South African Milk Tart

Okay, so technically this milk tart is a pie and was ALMOST a baking fail, but I saved it!

My Reddit bake challenge was South Africa, hence this South African Milk Tart. It has a sweet shortcrust pastry and a vanilla custard-type filling, finished with a liberal dash of cinnamon.

The recipe went swimmingly at first – nicely thickened custard and beautiful crust. I popped it into the fridge to firm up.

Next morning I lift off the parchment to see LIQUID SOUP. No firming whatsoever overnight.

I had the thought of just pitching it, but decided to scrape it out of the pastry and re-cook the filling on the stove. Another 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch dissolved in water and then added to the boiling custard totally worked!

I took it out of the fridge next day and it was nice and firm. I was able to cut it cleanly, and I’m so glad I didn’t just bag the whole thing and throw it out 🙂

Final verdict – this was a tasty bake. The filling was creamy, cold, and definitely full of vanilla flavor. The heavy dose of cinnamon put this over the top, though. I absolutely wouldn’t leave that out! The shortcrust pastry added a great crunchy texture to an otherwise very smooth pie.

Hopefully the filling will set up for you the first time! I’m going to assume I didn’t cook it long enough the first time, which is why I was able to salvage it the next day.

Original recipe here.

 

 

 

Fresh Fruit Tart

Last year my attempted fresh fruit tart was pretty good, but had to be chiseled out of my ceramic pan…not fun! That experience led me to the wonders of metal tart pans with removable bottoms – MIND BLOWN!

Bake challenge last week was fresh fruit. This recipe is one of the few of mine that calls for fresh fruit…maybe only the napoleon I made last year? Fresh fruit is so summer-y – nice and refreshing compared to hot fruit dishes.

The only baking here is the crust, which has browned butter in it. Have you ever used browned butter in a recipe? You are just lightly browning butter on the stove top. It really adds a different flavor – nutty? aromatic? My first batch burned beyond belief, as I walked away for just a minute to probably multitask. Watch that butter!

Original recipe called for lime juice and zest, and I only had lemons, so used those. Result was still fabulous! Next time I’ll test with limes instead.

The filling is marscapone cheese and melted white chocolate – YUM. I’m not a white-chocolate-by-itself fan, but dig it in combination with marscapone.

Feel free to try whatever tart pan you have for this bake. I particularly love and use this one!

This was better the next day, BTW. Perhaps not quite as pretty with a bit of fruit juice bleeding through the tart, but the flavors have a chance to meld together. Enjoy!

 

(This post may have affiliate links; if you purchase something through the link, you’ll help support my site – thank you!)

Print Recipe
Fresh Fruit Tart
A versatile seasonal fruit tart with a light and tangy filling.
fresh fruit tart marscapone white chocolate
Course Desserts
Servings
Ingredients
Crust
Tart
Course Desserts
Servings
Ingredients
Crust
Tart
fresh fruit tart marscapone white chocolate
Instructions
Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Brown your butter in a saucepan - melt over medium high heat and swirl the saucepan. Foaming will subside. Cook while scraping bottom of saucepan until your butter is a golden brown and has a great nutty smell. This will take less than 5 minutes - keep watching, as it burns easily! Remove from heat and add water - this will bubble vigorously but then calm down.
  4. Add browned butter to flour mixture and stir well. Let sit until cooled down, about 10 minutes.
  5. Using your fingers, press dough on bottom and sides of a tart pan. Original recipe calls for 9 inch round, but I used my long and skinny tart pan with no problems. Bake on a rimmed cookie sheet until lightly browned for 25 minutes or so. Let crust cool completely.
Tart Filling
  1. Over a double boiler, carefully melt white chocolate, cream, lemon juice, zest, and salt.
  2. Whisk in a small amount of marscapone and stir. Add the rest and stir until nice and smooth.
  3. Pour filling into tart pan and smooth into a nice layer.
  4. Add whatever cut fruit you have to filling, setting gently on top.
  5. Gently warm up the preserves with 1 tsp of lemon juice until runny, either on stove or microwave. Strain the preserves to get a very thin, liquid mixture.
  6. Carefully dab the preserve mixture over the fruit only.
  7. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated fresh fruit tart recipe from the July/August 2017 issue.

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Cannoli Tart

There is a mom and pop Italian bakery in the Harrisburg area called Alvaro’s. I kept hearing about it and finally dragged my butt there a few months ago. YUM! Between myself and kiddos, we sampled Italian rainbow cookies, gelato, baklava (significantly better than my homemade attempt), and CANNOLI!

See? There was a point to this post after all.

Seeing as how I haven’t attempted at all mastered cannoli shells AND my Reddit baking challenge was Italy, I chose a Cannoli Tart instead!

I got a very cute little 9-inch tart pan from my mom for Christmas and now seriously seek out recipes just to use this. My previous tart pan was ceramic and food had to be chiseled out of it. Enter new tart pan with removable bottom.

Okay – back to recipe. Base is a simple graham cracker, bit of a sugar, and melted butter crust. That is the only baking here.

The filling is a traditional mascarpone cheese (found in Tiramisu also), heavy cream, cinnamon, vanilla, powdered sugar. I was bit heavy on the cinnamon and it still rocked.

This really does taste like the inside of a cannoli! Be generous with the tiny chocolate chips on top – that combined with a crunchy crust on bottom make for an awesome texture!

Recipe is here.

Looking for a tart pan? This one I own and love (affiliate link – your purchase helps support my site a teeny bit 😉

Nutella Tart with Hazelnut Crust

Who’s sick of Nutella yet? NOT ME. Hence this fabulous tart complete with a toasted hazelnut crust. Think creamy smooth filling and melt-in-your-mouth crunchy base. It is seriously worth baking!

I have had this recipe printed out since November and it has sat in my recipe file pile waiting for me to make it. Half the time we are out of Nutella, and hazelnuts are seriously hard to find here in Central PA for some reason. I had to go to a mom and pop candy store in the area and buy the very last bag they had around Christmas. Apparently they are called filberts, too, for inquiring minds who enjoy food trivia 😉 Thanks to a Costco stock-up of our favorite chocolate spread, we were good to go. Here’s the link to a little slice of heaven – CLICK HERE FOR NUTELLA DELICIOUSNESS

If you are wondering why there are sliced ALMONDS on the top instead of the obvious choice, it’s because my small pile of decorating hazelnuts fell on the floor. I’m not above using the 5-second rule, but that would have been a lot of little crumbs to rescue from my only occasionally washed kitchen floor 😉

This was not at all difficult and gave me a reason to use the new false-bottom tart pan I got for Christmas. Like many other Nutella recipes, this is not for the faint of heart. You must LOVE the substance that is Nutella, as it is literally a mouthful of Nutella in creamy dessert form. Enjoy!