Sunday, 23 June 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses

Today was my Nana's birthday and I wanted to make something special in her memory. She loved flowers and I had some lovely fresh strawberries in my fridge so I knew right away that I wanted to make some pretty strawberry rose tartlets. 

The question I had was what to fill my tarts with. When I went out to my garden and saw that I still had some rhubarb, I knew I would make a strawberry-rhubarb curd. I had a recipe for it that I had been meaning to try and I knew that this curd and strawberry tartlets would make a perfect pairing. 

I think I was right. Read on for my recipe to decide if you agree or not! 

Strawberry Rose Tartlets with Strawberry-Rhubarb Curd - makes 12 tartlets

1/2 cup each of chopped rhubarb and strawberries
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 eggs
1 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter
12 tart shells, blind baked
20 small strawberries, sliced into circles
12 small mint leaves

1. Start by making your curd. Add fruit, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and water to a pot. Bring mixture to a boil and them reduce the heat and continue to cook until fruit is soft and breaking down. Mash with a potato masher for a chunky curd or then strain liquid through a sieve for a smoother curd.

2. Next, in bowl that will fit over a double boiler, whisk remaining sugar with eggs and a pinch of salt. Stir in orange juice and fruit purée. Cook over a double boiler with simmering water, stirring often, until curd is bubbly and thickened. You should be able to coat the back of a spoon with the curd when it's ready, about 10 minutes.

3. Remove curd from the heat, stir in the butter, pour into a bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl, and press the plastic wrap on top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool.

4. When curd cools, spoon into tartlet shells and lay the largest circles of strawberries around the outer edge of the tartlet shell to act as the outer petals of a rose. Them lay the medium and small circles of strawberries in the middle and centre of the tartlets to act as inner petals of a rose. Finally place the end tips of the strawberries in the centre of the tartlets and a mint leaf under one of the outer strawberries circles to act as a rose leaf.

I think these tartlets are as pretty as they are tasty. And they're worth the work of placing the strawberries one by one in the tarts. What do you think?

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