Mini Fruit Tarts with Nutella Pastry Cream

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A few weeks ago my husband and I were in the care driving to Tyson’s Corner for a weekend filled with shopping and good food.  Usually during car trips we like to listen to National Public Radio (NPR) because the closer you get to a city, the better the shows are.  On our way The Splendid Table came on.  I adore this show because it’s all about cooking.  I always learn a few tips and get great ideas for my cooking and baking.

Fruit Tarts with Nutella Pastry Cream

The show we listened to talked a lot about Nutella and how popular it has gotten over the years.  They talked about some of the recipes on Nutella’s website as well as recipes food bloggers have come up with on their own.  The host was saying that food bloggers really helped to make it popular today because of all the wonderful cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods they have made.  The show even gave a recipe for homemade Nutella which I thought was pretty cool.

Now here’s a secret.  I’ve never tried Nutella.  It’s not for any other reason other then I don’t like nuts and couldn’t imagine that I would like a nut spread mixed with chocolate.  However, after listening to the show I started coming up with ideas using Nutella.  I was blurting them out and writing them down as fast as I could while my husband completed the drive to Virginia.

I finally got around to buying a jar of Nutella last week.  I had ideas of ways to use it but yet it kept sitting in my pantry.  Then we got a call that a few friends were stopping by for happy hour and I immediately went to work.  I’d been dreaming of making a Nutella fruit tart and started working on it right away.  While I was making the Nutella pastry cream I tasted it as I do all of my food and was shocked at how delicious it was!

Fruit Tarts with Nutella Pastry Cream are great for an appetizer or a dessert!

I then tentatively licked the spoon with the Nutella on it-big mistake.  The Nutella was awesome!  I couldn’t believe I had held out this long on something that was so good!  I couldn’t really taste the nuts in it because the chocolate is the main flavor though there is another dimension to the flavor which must be the hazelnuts.

After putting the filling in the mini tarts I wasn’t sure what fruits to put on top.  When I think of fruits with chocolate I think strawberries and cherries so that’s what I went with.  The rich, red cherries and bright red strawberries looked so beautiful against the chocolate pastry cream.  I then added a few mint leaves for color.  The resulting mini tarts were out of this word!  We gobbled them up along with our friends and everyone commented on how good they were.  I’m now looking forward to making even more recipes with Nutella in them!

Mini Fruit Tarts with Nutella Pastry Cream (a Hezzi-D original!)
1 package Athens Mini Fillo Shells
1/2 c. whole milk
1 T. cornstarch
3 T. sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 T. butter
2 t. vanilla
2 T. Nutella
5 strawberries, stems removed and chopped
8 cherries, pitted and chopped
5 mint leaves

1.  In a medium bowl dissolve the cornstarch in 3 tablespoons of the milk.  Mix well and set aside.

2.  Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a medium saucepan.  Bring the milk to a boil and then remove from heat.

3. Add the egg and egg yolk to the cornstarch mixture and beat well.  Pour 1/3 of the boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not cook.
Nutella Pastry Cream
4.  Return the remaining milk to a boil on the stove.  Slowly pour in the hot egg mixture, whisking constantly.

5.  Continue whisking until the cream has thickened (it took mine about 2 minutes).  Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.
Tarts filled with homemade Nutella Pastry Cream
6.  Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and mix in the Nutella.

7.  Spoon a teaspoon of pastry cream into each Athens Mini Fillo Shells.

8.  Arrange the strawberries and cherries on top of the pastry cream.  Top with mint leaves.

9.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Fruit Tarts with Nutella Pastry Cream and red berries


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