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Mini strawberry tarts

Planning your next gathering at home? These mini strawberry tarts are a lovely treat when having guests over, pairing perfectly with a hot cup of tea.

MAKES 4 // COOKING TIME 1 hour 15 min

For the pastry cream
1 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the tart
1 portion shortcrust pastry
250 g strawberries, sliced
50 ml apricot jam, warmed

For the pastry cream
1. In a small pot over medium heat, bring the milk to the boil.
2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Add ¼ cup warm milk.
3. When the remaining milk starts to boil, add it to the egg mixture, stirring well. Return the entire mixture to the pot and increase to high heat. Cook, whisking all the time, until it thickens.
4. Reduce the heat, add vanilla and continue whisking until it is smooth and shiny.
5. Pour into a bowl. Place a piece of cling film directly on to the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Leave to cool.
For the tart
1. Preheat oven to 200°C
2. Roll out the pastry to form a 3 mm thick sheet.
3. Line four 12 cm loose-based flan tins with pastry. Be sure to press into the corners, then prick with a fork. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes, then trim excess pastry.
4. Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Blind-bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, and bake for another 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
5. Spoon pastry cream into each case and arrange the strawberry slices on top. Brush with warmed apricot jam and serve.

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