If you have visited French pâtisseries in Paris, you know that one of the confections that always looks so beautiful are the tarts. Making one as pretty and delicious as they are in France is easier than you might imagine and each step can be done ahead of time. This tart is inspired by one of my favourite pâtisseries in Paris, Gérard Mulot in the 7th arrondissement. The pastry is similar to a rich shortbread crust and there’s just a hint of mint and lemon in the custard. It is glazed with chocolate, which stops the custard from running and making the tart soggy. You can glaze it up to an hour before serving but don’t refrigerate it afterward or the glaze may run.
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped mint
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp corn starch
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup raspberry liqueur or brandy
1/2 cup raspberry jam, sieved
2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
Fresh mint leaves for garnishing
To make the pastry dough, combine butter, sugar, lemon rind and salt in a food processor until well mixed. Pulse in flour until just combined. Remove from processor and knead together gently, forming a ball. This can also be done by hand.
Crumble dough into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Pat dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Chill for 30 minutes.
For the custard, combine milk, mint and lemon rind in a heavy pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then strain milk, discarding mint and lemon. Return to pot and reserve.
Stir egg yolks with sugar, flour and corn starch in a large bowl. Bring strained milk back to a simmer. Pour into egg mixture in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until all the milk has been added.
Return mixture to pot and cook on low heat stirring until custard thickens (about 3 to 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in butter. Transfer to bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold (about 1 hour).
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prick the bottom of the tart shell with a fork. Bake it for 15 to 25 minutes or until it’s a pale gold colour. Cool.
Melt chocolate in a small pot over low heat. Brush onto bottom of pastry and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
Combine liqueur and jam in a small pot. Bring to boil, then simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until thickened slightly. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Spoon custard into shell. Arrange berries in a single layer over the custard to cover the top of the tart. Brush glaze over fruit. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.