Monday, 30 July 2012

That's a bit tarty

Sorry this post is a little late - I meant to get it sorted days ago but got sidetracked by too much rugby.  Poor Lucy got dragged along to two games in as many days - Taranaki's Ranfurly Shield defence on Friday and her dad's coaching debut in a seriously grassroots game on Saturday.  I've got a load of filthy, sweaty, bloodstained(!) jerseys in the washing machine right now.  I've never smelled anything like the stench wafting from that canvas bag and I change dozens of nappies every week.  I suppose I could've refused to wash them but then I'd have to change the name of my blog, right?

Anyway, while there's nothing elegant about a game of rugby, this week's baking was pure class.  I made creme patissiere!  I've always been a bit scared of it, to be honest.  It's the name.  Creme patissiere.  It just sounds complicated and failure prone - like souffle (which I'm also scared of).  Translated to pastry cream, however, it's not quite so daunting.

I've had a tube of vanilla beans in the pantry for a while now and figured it was time to put them to use and conquer - or at least tackle - my fear of creme patissiere.  So while Lucy slept (bliss!) one morning this week, I made a batch of profiteroles.

As it was also my first attempt at choux pastry, I didn't know what the mixture was meant to look like.  It turned out it was way too thin and the first tray was a disaster so I'm not even going to share the recipe I used.  With a few extra scoops of flour and a lot of extra beating, the second tray turned out OK.

Filled with creme patissiere and drizzled with melted chocolate, they were pretty delicious but thanks to the first-tray disaster I had HEAPS of creme patissiere left over.  I also had some frozen sweet shortcrust pastry and a bag of frozen blueberries so little blueberry tarts were the obvious choice.

They were super simple, super cute and super delicious.  Makes sense - blueberries keep appearing on those lists of superfoods, don't they?


Preheat oven to 180 and grease two 12-hole muffin pans.
Cut rounds of pastry from pre-rolled sheets and use to line muffin pans.  Prick pastry with a fork, line with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice.  Bake for 10 minutes then remove baking blind materials and return pans to the oven for another four to five minutes until pastry is golden.  Cool completely.
Pipe or spoon creme patissiere into cooled pastry cases and top with blueberries.


1 3/4 C milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways, seeds separated
3 egg yolks
1/3 C caster sugar
1/3 C plain flour, sifted

Heat milk and vanilla seeds in a saucepan.
Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick. Whisk in flour, then milk mixture.
Return to pan and cook, whisking, over low heat for about five minutes or until mixture thickens. Cover surface with plastic wrap and chill.

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