Blueberry Tartlets with Crushed Walnuts

To entice you to read this enitre post, I will share the finished product. Tada!

DSC_0162

I started this blog with the intentions of cooking the recipes I saw on many YouTube cooking videos, especially from SORTED Food. It was only this week did I finally get to a recipe but only because I looked for one that I could cook up for my father’s birthday. I did not want a cake because I’m not a big fan of cakes. Too much icing. I would much rather have an ice cream cake, especially Carvel ice cream cake with the vanilla and chocolate ice cream melding together with the chocolate crunchies.

I thought the Raspberry Tartlet was perfect. Didn’t require too many additional ingredients from what I already had at home. It was also a small treat, perfect for my father, who isn’t too keen on eating non-Asian dishes.

I only needed butter, which I was able to purchase from a grocery store a block from my house that had a 20% sale since it was closing. Since I live in a Chinese household, we don’t tend to use butter. I was lucky to find filo pastry in my freezer… from who knows how long. Even my mom didn’t know. I just prayed it was fine and that freezing it stopped its life clock from ticking. It has been three days since I ate them and I’m fine. So freezing did help.

When I opened the filo pastry, there were two rolls: one that was opened and the other that was closed. I tried to unravel the roll of opend filo pastry but it was too brittle. It literally broke into pieces, rather than rolling out as demonstrated in the SORTED video. I decided to throw it away, based on it being freezer burned and living in the freezer for who knows how long. I feel like it’s been there forever. The night before, I literally had a dream that I found it in the freezer, probably because I’ve seen it so many times in there when I opened the freezer to retrieve something. It was a sign.

So brittle but it made a pretty picture. It literally broke into half cylinders and wouldn't flatten out.

So brittle but it made a pretty picture. It literally broke into half cylinders and wouldn’t flatten out.

When I moved onto the next roll, it behaved better. I was so relieved because without the filo pastry, I would not be able to complete this dish. The filo pastry was able to unroll into a single sheet. I had left it in the fridge to defrost earlier but certain portions were wet while other portions were slightly frozen. When separating the layers, after some time, the layers began to break and I had to salvage what I was able to get from the roll.

Slightly unrolled and cooperating filo pastry.

Slightly unrolled and cooperating filo pastry.

Afterwards, I had to brush butter on–but I had no brush; at least not ones for cooking purposes. My younger sister ingeniously suggested I used a paper towel to spread the butter on each layer of filo pastry. See, you don’t have to follow a recipe exactly. You may not have all the ingredients or tools. Substitute. Play around. Explore. It’s just food.

Now that I have shared my personal frustrations and difficulties with this dish, let’s talk about the recipe:

BLUEBERRY TARTLETS WITH CRUSHED WALNUTS
(Adapted from the Raspberry Tartlets recipe from SORTED Food)

INGREDIENTS

  • Pack of filo pastry
  • Butter
  • Milk (2 cups or 500 ml)
  • 5 egg yolks (I used 3 regular sized eggs and 1 large egg based on what I had available in my fridge)
  • Raw sugar (80 g)
  • Flour (45 g)
  • Vanilla Extract (I added the amount that I thought was ok. If you like a strong vanilla taste, add more. If not, you can add less or skip this step.)
  • Blueberries
  • Walnuts

RECIPE

  1. Preheat the oven to 374°F.
  2. Heat the milk in a pot.
  3. Roll out the filo pastry and cut into squares that are large enough to fit each individual wells in the muffin tray but can also cover the sides of the wells.
  4. Melt the butter.
  5. Brush butter onto a square of filo pastry and place into a well in the muffin tray. Place the buttered side down.
  6. Repeat until each well has 3 squares of filo pastry layered. (I recommend you lay the squares that the most intact. If there are any squares with small tears, layer it on as the 2nd or 3rd layer.)
  7. Place into oven for about 8 minutes or until filo pastry is golden brown. Keep watch as you…
  8. Whisk the egg yolks, raw sugar, vanilla extract, and flour in a bowl.
  9. Pour 1/3 of the heated milk into the mixture and whisk.
  10. Add the remaining milk and mix.
  11. Pour the mixture into the original pot used to heat milk and stir it until it thickens. (It may seem to be a soupy messy at first but have faith, it will thicken!)
  12. Use a knife to cut the walnuts until it is a crushed.
  13. Spoon the custard into a filo pastry cup. Put some blueberries over the custard and sprinkle the crushed walnuts.
Filo pastry before baking.

Filo pastry before baking.

Filo pastry after baking. Golden brown!

Filo pastry after baking. Golden brown!

Mixing the batter.

Mixing the batter.

Have faith. The custard will thicken.

Have faith. The custard will thicken.

See, it thickens!

See, it thickens!

Crush the walnuts.

Crush the walnuts.

Spoon custard into filo pastry cup.

Spoon custard into filo pastry cup.

Add the blueberries.

Add the blueberries.

Then the walnuts.

Then the walnuts.

Enjoy.

Enjoy.

Extra tartlets for the neighbors :)

Extra tartlets for the neighbors 🙂

Time to critique my cooking…

I thought the filo pasty was very crispy. But I wanted a more flaky crust, probably because I’ve eaten so many egg tarts that I have become accustomed to the combination of flaky and custard. After finishing the tartlets, I had an aftertaste that was from the filo pastry. I’m not sure if it’s from the pastry itself… or because it’s from the pastry hiding out in my fridge. All I know if that my family has been fine after I fed them the tartlets.

I devoured the tartlets with the custard was still hot, since I prefer my food hot. I thought that there was such a difference between the filo pastry cup being so thin and the custard being so rich and thick. Personally, if food is too rich, I can become overwhelmed and develop a slight headache. I didn’t have  headache but I could feel the onset of it. There was a very strong vanilla flavor, probably because I added too much. Since I enjoy the egg taste from an egg tart, if I make this dish again, I’ll add either very little or none at all.

In the end, you have a lot of custard left over. At this point, I’m not sure what to do with it. I was hoping to make a pie crust, but many of the recipes online suggest using a food processor, which I can’t find in my kitchen. Using a whisk to mix in the cold butter seems very laborious and I am not sure if I want to put in that effort. But a friend later shared with me his affections for Rice to Riches, a rice pudding shop in NYC (watch this video on it), and I realized that I had leftover rice and custard. I wonder if simply heating the custard and adding rice and cinnamon could produce a rice pudding. Hopefully the custard doesn’t thicken too much. Perhaps a little experiment?

If you compare my recipe to SORTED Food’s, you’ll see the differences. I used raw sugar because I didn’t have caster sugar at home. I used blueberries because those were the only berries I had. But a red berry would definitely add a pop of color. My father even suggested next time I use a strawberry without knowing that raspberries were initially used in this recipe. I used walnuts because I only had that, however pistachios would have also added color. Portions of this recipe has changed since I was adapting it to what I had in my kitchen. I see there being no point in me having to buy additional ingredients when I had some at home that could easily become substitutes.

Let me know how this tartlet turns out for you! Comment below.

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One thought on “Blueberry Tartlets with Crushed Walnuts

  1. Pingback: LEFTOVER: Custard + Rice = Rice Pudding | Hunger Is the Best Chef

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