat or baking paper.
- For each ring you need approximately 20g of dough. Roll it out to a thickness of 2mm*.
- Line the rings* and place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 170°C.
- On each ring, line the pastry with baking paper (or muffin paper cases) and add baking beans (ceramic ones), to weigh the pastry down.
- Bake for 10 minutes, remove the paper with the beans and bake for 5 minutes until getting a nice golden color.
This crémeux (sort of custard) is tangy enough with a delicate yuzu flavor and balanced. You can prepare it in advance and store it in an airtight jar, with a cling wrap directly on the surface. You can freeze it for a couple of weeks, the taste won’t be altered. Whenever you need to use it, just whisk it energetically to smoothen it.
- Mixing bowl
- Hand blender
- Cling wrap
- 67 g Butter
- 1 g Gelatin (1/2 sheet) Gold strengh (200 bloom)*
- 15 g Full fat milk Fresh if possible
- 40 g Yuzu puree Brand Ponthier if possible
- 15 g Lemon juice Freshly squeezed
- 1 piece Lemon Small one
- 88 g Eggs Less than 2 eggs
- 52 g White sugar
- Cut the butter into small cubes and let it soften at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Soak the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.
- Heat the milk, yuzu puree, lemon juice and lemon zests. Do not boil.
- Whisk energetically the sugar with the eggs (just for a few seconds).
- Add 1/3 of the hot liquid to the eggs mix and whisk.
- Add this mixture to the hot liquid in the saucepan. Simmer over low heat whitout stopping whisking. It should thicken after 2 to 3 minutes and start forming bubbles.
- Strain into a deep mixing bowl.
- Wring gently the gelatin and dissolve it in the hot cremeux.
- When the temperature of the crémeux is around 65°C, add the butter gradually (in 5 to 6 times) while mixing using the hand blender (to emulsify the preparation). Continue blending for 5 minutes to have a soft and light (not buttery) crémeux.
- Cover with the cling wrap directly on the surface and let it cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Once the tarts cups are completely cooled, melt some white chocolate or (preferably) cocoa butter and with a basting brush paint a thin layer onto the sides and bottom of each cup. This will form a barrier that will isolate the crust from the humidity of the filling and thus keep it crispy. Let it set at room temperature (it takes few minutes). Meanwhile, chop some roasted pistachio (50g should be enough for 10 tarts).
Fill a piping bag with the yuzu crémeux. Half-fill the tarts shells, spread some pistachios, and finish filling the shells till the top. Smooth the surface with an offset spatula.
Decorate with fresh strawberries slices.
When preparing the dough, try not to overwork it in order to get a light and crumbly pastry. Actually the more you work and beat the batter, the more the gluten will be activated and will form elastic strands, making the dough tough and stretchy and thus will shrink when baked.
It’s important to respect the resting time for the dough, before rolling it out and after lining the ring. This will relax the gluten particles and prevent the shrinkage of the pastry.
For a more modern look and a nice finishing, I prefer to use the tarts rings especially the perforated ones, they allow a better grip of the dough and more uniform baking. If you cannot find those type of rings, you can simply use any stainless steel ring or tin. I do not recommend using the ceramic pans, but this is only a personal choice.
I always store my tarts (if they survive!) in airtight metallic tins, it’s better to keep the crust crispy.