Tarts are really my passion. I love to make them into a perfect shape and fill them with yummy things like blackberries, apples or in this case a delicate Panna Cotta. I like this version of a fruit tart as it’s lighter than pastry cream and the sutil vanilla flavour goes really nicely with your favourite fruit. In this case it’s strawberries.
Both parts of this recipe you could use for other things. The dough and the technique we used to cook it can be used to fill anything your heart desires. Maybe lemon meringue pie?
On the other hand, the Panna Cotta mix could go into containers or jars and top it with a fruit compote to have it as a dessert on its own.
The Panna Cotta can be flavoured not only with vanilla bean like I did, but you could also infuse it with tea, coffee, citrus zest or even spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
And to the base you can add nuts chopped nice and fine, poppy seeds or even black sesame seeds.
Vanilla Panna Cotta Tartelettes
For the dough
- 150 g unsalted butter soft, at room temperature
- 1 tsp salt
- 50 g sugar
- 200 g all purpose flour
For the Panna Cotta filling
- 320 g whipping cream
- 320 g fresh milk
- 115 g sugar
- 1.5 tsp unflavoured jelly plus 3tbsp cold water to hydrate
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Fresh fruit and mint leaves
For the dough
Whisk together the butter, salt and sugar until you have a smooth paste.
Incorporate the flour using a spatula. Once the spatula stops being any help, finish mixing with your hands.
Cut the dough in 4 and roll out using a rolling pin on top of a floured surface. Remember that this dough is really delicate because of the butter, so make sure it's not sticking to the table every time you stretch it.
Put it on top of your mould, lifting it carefully, and lift the sides and push down to make sure it goes into the corner.
Press around the mould gently to make sure the dough takes the shape of the fluted edges. Don't cut off the excess dough.
Freeze the dough for 15min and cut off the edges using a sharp knife.
Put 2 layers of cling film together and put inside the mould. On top of that goes ceramic weighs for blind baking or beans: cannelini, black and garbanzo work well. If you use the later, store them afterwards with a label indicating they're only for baking. Fold the cling film towards the inside. For further reference watch the video lines above.
Blind bake at 180C for 15-20min or until the edges that are visible are golden. Blind baking prevents the dough from shrinking.
Remove beans (the cling film isn't hot, but the beans are) and put back inside the oven for another 10-15min or until it's evenly golden.
Let it come to room temperature, unmould and then pop in the freezer until it's very very cold. This will help you if there's any small holes where the panna cotta liquid could escape, as it will set faster.
For the panna cotta
Hydrate for at least 10min the gelatin in cold water.
Open the vanilla bean in half and use the back of the knife to scrape off the seeds gently.
Put the vanilla seeds, vanilla pod, milk, cream and sugar into a pot and heat up on medium heat until a lot of steam comes up.
Remove from the heat and dissolve the gelatin inside and pass through a sieve into a jug and let cool completely to room temperature (if it's a tiny bit hot it will melt away the crust!)
Fill the tartelette shells with the Panna Cotta mix and chill for at least 4 hours.
Decorate with fresh fruit and mint leaves.