52 weeks of French cooking – Week 29: Strawberry tartlets

These mini strawberry pies are one of my favorite dessert. Other than the waiting time for the shells and pastry cream to cool, these are very easy and quick to assemble and make the perfect summer dessert. Because I used mini pie tins, I was able to bake the pie crust in my toaster oven, which is perfect for the summer when you don’t want to create too much heat in your house!

You will need: (for 4 tartlets)

  • 1 pie dough (I used a pre made one)
  • 1 recipe pastry cream
  • about 16 strawberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jelly
  • 4 tartlet pans (I found a set a Michaels)

For the pastry cream:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole milk + a little extra
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp butter

Place your pie dough in the pans and pierce a few holes in the crust with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes at 450F. While your pie shells are baking, prepare the pastry cream. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until it becomes light yellow. Add the flour and whisk until combined, it’ll become thick. In a small saucepan, warm the milk until small bubbles form on the edges. Slowly incorporate the milk to the egg yolk/sugar and flour mixture while whisking. Transfer back to the saucepan and slowly bring to a boil while whisking. Remove from the heat when the cream is thick. Incorporate the butter and vanilla extract. Place in a bowl and let the pastry cream cool (a crust will form on top so make sure to cover with cling wrap, touching the cream). Allow your pie shells to cool when done baking. When you are ready to assemble your tartlets, warm up the strawberry jelly in a small saucepan. Using a pastry brush, generously cover the inside of your pie shells with jelly and then fill with pastry cream. If your cream is too thick, thin in out by adding some more milk. Slice your strawberries and place them in your tartlets. Brush some more jelly on the strawberries. Place your tartlets in the fridge for at least an hour before eating.

Weekly Wishes #9

Weekly Wishes is a weekly feature where I share the goals I’d like to achieve for the week. It is part of the Weekly Wishes linkup from The Nectar Collective.

THIS WEEK’S WISHES

I took a break from this feature last week so I’m starting fresh again!

  • Catch up on my 52 weeks of French cooking posts. I’m a little behind with these. I’ve actually cooked and photographed the meals but still have to publish them…
  • Prepare a 3 months calendar and dedicate a 3-4 hour block to blogging every week. It’s probably about time I start treating this blog like I do my shops if I’m hoping to see any kind of growth happening. I like dividing my days into blocks to make sure I work a little bit on everything each week, but had never dedicated one to blogging. I’m going to change that this week!
  • Go through all my old photos and decide which photos I still want to edit + edit 10 images. Whenever I travel somewhere or go to somewhere for a photoshoot, I always come back with 500 + photos, get really excited about all the potential new images, edit about 5 or so images, and then get overwhelmed and move on. So now I have a lot of potential images just sitting there in folders somewhere. The goal is to go through all of them and flag which photos I can still edit for my shop. I’d like to do that before shooting anymore new images.

Looks like I just have a lot of catching up to do this week…

52 weeks of French cooking – Week 28: Cherry clafoutis

Clafoutis is a very quick dessert to prepare, it is traditionally made with cherries (but other fruits can also be used) and a flan-like batter.

You will need:

  • About 2 lbs cherries (traditionally the pits are left inside but you may remove them if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

Preheat your oven to 410F. Place all your cherries in a greased gratin dish. Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl then pour the batter in your gratin dish. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the center is set. Serve when still slightly warm or cold.

52 weeks of French cooking – Week 27: Poulet basquaise

Poulet basquaise is a delicious tomato and bell pepper based chicken stew. This is actually the first dish I cooked for Brandon shortly after we met in Prague! I made it a few nights ago for dinner and totally forgot to take a picture so I’m using another photo that I found…

(via)

I used:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 drumsticks
  • 2 red bell peppers (sliced)
  • 1/2 large onion (sliced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 28oz can whole tomatoes (chopped in cubes, keep the liquid)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • olive oil

In a large pan, brown the chicken thighs and drumsticks on all sides. You want to give them a nice color but don’t worry about cooking them all the way through yet. Reserve the chicken pieces on a plate. Brown the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, then add the bell peppers. Cook for another 5 minutes then add the white wine. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the juice, the herbes de provence, salt and pepper. Place the chicken pieces back in the pan and let it simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, then let it cook for another 5 minutes uncovered. Serve with rice.