Tartfeasor

Greetings, friends!  I’m enjoying the long weekend and trying to rest my brain, because next week my studying for the bar exam begins in earnest.  Our review class is starting with Torts.  Torts has always been a difficult subject for me, because…well…it makes me think about tarts and then I tend to lose focus.

As I mentioned at the end of the last post, I just picked up some tartlet pans with a gift card I had at Williams-Sonoma.  (A tartlet is like a tart, but without proximate cause.  No, I’m sorry, that was a legal joke and I’m ashamed of myself.  Actually a tartlet is just a miniature tart.)  I was so excited about these new pans that it was even harder than usual for me to not shriek like a 12-year-old with Bieber fever while inside Williams-Sonoma.  Last night I used them for the first time.  Taste-wise, the reviews were mixed and I will definitely be doing some more recipe research….but they were pretty much too cute for words.

I was perfectly happy with the crust—I used this Post Punk Kitchen recipe for that part of the project.  My only alterations: Earth Balance instead of olive oil,  and I mixed the dough in my food processor instead of by hand as the recipe suggests.

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When the tartlet shells were baked and cooled, I filled them with a vegan custard (adapted from this recipe on Oh She Glows) and berries.  Honestly, I thought it was good, but my tastes have been moving away from stuff that’s very heavy on dairy and eggs lately, so I don’t think I’m the most reliable reporter.  My family all agreed that they liked a tart I made last summer using this more traditional pastry cream recipe better.  But, if you’re feeling adventurous, or if you’d like something a little lighter (or, if you happen to be a vegan), here’s what I did for the filling:

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Vanilla Vegan Custard Filling (for 6 4-inch tartlet pans)

  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 4 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tbsp confectioners sugar

Whisk the cornstarch and confectioners sugar together to break up lumps.  Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined.  Microwave on high, stopping every 60 seconds (or whenever it looks like it might bubble over—watch closely!) to whisk out any lumps.  Repeat until thickened, and keep in mind that the custard will thicken up even more when chilled.  Refrigerate until cooled off, then whisk again to make sure it’s smooth, and you’re ready to assemble!

Decorating these made me so very happy.

Baby Neph and his family were over for dinner, and he gradually picked every single blueberry off the leftover tartlet (prompting my brother’s remark: “I’m not changing his diaper tomorrow”).  He has always been a fan of blueberry-themed snacks.

It has been a weekend of my favorite pastimes and my favorite people…

…so I guess I might be ready to learn about torts tomorrow.  Have a great week, everybody!

P.S. Next weekend is going to be very exciting—my dad is entering a barbecue contest and there will be MEAT on my blog.  This may never happen again, so be sure to tune in!  I’m also running (or maybe jogging and walking/crawling) a 20K, so…we’ll see how that goes.

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