Autumn Fruit Tartlets
- For tart shells, in a mixing bowl cut 1/2 cup butter into flour until pieces are pea-size, using a pastry blender. Stir together 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of the ice water. Gradually stir egg yolk mixture into flour mixture. Add remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is moistened. Gently knead the dough just until a ball forms. If necessary cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
- Cut dough into 8 equal pieces and flatten each into a disk. On a lightly floured surface, roll each disk into a 5-1/2-inch-diameter circle. Gently ease each circle of dough into a 4-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Press pastry into sides of pans and trim edges. Do not prick pastry. Line each tart with a double thickness of foil and place on baking sheet.
- Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 6 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 4 to 5 minutes more or until light golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool tart shells in pans on wire racks.
- For filling, in a heavy medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Gradually stir 1 cup of the milk mixture into 5 beaten egg yolks. Add egg mixture to milk mixture in saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and the vanilla. Pour pudding into a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap; chill thoroughly. Do not stir while chilling. If desired, prepare Crackly Caramel Spikes.
- To assemble, spoon pudding into tart shells. Cut pears into wedges; core. Brush cut surface with lemon juice. Stand assorted fruits up and, if desired, arrange Caramel Spikes on top of tartlets. If desired, prepare and drizzle each tartlet with Crackly Caramel Sauce. Makes 8 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
Pudding can be made 2 days ahead. Pastry shells can be made and filled with pudding up to 1 day ahead. Store in refrigerator. Just before serving, add Crackly Caramel Spikes and fruit, then prepare and drizzle with Crackly Caramel Sauce.
Crackly Caramel Spikes
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Butter the foil; set pan aside. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet heat sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally. Do not stir. Reduce heat; cook and stir about 3 minutes more or until sugar is melted and medium caramel in color. Remove from pan heat and stir in hot water. Immediately pour mixture onto foil-lined baking sheet, spreading caramel mixture as thin as possible. Cool about 30 minutes. When cool, tap gently with a wooden spoon to break into large shards; store tightly covered.
From the Test Kitchen
Crackly Caramel Sauce
Just before serving tartlets, prepare Crackly Caramel Spikes as directed, except omit foil-lined and buttered baking sheet and reduce sugar in the skillet to 1/2 cup. Immediately drizzle caramel sauce over tarts (mixture will harden).
Nutrition Facts (Autumn Fruit Tartlets)
- Per serving:
- 394 kcal ,
- 19 g fat
- (10 g sat. fat ,
- 201 mg chol. ,
- 183 mg sodium ,
- 50 g carb. ,
- 2 g fiber ,
- 8 g pro.