1. CLEAN berries and pat dry. If using blackberries or strawberries, cut them into pieces that will fit onto the small mini tart surface.
2. FILL shells with pastry cream or other filling. Top with berries and optional confectioner’s sugar.
RECIPE: PASTRY CREAM (CRÈME PÂTISSIÈRE)
Pastry cream can be made ahead and refrigerated, wrapped well with plastic wrap on surface, up to three days. Extra cream can be used as a topping for fruit or other desserts.
Ingredients For 3 Cups
2-1/4 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1. WHISK together 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl.
2. ADD the remaining 1-3/4 cups milk to a medium saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from vanilla bean; then add the pod. Sprinkle in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over. Place the pan over moderate heat and bring to a simmer without stirring. When the mixture boils…
3. WHISK it and remove from heat as you gradually whisk it into the egg yolk mixture. Return the pan to moderate heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream simmers and thickens, about 1 minute.
4. REMOVE from the heat, discard the vanilla pod and whisk the cream until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Chill until cold, about 4 hours.