I like just about every dessert with raspberries and pastry cream, so these simple pastry tarts have become one of my go to’s. Working with a rough puff (a la The Great British Baking Show) is so much easier and less time consuming than a classic pastry dough. The best part about this dessert – if baking isn’t your strong suit you can easily pop pre made puff pastry sheets (cut into rectangles) into the oven and then top with pastry cream and any fresh fruit you like.
Rough Puff Pastry Dough
This is one of the best recipes I have found. When it comes to any pastry dough, it is so technical I don’t like to improvise at all. If you follow all of these steps with the images, it should be fairly easy.
*While the dough is chilling I like to make the pastry cream (since this also has to chill for a while) .
- 2 cups whole milk (divided)
- 1/2 vanilla bean pod (scraped) – can also use vanilla bean paste
- dash of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- Place 1 1/2 cups milk in a medium saucepan. Spit the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape into milk. Add a dash of vanilla extract. Cook over high heat, stirring often until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl (you want it to be large enough to add the milk mixture to), whisk remaining 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch.
- While whisking, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture.
- Return the mixture to saucepan and cook over high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and comes to a boil.
- Once mixture has thickened, pour it into a clean bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard. You don’t want air to get in.
- Cool to room temperature then place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to set
- It may look lumpy when you take it out of the fridge – just re whisk to get a smooth consistency before piping onto tarts.
I love pastry tarts because you can do a variety of different combinations and sizes. For these, I chose to split the dough in half and roll two (approximately) 9 x 9 squares and then cut twelve equal rectangles (6 rectangles per sheet). You could also do one long sheet or much smaller bite size squares!
*These are about the size of a pre made puff pastry sheet which I practiced on, so if you are using those – simply thaw dough, unfold the sheet and cut a horizontal line across the dough (perpendicular to the fold lines) and at each fold line to make the six even rectangles
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange dough rectangles
- Cut a thin border around the dough and use a fork to make holes at the bottom of each piece (see photo to the right for reference) These don’t have to be perfect but help make a raised edge so the pastry cream doesn’t run off.
- Bake for about 12 – 13 minutes until golden brown and edges have puffed up.
- Once pastry is cooled slightly, place set pastry cream in piping bag and pipe onto each tart. Top with as many fresh raspberries as you want and a very light dusting of powdered sugar (if desired)