Pastry Cream is my frienemy. Ahhh Pastry Cream. So tasty and sweet. There are times when I love you. But just when I think I've whisked you to perfection, you pull some sneaky move on me and become evil and hard to work with.
This week's TWD recipe for Quick Classic Berry Tart was selceted by Cristine of Cooking With Cristine. I made this tart and brought it to my Grandmother's house for a Mother's Day brunch! This is a straightforward, "quick" as Dorie calls it, tart. All you do is whip up a batch of pastry cream, make and bake your sweet tart dough, pour the cream into the crust, decorate the top with berries, and lightly glaze with currant jelly. Sounds pretty easy, right?
Nothing is quick or easy about my frienemy, pastry cream. But I set out on a mission. I asked pastry cream if perhaps we could put our past behind us and just move forward. I measured my ingredients. I heated my milk to a boil. I tempered my eggs. I whisked the whole thing vigorously until it reached a boil, then whisked a few more minutes. I whisked in my vanilla and my butter. And boy did that pastry cream come out lumpy. Why???? Grrrr.
Well, as my mom always told me, if at first you don't succeed, try try again, and I was making this for Mothers Day, after all. So I cursed at that batch of pastry cream, threw it in the garbage and tried again. This time I got a beautifully smooth and silky pastry cream. Success!...or so I thought. Into the fridge it went.
Next up, I made Dorie's Sweet Tart dough for the tart shell. I live for the Sweet Tart Crust. Sweet Tart Crust and I are good friends. Sweet Tart Crust is nice to me and always bakes up perfectly. I can count on Sweet Tart Crust.
I assembled my tart at my grandmother's house. I poured my pastry cream into the tart shell and all looked good. I arranged my berries and applied a light currant jelly glaze. I brought my tart to the table. Everyone thought it was stunning. I couldn't have been more proud.
But then...I cut into it...and my pastry cream turned into The Blob and dripped all over the place. Every piece of the tart I cut was a runny mess. WTF. In hindsight, I think I should have used only about half the amount of pastry cream I used, and doubled the amount of berries I used.
I will say this - despite the runniness of my pastry cream, this tart tasted amazing! Everyone who tried it absolutely loved it. Hope the other members of TWD had a better pastry cream experience than I had! Next time I will get this pastry cream right. I'll get you next time gadget....neeeeeeeext time!!!