You know those times when your mind’s thinking of what feels like a thousand and one things concurrently, and the irony lies in the fact that you can’t begin to pinpoint even a single issue that’s playing in your head at the moment?
Well I’m having one of those right now. For the last hour or so, to be exact.
The only difference is that I know just the things that are plaguing my head right now; issues, questions, trepidations, and anxieties of sorts, but somehow or other, the mind simply refuses to think of each one at a given point in time, instead opting for the-more-the-merrier type of approach.
This would be one of those times when my MSN caption would usually aptly read “I wish life came with an instruction manual”, but surprisingly, not tonight. Because, you see, life need not be that complex, afterall.
Having been used to churning out large quantities of fruit tartlets for orders, it feels very refreshing to make these lil ones just enough for the family. While I mourn the loss of my tried-and-tweaked-and perfected creme patissiere recipe, I knew that I needed to have my very own epicurean escapism, no matter what it takes. And for me, that baking therapy came in the form of anything small, cute, and pretty. And since I have an affinity for heart-shaped bakes, another criteria added to the list would be just that.
Hence, in true calling to ‘Let there be love!’, I’d be more specific and sugar-coat my heart-shaped tartlet love with rose-petalled peaches and vanilla cream, thank you very much. And just to spread the love, I shall join Mansi and link arms with fellow peach/nectarine lovers out there. For in moments like these, you stop and realise that life need not be that complex afterall; just take a step back, smell the roses, and know that after all’s said and done, life may simply be peaches and cream.
Peach Rose Heart-Shaped Tartlets
(modified from the talented Tartelette; makes 9 tartlets)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
3 Tbs ice water
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- Rub flour, sugar and butter with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add ice water then the egg yolk, and knead until the dough holds together.
- Place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form into a disc. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.
- Roll the dough out thin and with a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut as may hearts as needed. Sprinkle with 1 TB. sugar and bake at 180C for 15-20mins, until golden brown.
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulate sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
- In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together, add the cornstarch mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Meanwhile in a saucepan combine the milk and vanilla extract on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
- Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When the cream thickens, remove from heat immediately.
When the pate brisee has cooled, spoon as much cream as you need on top of each tartlet, and arrange slices of peach (I used canned peaches) on top of the cream to resemble petals of a rose.