Sweetheart Custard Dessert

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I like to make this pretty dessert every Valentines. I love having a special recipe that I only make once a year, and this one just says LOVE all over it! :) I made this for a girl baby shower last week, and it was perfect since I consider this “chick-food.” :) I originally found the recipe in a food magazine (when I remember the name of it, I’ll include it), and it said to use a store bought pastry crust. Of all the times I’ve made this, I’ve only ever attempted to use a store bought pastry crust one year. I was running waaay late for a neighborhood Valentines party and decided to run to the store to buy a crust, quickly roll it out and then assemble the dessert and still not be too late. Well, it was a disaster. The store bought pastry was cracked and paper thin from the beginning. Rolling it out was a ridiculous endeavor. I will never attempt that again! Just making my own pie crust is way easier! (And now it’s easier than ever for me because my sweet husband bought me an 11-cup capacity Cuisinart food processor last year, so making a pie crust is now a snap!) I prefer to use the Barefoot Contessa recipe for a double crust pie crust. I’ll include that recipe at the end.
The great thing about this recipe is it’s easy to make ahead and assemble just beforehand. You can make the pie crust and custard in the morning. Before the party I whip the cream and fold it into the custard, and slice the strawberries. Then I assemble it all together. Before drizzling it with chocolate, I sprinkle the edges of the tart with confectioners’ sugar, so it looks pretty on the glass cake stand.
The first time I made this I cut out an 11-inch wide heart using 2 pieces of computer paper taped together. I just fold it and keep it tucked behind the recipe in my recipe binder, and I use it as the heart pattern every year. I just lay the paper pattern on top of the rolled out pastry and cut around it with a knife.
Happy Valentines!
Sweetheart Custard Dessert
Submitted by Erin ~ http://www.thesisterscafe.com/
Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
Confectioners’ sugar 

2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
11/3 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup lemon juice

1 Tbs butter or margarine
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar 

2 to 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 Tbs semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp shortening

Roll out each pastry between waxed paper (I just use my silicone mat) into a 12 inch circle; using an 11 inch wide heart shaped pattern, cut each pastry into a heart shape. Place on greased and floured baking sheets; prick with a fork. Bake at 450 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt; gradually stir in milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook
and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. combine the egg yolks and lemon juice. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolk mixture; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Cover; refrigerate until cool. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently whisk the lemon custard, then fold in whipped cream.

Place one pastry on a serving plate; spread with half of custard. Arrange half berries over filling. Repeat with second pastry and remaining custard and berries. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening. Drizzle over the top.

(With some leftover piecrust, I made a few little tartlettes. I reserved some pudding to put in the insides and topped them with strawberries and chocolate.)
Barefoot Contessa Pie Crust
Submitted by Erin ~ http://www.thesisterscafe.com/
Makes for two 10-inch pie crusts
12 Tbs (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs sugar
1/3 cup very cold shortening
6-8 Tbs (about 1/2 cup) ice water 

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8-12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out onto a floured board and roll into a ball. (At this point, I like to divide it into two parts and make two discs.) Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board (I use a silicone mat) into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

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  1. cindy says

    Oh my! This looks delicious, this year I will master pie crust (at 54 it's about time)! I will try your recipe first. Thanks.

  2. Amy says

    Was the magazine 'Taste of Home'? I'm pretty sure I saw a similar picture there on time.

    I LOVE your little tarts at the end – perfect for little ones who may not get to join in eating the bigger one!

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