Recipe: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography: Ashlee DeCaires

These gorgeous tarts were created from ingredients gathered at the Tauranga Farmers Market on a beautiful Summer’s morning.  If fresh local berries are not in season other fruit like Kiwi, mandarins can be used.

2 cups Jersey Girls organic milk
6 Nicki’s Eggs egg yolks
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla paste
fresh berries (strawberries from Simply Strawberries, blueberries from Flame Lily Orchard and raspberries and boysenberries from Radfo Berry’s)

Place the milk in a small saucepan along with the split vanilla pod or the vanilla paste. Heat until just before it boils.

While the milk is heating, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and flour together. Carefully pour the warmed milk into the beaten egg yolks, whisking continuously.

Pour the mixture back into the pot and over a medium heat continue to whisk until the custard thickens. Don’t overheat or the custard will curdle.

Cover (to avoid a skin forming) and refrigerate until cool enough to pipe or spoon into prebaked pastry cases, then top with fresh berries.

Pastry Cases
250g softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla paste
3 cups flour

In a food processor, blend the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla paste. Once creamed and fluffy add the flour. Now at this point you need to forget everything you know about pastry and that it should be handled as little as possible. This pastry loves to be played with. Turn the whizz on and let it go until it forms a ball. You may need to add more flour depending on how big the eggs were. When it comes to a ball, tip out onto a well-floured bench and knead. The pastry will soak up the flour on your bench. What you are looking for is a smooth pastry with no visible sugar granules. It should also be pliable but not sticky. Form into two balls and wrap before resting in the fridge for at least an hour.

Flour your bench and roll the pastry out to about 2mm thickness. Cut out rounds to fit into your muffin tins. The pastry should come about halfway up the tin. Prick the pastry a couple of times with a fork then bake at 180°C for 10 minutes or until the pastry just starts to colour.

Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container or filling with custard.

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