Mini Strawberry Tarts with Custard and Cream made with a homemade buttery shortcrust, a fantastic dessert made from scratch for every occasion. These little beauties are very easy to make, and use fresh and simple ingredients.
It might not look much like summer outside, but delicious strawberries are in season, so why not make the most of them by baking a fantastic summer dessert that will get everyone liking their fingers clean. These mini tarts might look fancy, but they are actually really easy to make from scratch.
I don't usually go for boxed stuff, making your own filling and pastry is always more fun, plus you can use fresh ingredients that won't break the bank. And 0 dodgy ingredients go in.
If you hold an afternoon tea party, these strawberry and custard tartlets are the perfect sweet bites. Although, the combination of silky white cream and juicy strawberries make them a great choice for Christmas or Valentine's Day too. So, pretty much the right dessert all year round. Let's see how to make them!
Step-by-step photos and instructions
Start by making the custard filling first, so it has time to cool down before we add it to the shortcrust pastry cups. The cream can be whipped up last, to keep it as fresh as we can for longer.
The base for this custard filling is my homemade custard, which is used to be poured over desserts. The only difference is that, while the basic custard is thin, the filling uses cornflour to get the thick consistency.
For this we will need: egg yolks, sugar, milk, vanilla extract and cornflour. And NOTHING ELSE. 5 simple ingredients that are easy to find pretty much in any store. If you have vanilla beans, even better, otherwise a good vanilla extract or vanilla essence should do.
- beat the egg yolks with the sugar until you get a pale yellow colour, and a smooth texture
- warm up half of the milk with the vanilla extract
- add the cornflour to the other half of the milk, and mix well to dissolve
- mix the cornflour milk with the vanilla one, then gradually pour it over the egg mixture
- add everything back to the pan, and whisk well until it thickens into custard
- set aside to cool
This is a pretty basic recipe that can be used for any crusty desserts ( and if you leave the sugar out, it's the perfect base of a quiche or savoury tart).
The ingredients needed: butter, flour, sugar, egg yolk and water. Again, simple ingredients that are easy to find. I used unsalted butter for this recipe, if you use the pastry for savoury recipes, the salted one can be used instead.
- sift the flour, add the butter cut into cubes, and use your fingertips to rub them together until they resemble breadcrums
- add the sugar, and mix well
- add the egg yolk and cold water, and knead gently to form a dough
Now, at this stage most recipes call for the pastry to be chilled - I was rushing, and I skipped this step, but the shortcrust came out perfectly fine, so it does work without chilling it too.
- use a rolling pin to roll the dough, then use a large cup or round cookie cutters to cut out rounds large enough to fit into the muffin tray holes
How to bake the pastries
Once you have the pastry cuts into rounds, our job here is getting really simple.
- Butter and flour a 12-hole muffin tray - or tartlet cases if you have any, they will look nicer, no doubt about that, but, if like me, you don't have any, the good old muffin tin is the next best thing.
- Arrange the pastry rounds pressing down gently, then use a fork to prick the pastry - that will prevent the pastry from bubbling up while baking.
- Cover the pastry with kitchen foil - each one separately - then fill it with either baking beans or dry pulses - I used dry lentils, but anything else goes.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and pulses, and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until golden
And now we have the cups ready to be filled.
How to assemble the tarts
Once the shortcrust cups are ready, leave them to cool down slightly, then fill them in with the custard. Beat the double cream or whipped cream, and add it to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle - or any other nozzle of your choice.
Decorate the tartlets with slices of fresh strawberries, and that's all! They really look pretty, and trust me, once you have a bite, you will realise that every second spent making these mini tarts was well worth it!
If you serve the tarts the same day, you can leave the strawberries are they are, but if you prepare this dessert beforehand and want the strawberries to look fresher for longer, heat up some strawberry jam, and brush it over the slices of strawberries, they will get a nice shine, and look amazingly fresh for long.
Looking for more tart ideas? How about my Kiwi Tartlets? As easy, and as delicious too!
If you’ve liked my STRAWBERRY CREAM AND CUSTARD TARTLETS or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.
Mini Strawberry Tarts with Custard and Cream
For the shortcrust pastry
- 300 g plain flour
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon cold water
For the custard filling
- 500 g milk
- 75 g cornflour
- 100 g sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 100 ml double cream
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- To make the pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl.
- Cut the butter into cubes, and add it to the flour.
- Rub them together using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar and mix everything well.
- Add an egg yolk and water, and knead everything gently into a dough.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough, then use either a large cup or a round cookie cutter to cut out 12 rounds.
- Butter and grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
- Preheated the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
- Arrange each round into a muffin hole, pressing down gently so that the dough fits in perfectly.
- Use a fork to prick the dough in a few places.
- Cover each hole with kitchen foil, then fill with baking beans or dry pulses.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and pulses, and bake uncovered for a further 5-10 minutes or until golden.
- Leave aside to cool.
- To make the custard, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow and silky.
- Heat up half of the milk and the vanilla extract until just warm, the mix the cornflour with the other half of the milk.
- Pour the cornflour milk over the vanilla milk.
- Gradually pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking well.
- Transfer everything back to the pan set over a low to meadium heat, whisking continuously until the custard thickens.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- To assemble the tarts, fill each pastry cup with custard.
- Beat the double cream until it holds stiff peaks, then add it to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
- Top the custard with cream, then decorate with slices of fresh strawberries.
- To see the measurements in cups and ounces, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
- The amount of ingredients listed can be adjusted depending on the number of servings you need, just click on the number next to SERVINGS.
- If you serve the tartlets the same day, you can leave the strawberry slices are they are, otherwise heat up some strawberry jam, and brush the strawberry slices with it, that will keep them fresh and shiny for longer.