What I actually wanted to do here was make a copycat of a green tea and yuzu tart that I once ate in NYC but it seems like yuzu is far less common in suburban Maryland (I was still there when I made these!) than it is in New York. This probably shouldn’t have been a surprise to me.
So lovely sweet oranges have had to step up and play the role of the yuzu instead. I’m actually pretty pleased about it. They go really well with the green tea flavoured custard that I’ve used to fill the tart shells. Usually I have lemon with my green tea because I like the sharp citrus tang but the fragrant sweetness of the orange is a bit more subtle and less acidic.
I wouldn’t recommend making the filling for these too far in advance because the tea in the custard will discolour after a day or so.
makes about 18 tiny tartlets
75g butter (room temperature)
pinch of salt
juice of 1 orange (you may not need the full amount)
matcha creme patissiere
300ml whole milk
3 egg yolks
2 tsp matcha/green tea leaves
If you have a food processor then the pastry can be made very quickly and easily. Just add the flour, sugar, salt and butter to the food processor and whizz it up until it looks like ground almonds. With the food processor running at a slow speed add just enough of the orange juice to bring it all together to form a soft dough.
If you don’t have a food processor then gently rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips and then mix through the salt and sugar. Again use just enough of the orange juice to bring the dough together.
Wrap the dough in cling-film and pop it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
You can make the creme patissiere whilst the dough is chilling.
Combine the milk and the tea in a medium saucepan and gently heat it. You want the milk to be quite warm but not really hot.
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour in a mixing bowl until they are pale and fluffy.
Strain the milk through a fine sieve into a jug and rinse out the pan to remove any traces of the tea leaves. Whilst whisking the egg mixture, add the warm milk in a steady stream. You need to be careful with this step as the mixture can curdle easily and you’ll end up with lumpy scrambled eggs instead of lovely thick custard.
Return the custard mixture to the pan and then gently heat it so that it becomes nice and thick. Be sure to stir it continuously to avoid any lumpiness. Let it become thick enough to pipe and then leave it to cool. Cover the surface with some cling-film to prevent a skin from forming on it.
Now time to get back to the pastry. Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease your tart tins. Unwrap the pastry and gently roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is a few millimetres thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out discs the right size for your tart tins and gently press the pastry into the tins. Prick the bases of the tarts with a fork, cover each one with a small piece of greaseproof paper and then pile on some baking beans.
Bake the pastry cases for 20 minutes and then uncover them and bake them for a further 10 minutes. Once the tart shells are nicely golden leave them to cool on a wire rack.
Put the cooled creme patissiere in a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe the custard into the pastry shells. Sprinkle on a little grated orange zest and then let the tartlets sit in the fridge for around an hour so that the custard can firm up a little bit.