I think my pie making evolution has started after I fell in love with these shortbread cookies. They are crumbly, buttery and really simple to make. Since then I decided to turn my pie crusts into shortbread crusts, and kinda gave up the pate brisee, the classic shortcrust pastry, except for lattice pie.
Also I found shortbread crust is perfect for small tarts, or even bite-sized tartlets. It feels like eating shortbread cookies with unlimited possibilities of scrumptious fillings. Lemon curd, s’more, pastry cream…Even some savoury quiches.
Summer is around the corner. We need some cool desserts now. I figured to fill the shells with this light, sweet and chill strawberry mousse. Now you see that layer of chocolate at the bottom? DO NOT OMIT THAT! Seriously it takes the tartlets to a whole new flying level. I am very serious!
Ingredients (15 tartlets):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
3 tablespoons cold water
1 cup strawberry puree
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped strawberries
50 grams dark chocolate, melted
In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt.
Cream butter and powdered sugar in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Gather dough and form a dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease small tart (3 1/2 inches) pans.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 5-inch rounds. Line the prepared pans with the dough circles. Use a small kitchen knife to trim the excess and to score the tops of the tartlets.
Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before baking for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
Remove from oven and let the tart shells cool a few minutes before inverting and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you don’t have enough pans or you want to make less tartlets, work with half of the cookie dough. Keep the other half in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To prepare strawberry mousse, sprinkle gelatin over cold water, let stand for 5 minutes.
Combine strawberry puree and sugar in a small sauce pan, bring to a slight boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture. Whisk to combine well. Strain the strawberry through a fine sieve. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Whip heavy cream until it becomes stiff. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cooled strawberry mixture. Then fold in remaining cream.
To assemble, spoon a teaspoon of melted chocolate on the bottom of each tart shell. Sprinkle a few chopped strawberries. Then pipe or spoon strawberry mousse in the shell on top of the chocolate and strawberries.
Chill for at least 4 hours or until set.
Garnish with chocolate shavings and strawberries before serving.