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Several mini strawberry tartlets on a white cake stand.

Strawberry Tartlets with Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • Author: Taming of the Spoon
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 tartlets 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American, French

Description

Mini fruit tarts filled with vanilla pastry cream in a delicate cookie crust. Top with sliced strawberries or your choice of fresh fruit.


Scale

Ingredients

For the tartlet shells

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Baking spray (such as Baker’s Joy)

For the vanilla pastry cream

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar (divided)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon butter

For serving

  • Sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam, optional

Instructions

For the tartlet shells

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and salt; beat until dough just comes together. Gather the dough together to form a ball and place it on a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper. Place another sheet of sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper on top and flatten the ball to a 1/2 inch thick disk. Transfer the dough to the refrigerator and chill until firm, 45 minutes.
  2. When ready to bake the tartlet shells, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 24-well mini-muffin pan with baking spray (this is very important).
  3. On a well floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Use a 2 1/2-inch diameter round cutter and cut out 24 rounds of dough, gathering scraps and re-rolling as necessary. Place a round of dough into each well of the prepared mini-muffin pan. Using your fingers, fit the dough to fit into the well; pleating the dough as necessary. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, chill it in the freezer for a few minutes until it is firm again. Using a small off-set spatula to lift the rounds of dough will also help.
  4. Place muffin pan in freezer to chill dough until firm, 10 minutes. Prick the dough a couple of times with a fork and then place a mini-cupcake liner on top of each well of dough and fill it with rice or beans. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. Remove the muffin liners and beans, and continue baking for another 4-5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let tartlet shells cool in pan 5 minutes. Using the tip of a small paring knife to loosen the edges, gently remove the tartlet shells from the pan and allow to cool completely on baking rack.

For the vanilla pastry cream

  1. Prepare an ice bath and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over high heat, scald milk, vanilla bean and seeds, and 1/4 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks with remaining tablespoon sugar until thick and pale. Sprinkle in cornstarch and flour; continue whisking until well combined. Remove vanilla bean from milk.
  3. Whisk half the hot milk into egg yolk mixture. Pour egg mixture into pan with remaining hot milk; slowly bring to a boil. Continue whisking until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, stir in butter and let cool slightly.
  4. Transfer the saucepan to the ice bath, being careful to not let any water or ice get into the pan. Stir pastry cream occasionally until it is cool, about 30 minutes. Use pastry cream immediately or press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the tartlets

  1. Spoon pastry cream into the tartlet shells and top with sliced strawberries. If desired, melt apricot jam in microwave and brush a small amount of jam onto fruit to give it a pretty shine.

Notes

For the purpose of pretty photos, I left the stems on the strawberries. However, I removed the stems before serving the tartlets.

For a variation, you can use blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, or mangoes instead of strawberries.

Recipe for vanilla pastry cream adapted from Martha Stewart.

Recipe for tartlet shells adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

Baking technique for tartlet shells from Bakers Royale.

Keywords: tartlet, mini tart, pastry cream, fruit tartlet, strawberry tartlet, how to make a tartlet