These nutty cookie crusts are topped with silky pastry cream and fresh berries, perfect for your 4th of July BBQ! This pastry cream can be used in so many other ways – as a doughnut filling, cake or tart filling, or thinned and used as a sauce over a cake in place of frosting.
Pulse the nuts in with the flour until the pecans are finely ground. Then pulse in the butter until pea-size crumbs form. With machine running drizzle in the water until dough is moist enough to stick together when pressed.
Roll out dough into a thin sheet and cut out rectangles and star shapes. For a decorative edge, pinch the dough with two fingers then place on a lined baking sheet. Be sure to place the stars on a separate sheet, as they will bake faster and need to be removed from the oven in half the time.
For the pastry cream, to prevent the eggs from curdling you must slowly drizzle in the hot milk mixture while constantly whisking. Add about a tablespoon at a time until the eggs mixture heats up, after which point you can start whisking it in a bit faster. Once the egg mixture is very warm, you can pour it all (slowly) back into the saucepan and bring to a boil.
Once the pastry cream has cooked and is thick, pour it into a clean bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes. If you want to take this dessert to a picnic, just keep everything separate, and assemble on site.
Stars & Berries Pastries
- 2 ¼ cups GFC Flour Blend for Baking
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ¾ cup pecans
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup butter cold & cubed (or dairy free margarine)
- 6-7 Tbsp ice water
Crust Garnish (optional)
- 1 egg + pinch salt
- 2 Tbsp coarse sugar optional
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup sugar divided
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup buttermilk divided
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cups fresh berries
- Icing sugar optional
- For the crust, in a food processor combine flour, xanthan, nuts, sugar and salt, pulsing until pecans are finely ground. Add butter, pulsing until pea-size crumbs form. With machine running drizzle in just enough ice water until dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 45 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough to ¼” thick (or thinner). Cut out 3x4” rectangles and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. If desired, crimp edges with fingers for a decorative finish. Cut out an equal number of small stars as well and place on a separate lined baking sheet.
- To give the crust a shiny smooth finish, lightly whisk together the egg and pinch of salt, then brush on the dough. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely on wire rack. Stars will cook in half the time, so be sure to check them after 10 minutes.
- For the pastry cream, in a saucepan over medium heat bring to a simmer the milk, 1/3 cup sugar and the vanilla. In large bowl, whisk together ½ cup buttermilk, egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in (a tablespoon at a time) the hot milk mixture. Keep adding more of the hot milk until the egg mixture warms up. At which point you can slowly pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan. The eggs must be gradually warmed up in this way, otherwise they will curdle.
- Bring the entire mixture to a boil over medium heat, and boil for another 3 minutes until thick. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ¼ cup of the buttermilk. Pour into a bowl, cover surface with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- To assemble, spread some pastry cream over each crust, top with berries and a star crust, and a light dusting of icing sugar.