Don't you wish you were my neighbors? When I get bored I cook, bake, spend hours in the kitchen...and never eat the majority of what gets made. So who gets to reap in the benefits of good food. Knock. Knock. Knock. Here is an easy and gorgeous way to impress yourself, your loved ones and the people around you.
3/4c unsalted butter @room temperature
1/2tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4c all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
6 extra large egg yolks-@room temp
2c whole milk
2TBSP unsalted butter
1tsp pure vanilla extract
2TBSP heavy cream
1tsp Cognac or brandy
Pastry Cream Directions:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted w/a paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is light yellow and falls back into the bowl in a ribbon. On low speed, beat in the cornstarch. Bring the milk to a bowl in a large saucepan and, with the electric mixer on low, slowly pour it inot the egg mixture. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly w/awhisk or wooden spoon until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook on low heat 2-3 minutes more. Taste to be sure the cornstarch is cooked out. Remove from the heat, mix in the butter, vanilla, cream and cognac and strain into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly over the custard/cream and refrigerate until cold.
For the pastry:
Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted w/a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, the add them to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted w/flour and shape into a flat disk. Press the dough into a 10 inch false bottom fruit tart pan, making sure the finished edge is flat. Chill until firm.
Butter one side of a squre of aluminum foil to fit iside the tart and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. Fill with beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, prick the tart all over with the tines of a fork, and bake again for 20-25 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temp.
Spread the tart with the (pastry cream, lemon curd or fruit preserves)and place the fruit in a design that suits your liking. Serve immediately.