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Delicious, healthy and naturally sweetened!
For the vanilla pastry cream:
In a small saucepan, gently warm the half-and-half on medium low heat. You do not want to boil it or bring it to a simmer, just gently warm it until you see steam coming up. While the half-and-half is warming, start on the rest of the ingredients.
In a medium sized bowl, combine your egg yolks, salt, powdered honey, cornstarch and flour. Whisk mixture together until nice and smooth. Once the egg mixture is smooth and creamy and the half-and-half is warm, carefully pour half of the warm half-and-half into the bowl with the egg mixture and quickly whisk together. This process helps temper the eggs. Whisk until the mixture is well combined. Next, pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the half-and-half.
Place the pan back on the medium low heat and begin whisking to incorporate. Continue whisking the mixture until it becomes thick and creamy. If the mixture starts to simmer, lift it from the heat and keep whisking. Don’t worry if it doesn’t thicken up after a couple of minutes, just keep whisking! It will begin to thicken after about 4 or 5 minutes. Once the cream has thickened, add the butter to the mixture and whisk to combine. Take the cream off the heat and add the vanilla.
At this point, pour the cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve or strainer into a clean bowl. If you don’t have one of these, that’s okay since the fruit placed over it will hide any imperfections. But straining ensures that you will have an extra smooth and creamy pastry cream. When all the cream is in the clean bowl, cover it tightly with the plastic wrap (plastic wrap should be touching the surface of the cream) and place in the refrigerator to chill for 3 to 5 hours.
While your cream is chilling, begin on your tart crust dough.
For the cust:
In a food processor or large bowl, mix together your flour, honey, and salt. Pulse until well combined. Add the vanilla and ice cold butter chunks. Slowly, add the ice cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
If using a food processor, pulse on and off while slowly adding the water. Mix until the dough comes together. Dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with the plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 400 F.
Take your tart pan and generously butter the bottom and sides. I used a 10 1/2 inch tart pan, but you can use a little bit smaller pan if you wish. Remove your dough from the freezer and dump it onto the tart pan. Using the plastic wrap or your bare fingers, mash the dough into the pan to spread evenly. Press the dough to be about 1/4 inch thick if using a 10-inch pan or thicker if you are using a smaller tart pan.
Once your dough is spread out and even, gently poke the bottom of it with a fork to prevent rising. Bake covered with a sheet of foil at 400 F for 15-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the cover. With a spoon, gently pat down any areas of the crust that may have puffed up. Return to oven and bake uncovered for an additional 1 to 2 minutes for a beautifully golden crust. Let the crust sit until completely cooled before assembling the tart.
Next, wash and slice your fresh fruit. You can use any fruit you’d like, but for best results, use fresh seasonal fruits that have bright colors that will complement each other. You can use kiwi, strawberries and blueberries like I did or just use your favorites! Some other ideas that would look very pretty are peaches, raspberries and blueberries. I also love the look of all raspberries and blackberries placed in a checkered pattern!
Once your tart crust is cooled, and your cream has been chilling for at least 3 hours, you can begin to assemble your tart. Remove your cream from the fridge and gently spoon it onto the tart crust. Spread the cream evenly and smoothly. Arrange your fruit as desired. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready.
Pastry Cream recipe inspired by the brown eyed baker.
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