Monday, March 8, 2010

Raspberry Vanilla Creme Tart

This is a recipe I actually scrounged from random things I had around before grocery shopping -- phyllo dough, raspberries, vanilla butter, etc. Despite the riskiness of the dough, it was a success.

Phyllo dough is like the grizzly bear of the food world, it can smell fear and will react accordingly. For first timers this is a good recipe to try for getting used to working with it; the sheets don't have to be perfect and you can utilize small pieces that were torn off. So face this bravely and you'll tame the wild phyllo you'll have an awesome tart.

To make vanilla butter, bring a liter or two of water to a rolling boil and throw in 2 sticks of butter. Follow with 2-3 vanilla bean pods and turn the heat to a quick simmer, allow to cook for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain the mixture and set in a cool place for a few hours. The butter will rise to the top and solidify, leaving the liquid in the bottom to easily drain out. If you don't have this kind of time, regular butter will work fine as well.

You will need (for the crust):

12 inch round cake pan
1/2 - 1 cup melted vanilla butter
1/2 lb phyllo dough

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the bottom and sides of the cake pan with a few tablespoons of butter and stick a sheet of phyllo to it. Repeat the process of brushing with butter and wallpapering the phyllo down. Make sure to get the sides and bottom evenly and do this until you run out of dough. Bake for 5 minutes or until it turns a golden puffy brown, remove from the oven and set aside.

For the pastry creme:

2 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
4 tbsp salted butter
1/2 cup cane sugar
4 tablespoons flour

Heat the milk, 1/4 cup sugar and the vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Whisk the remainder of the sugar and egg yolks together in a bowl, when they become light and fluffy add the flour. Remove the milk from the heat and slowly mix a thin stream of it into the yolks; after about half is added, switch your method and start adding the milk-yolk from the bowl to the rest of the milk in the saucepan, keeping it over medium-low heat. Stir quickly as it heats and once it thickens, remove from the stovetop. Set aside.

For the raspberry filling, you will need 1- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries and 3-4 tbsp cane sugar. Heat these in a saucepan over medium heat for 10 or 15 minutes, stirring often.

Take the raspberry syrup and drizzle into the phyllo crust. Follow with the pastry cream, smoothing the top with a spatula. Chill until ready to serve.

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