Strawberry cloud tarts
Get the kids to help make this fab fruity alternative to Christmas mince pies.
Prep: 45 minutes
Chill: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
175g (6oz) plain flour
40g (11/2oz) icing sugar
100g (4oz) butter, diced
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons strawberry jam
24 small strawberries, hulled
2 egg whites
75 g (3oz) caster sugar
- First make the pastry, add the flour, sugar and butter to a bowl or food processor then rub in the butter with fingertips or an electric mixer until it looks like fine crumbs. Add the egg yolks and mix to a smooth dough.
- Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes. Roll out thinly on a lightly floured surface and stamp out 6cm (21/2inch) fluted circles and press into sections of 2 x 12 section mini muffin or tart tins. Reroll the trimmings and continue until you have made 24 mini tarts. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190oC (170oC fan assisted), Gas Mark 5. Line the pastry cases with small squares of non-stick baking paper and baking beans and cook for 8 minutes until the top edges of the pastry are just turning golden. Remove the paper and beans and leave to cool.
- Add a little jam to the base of each tart case then top with a strawberry.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff moist looking peaks. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a teaspoonful at a time and continue to whisk until smooth and glossy. Pipe swirls into the tarts to cover the strawberries completely.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes until the meringue is tinged golden brown. Take out of the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes then very carefully remove from the tin. Serve warm or cold.
The baked empty tart cases freeze well, remove from the tins and pack into a plastic container. Cover with a lid, seal and label. Freeze up to 1 month. Defrost at room temp for 1 hour then fill and top with meringue.