|Mmmm ...! No idiocy required|
I also used tart pans with removable bottoms, though it doesn’t much matter because the pastry easily slips from the other kind; the photos below show examples of both types of pans.
Naturally, these light ’n’ lovely tarts should be served chilled. Rather than add more than a whisper of sugar, I used a dab of whipped cream to reduce the berries’ tartness.
Summer Berry Tarts:
To Prepare the Pastry:
Half of a 14-oz. (397 g) package puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
Just enough all-purpose flour to sprinkle on work surface
Preheat oven to 450 deg. F. Dusting work surface with a small amount of flour, roll thawed puff pastry to approximately ⅛-in. in thickness (I used a silicone pastry mat for this job - no sticking, with far less flour needed!). When rolled dough is thin enough for your liking, lightly press top sides of tart pans onto it, marking - but not cutting through - dough.
For the size of tart pan I used (4-¾-in. wide by ½-in. deep), trim dough about ⅜-in. beyond pan’s impression in the dough. Slip each trimmed circle of dough into ungreased tart pan. Using the end of a small spoon, press the pastry against the fluted edge of the tart pan so it hugs the pan and looks “pretty.” Poke lightly floured fork tines into each tart bottom 10 or 12 times. Freeze shells 15 min. before baking. Bake 5-to-6 min., until lightly golden. Makes five or six tarts.
To Prepare Berry Filling and Fruit Glaze:
2 c. fresh blueberries (or berries of your choice)
½ c. fresh raspberries (or berries of your choice)
½ c. puréed, strained juice made from fresh berries (see Note)
2 tbsp. honey or granulated sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch or tapioca starch
Whipped cream, as desired
Combine berries; chill and set aside (Exception: Raspberries. Fold them in after adding fruit glaze). I’m not a great fan of powdered fruit glazes, but if that’s what you generally use, be my guest! I’ve suggested a better alternative in the Note that follows. I was fortunate enough to have some juice I’d puréed and strained from last summer’s blackberry crop; freezing pure juice (rather than whole berries) is a great space-saver in my freezer if I choose to make jelly next winter.
I had just ½ c. of juice left - not enough to make jelly - so I whisked the sugar and starch into that amount of cold juice (if it’s hot, the starch will lump), combining it well before heating it over the stovetop until the mixture thickened. But back to you: Chill thoroughly, stirring in only as much glaze as you need to coat berries. Heap chilled, glazed berries into pastry-filled tarts. Fill tarts only as needed. Don’t fill them ahead or the pastry will become soggy. Top with whipped cream.
|Use a one-piece tart pan ...|
|Or a two-piece tart pan with removable base|
|Trim pastry 3/8-in. beyond impression left by tart pan|
|Lay pastry in pan; overhang allows room for pan sides|
|Gently fit against pan's bottom and sides|
|Press pastry against pan's fluted sides with end of spoon|
|Continue until almost all pastry is used|
|Prick fitted pastry shell to prevent pastry from rising in|
awkward places. If it rises anyway, prick it while it's hot,
straight from the oven, allowing room for berry filling
|Freeze shells before popping into the oven|
|By whichever method you choose, prepare fruit glaze|
|Use only the freshest berries - the pick of the crop!|
|Add thickened, cooled fruit glaze|
|Using a gentle hand, combine until each berry is coated|
|Because they're soft and delicate, raspberries go in last|
|Ease cooled pastry from tart pan by raising removable base|
|Separate cooled pastry from bottom of tart pan, too|
|Fill cooled shells with chilled berries, serving at once|