Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Classic Fruit Tart, part 2 (custard)

No intro for this post because it's a "part 2". So lets just get into it. . .  
Just FYI, this vanilla custard recipe is from the Woodland Bakery Blog. You can find it here.

More simple basic ingredients: whole milk (don't try to cut fat and calories here, go for WHOLE MILK), eggs (1 whole + 2 yolks), sugar, cornstarch, a vanilla bean (you can use extract but go for a bean if you can), and butter (softened at room temperature).

First things first, PREP, PREP, PREP. You're going to need to beat the custard and won't have an extra hand to hold your bowl. I use some grippy shelf liner under my bowl to keep it from sliding around. You can also use a damp dish towel. Get this set up and measure all your ingredients and lay them out before you get started. Once the custard gets going everything happens pretty fast. So. . .PREP, PREP, PREP!

Start by whisking together the whole egg, yolks, cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.

Whisk it, whisk it good. It should be light yellow, smooth and ribbony with no lumps of sugar or cornstarch. Set this aside.

In a medium saucepan, mix together the milk, and remaining sugar. Split and scrap the vanilla bean and add it all (even the bean pod) to the pan. Bring to a boil.

NOTE: If you are using vanilla extract DO NOT add it in here. You'll add it in later.

Remove the milk mixture from the heat and fish out the vanilla bean pod. Then slowly steam the hot milk into the yolks whisking constantly and vigorously. Err on the side of caution and go slow. If you dump too much in all at once you risk scrambling your eggs. Once you've added at least 1/2 the milk mixture your eggs should be tempered. 

Pour the tempered egg/milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk and return it to the heat. Stir over medium high heat until the mixture just starts to thicken (about 140°F). Remove it from the heat immediately. If you wait just a split second, you'll over cook the custard and it will be lumpy. 

Like mine. (In the time it took to set the camera down from taking a picture I went from perfectly cooked to overcooked custard). Seriously, remove the pot from the heat the minute it starts to thicken. If you overcook your custard, don't fret, it will still taste great but the texture will be less creamy. You can smooth it out a bit by pushing it through a fine mesh strainer. Then whisk in the butter until its smooth and incorporated.

NOTE: If you are using vanilla extract then add it in here.

Spred the custard out in a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap (laying it right on the surface and making sure it's sealed all around) and refrigerate immediately. It's really important that you cool the custard quickly. Do not put it in a bowl to chill. This can be kept in the fridge for a day or two before assembling your fruit tart.

Here is the recipe link again. I HIGHLY recommend you read through all of Gretchen's notes on properly storing the custard: Vanilla Custard

Next Up: Part 3, Assembly.

No comments:

Post a Comment