It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..
All around the house….
And the Christmas tree is up….
Still naked, just for now. I haven’t decided what colors should dress her. Give me a few more days. Last year we had a Bruins Christmas for the serious UCLA fan in the house whose heart bleeds blue and gold.
This year I’m thinking of sticking to traditional. Which can be red and green. Or red and gold. Or green and gold. Or red and green and gold. Not sure, not sure…..I’m not a very good decider.
I’m also trying out recipes, red and green and gold recipes, ‘coz you know…..your food has to match your decor. And everything must be dusted with snow…..’tis the season….. It won’t feel like Christmas without snow.
Red & Green Grape Tarts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled
2 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
1. In a food processor, mix flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse to combine.
2. Cut butter to pieces. Add to the flour, and pulse until mixture is crumbly.
3. Add the egg and continue pulsing until mixture begins to clump together.
4. Remove dough and place in a mound on a clean work surface. Gently shape the dough mixture into a ball, then flatten it into a disk. Try not to overwork the dough, to avoid tough crust. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
5. Once chilled, divide the dough into 4 equal portions, and press each into a 5-inch tart mold that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, so that it covers the bottom and sides of the mold.
6. Prick the bottom of the tarts with a fork several times so they won’t puff during baking.
7. Bake at 400°F for 5 minutes, then 350°F for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
8. Cool thoroughly prior to filling. Tart shells can be made a couple of days in advance and refrigerated.
The filling (pastry cream)
1 1/4 cups milk
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together until completely blended.
2. Add flours and continue to whisk until mixture is smooth.
3. Heat milk just until frothy but not boiling.
4. Add hot milk into egg mixture, a little bit at a time, while continuing to whisk.
5. Transfer into a saucepan and cook on medium heat. Continue to stir until it becomes thick. It should be the consistency of a pudding. Add vanilla extract just before removing from the heat.
6. Place in a bowl and chill completely before using. Make this the night before and refrigerate. Fill tarts just prior to serving.
Red and green grapes
1. Leave grapes whole or slice in half if they are big.
2. Arrange grapes on top of the pastry cream filling.
3. Sprinkle powdered sugar.
4. Best served immediately.
See you at Fiesta Friday #45 tomorrow! Bright and early, y’hear?