I have not yet pulled my snow boots from our downstairs storage closet. It is mid-January and I haven't needed any protection from ankle deep snows in Minnesota. That, is truly unheard of. This past week I took my bicycle outdoors when it was a record 52 degrees and rode to Minneapolis, dodging joggers and other bikers along the way. That, is also truly unheard of (for me, at least). I've been making salads. I've been grilling outdoors. I've had trouble hunkering down and making the kind of meals one makes when it is in the single digits and snowing heavily -- because, there hasn't been any of that. I haven't craved those heavy and hearty dishes like I normally do this time of year. But finally, temperatures have gotten a bit more seasonal... that is to say, colder; and I got into the winter spirit by making a five pound pot roast last night with carrots and mashed potatoes. Yes... that's more like it. And for dessert -- little Butterscotch Pudding Tarts with a Chocolate Wafer Crust -- Perfect.
chocolate wafer tart crust:
• 36 chocolate wafers
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the chocolate wafers and sugar until a fine crumb. Stir in the melted butter and mix until well-combined.
3. Butter generously ten 2 1/2-inch mini tart molds (or one 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom). Press the cookie crumbs firmly into the molds. Place tart molds on a jelly roll pan.
4. Bake the crusts on the middle rack of oven for 12-14 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Leave the crusts in the tart molds.
recipe from Grand Diplôme Cooking Course
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
• 1/2 cup boiling water
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon flour
• Large pinch of salt
• 1 1/4 cups whole milk
• 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. In a heavy pan, melt butter and cook until golden. Stir in sugar and when foaming, boil 2 to 3 minutes. Take from heat and stir in boiling water.
2. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch, flour, salt and mix to a smooth paste with milk. Stir in brown sugar mixture and cook over gentle heat, stirring, until boiling and thickened. Cook 1 minute, pour half the mixture into egg yolks, stir, and return to remaining mixture in pan. Cook 1 minute longer, stirring until the mixture thickens slightly, take from heat and add vanilla. Cool, pour into baked tart shells and chill until set. Just before serving top with whipped cream.
assemble the tarts:
1. Fill the chocolate wafer crusts with the butterscotch pudding and chill until the pudding is set. Carefully remove the tarts from the molds. Decorate with whipped cream.
TAKE A LOOK: