For a recent baby shower, I was hankering to bake something pretty and petite that would pair well with fresh raspberries. I was envisioning a crispy, sweet little tart shell filled with vanilla custard and topped with whipped cream and raspberries. When I couldn’t find a recipe with that particular combination, I improvised. I modified my favorite sugar cookie pie crust to make the little shells, and reduced the quantities on my cream filling and topping recipes. The tarts were enthusiastically received, so now I can safely share the recipe with you.
You can prepare the tart shells and custard the day before, and then all you have to do is whip the cream (up to two hours before serving) and assemble the tarts (up to an hour before serving). These little tarts would also be nice for a Mother’s Day brunch, a ladies’ tea, or a sweet ending to a springtime dinner.
One note: try to use organic raspberries for this recipe if you can. Red raspberries are on the list of top 12 pesticide-retaining fruits and vegetables, and you can check out the other produce on the list here.
Mini Raspberry Custard Tarts
- Sugar Cookie Tart Shells
- Custard Filling
- Whipped Topping
- 1 pint fresh raspberries, gently washed and dried
- fresh mint sprigs for garnish
Sugar Cookie Tart Shells:
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a mini tart pan or mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light. Beat in flour, salt, milk and vanilla, until mixture is moist and crumbly. Roll the dough into balls that are 1 heaping teaspoon each. Press the balls into the prepared mini tart pan or mini muffin pan and work the dough until it is pressed thin and up the sides of the pan about 3/4 inch. You can use a spoon handle or a small pestle to press the indentation into the dough if you wish. You should have enough dough to make about 28-30 tarts. Prick the bottom of each tart.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until just barely golden on top.
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- tiny dash of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
In a heavy saucepan, heat the milk over a medium-high flame until bubbles appear around edge. Beat egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl with wire whisk or mixer until pale yellow and thick. Beat in flour and dash of salt until well mixed. Gradually beat in hot milk; pour all back into saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, over moderately high heat until mixture thickens and comes to boiling, lower heat. Continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes, over low heat, whisking constantly. Mixture will be quite thick. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Place a piece of wax paper directly on surface of filling to prevent skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours.
Whipped Cream Topping:
- 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chill a metal mixing bowl and the beaters from an electric mixer in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Whip the cream in the chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the powdered sugar just until the cream forms stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and whip just until combined.
To assemble the tarts, spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons custard filling into each mini tart shell. Use a teaspoon to put a generous dollop of whipped cream on each tart. (You may have some filling and topping left over. Feel free to sit down and eat this directly from the bowl as I did.) Top with a fresh raspberry, and arrange on a platter. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and additional raspberries. Makes about 24 tarts.