Last time I told you about my inborn ability (or pure luck) to make a creamy, dreamy cheesecake. So today, the natural flow of the conversation, dictates to share what I fail at. Every time.
Sigh… I just can not get this little monsters right. Except the firs time. Being a very inexperienced baker, I followed the recipe for Sweet Pastry Crust from Joy of Baking to a T. The tartlettes were so beautiful, I just couldn’t believe my eyes! Then a few unsuccessful attempts for improvisation followed, and I decided to go back to the first recipe I made. Too bad it didn’t turn right. Never again was I able to perform the perfect little vessels, meant to carry pure sweet goodness, right. Never.
I have tried I lot of recipes since then. Believe me! I’ve blind baked, froze to dead, barely touched, very lightly floured, the damn pastry. And it shrinks every time, turning into a formless glob, in no way worthy to crush for a cheesecake crust, not to mention to carry the fillings it is supposed to.
Last time however, I reached a new low. I had the Bananas and Peanut Butter tartlettes in my head for quite some time, and was determined to get it right. After all, an adult can not be scared of soften butter and flour. It is just not logical.
So, I stepped into the kitchen, cocky and confident. I have decided to make the tartlettes in my muffin pan , so they can be relatively small, and also, to keep it simple – only soften butter, flour and sugar, mix-chill-bake.
Needless to say, my cockiness came to bite me. The image of the little, neat, buttery shells quickly melt away along with the tartlettes in the oven. Broken hearted I took the pan out of the oven and let it cool. And then something very new happened. I was unable to take the tartlettes out of the pan. They were so heavily stuck, that they may as well have been glued to the surface. I confess, I cried a little. And then took a dull knife and scraped the pity compound right into the garbage where it belonged.
Devastated, I didn’t know what to do. My cream was ready, I really wanted the tartlettes, and I didn’t have time, nor desire to make a new pastry. So, I did what any reasonable person would do – took out pie dough from an old project out from the freezer, and went to bed.
On the next morning, I baked the pie dough in tartlette forms, it didn’t turn very well, but I was already numb from the general deviousness of the doughs.
I assembled the tarts and ate them. The Еnd.
I will not be sharing a pastry recipes, because I honestly believe, that you know better than me how to prepare one. But this tartlettes were a good idea. Just poor execution. So go and make your favorite sweet crust and trust me with the filling. It is good. I would never lie for such thing.
Meanwhile, I promise to try to learn how to deal with pastry crust. And will drink some wine, to soothe my nerves.
And this is how a decomposed tartlette looks like, thank you for asking:
Peanut Butter Pastry Cream
(Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef)
- 480 ml. (2 cups) whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 gr. sugar (1/2 cup) sugar
- 40 gr. (1/3 cup) cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 120 gr. peanut butter (1/2 cup) peanut butter, room temperature
- Pour the milk in a heavy bottom sauce pan and put it on medium heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches the boiling point.
- In a large bowl whisk lightly the eggs, vanilla extract and the sugar, add the cornstarch and salt and whisk until incorporated.
- Pour slowly ¼ of the boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour in the remaining milk and pour the cream back into the saucepan.
- Put back on medium heat, and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to bubble, continue to whisk vigorously on the heat for to 2 more minutes to cook the cornstarch.
- Pass the cream through a sieve and cover the surface of the cream with plastic foil, to prevent from forming skin. Let cool.
- After the cream is cooled, remove the plastic foil and add the peanut butter. Using a hand mixer on low speed, mix the cream until the peanut butter is completely incorporated.
/for about 10 tartlettes/
- 3 large bananas, sliced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 60 gr. (2 oz.) peanuts, toasted and finely chopped
- Apricot glaze
- Brush the bottom of the tartlettes with warm apricot glaze.
- Arrange a few slices of banana over the pastry and fill with the peanut butter pastry cream
- Decorate with bananas, brushed with apricot glaze and chopped peanuts.
- Serve immediately, the tartlettes are best the day they are made.