Do my pastry shells look too puffy?”
Is my equivalent to “Does my butt look fat?”
In both cases the response “It looks fine!” is completely wrong and unacceptable.
I don’t even know why I bother asking adults questions when I want an honest opinion. An adult hears the word puffy or fat, and they go on some auto pilot protection mode. When you ask a kid, they assess the situation and tell you what they really think in their teeny tiny little voices while staring at you straight in the eye.
“Well, mom, they may not look perfect, but they sure will taste good!”
Adapted from the Frog Commissionary Cookbook
My mom used to make us these when we were kids for Valentine’s Day. It’s like a chocolate covered raspberry, if there ever was such a thing, dipped in a cloud of whipped cream and mounded on a giant butter cookie.
1 ½ cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
8 Tablespoons butter (original recipe calls for 6 Tablespoons butter, 2 Tablespoons shortening)
3 Tablespoons cold water
Vanilla Pastry Cream
8 oz. heavy cream
3 Tablespoons confectioner sugar
1 Tablespoon whiskey
½ tsp. vanilla extract
About 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 pints of raspberries
1/3 cup raspberry jam
Combine flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and blend until crumbly. Pour in the cold water and blend until the dough forms a ball. Mold the dough into a ball and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream, sugar, whiskey and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Lightly flour a work surface and cut the dough ball into 6 equal parts. Roll each ball out and place in a tart mold with a removable bottom. Trim the edges and prick the dough with a fork several times. Repeat for the 6 molds and line them up on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Once cooled, remove the shells from the mold. Melt the chocolate in a small pan and spread or pour evenly over the 6 tart shells. Put the tray of tart shells in the freezer for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to harden. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on top of the chocolate layer. Next, scoop the whipped cream into a pastry bag (or a ziplock bag with one end snipped off) and pipe the whipped cream onto the tart shells. Top with berries.