Wild blackberries are not hard to find in the Bay Area. My husband’s office is surrounded by wild blackberry bushes, heavy with their plump and shiny fruit. After an hour of berry picking my son came home with bowl full of juicy berries. He ran in the door and excitedly asked me, “Mom, what are we going to make?!” After a quick survey of our fridge I decided we had the ingredients to make fresh berry tartlets with cream cheese custard.
I made the custard ahead of time and let the kids assemble the tartlets the next day. My recipe already cuts out 25 percent of the sugar compared to many custard recipes. I even skipped the glaze to omit even more sugar. You can also use vanilla pudding or yogurt if you are pressed for time. Just have fun with it. I usually adapt a recipe to whatever I have in the fridge.
*I have also seen fruit tart translated as 水果撻, but it’s more common to use 塔
Kǎ shì dá tǎ
Blackberry Custard Tart
Hēiméi kǎ shì dá tǎ
Fresh Berry Tartlets with Cream Cheese Custard Recipe
Makes about 18 tartlets, depending on the size of your tart shells
- tart shells, pre-made
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- fresh berries, washed and dried
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of milk, egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar, corn starch, and vanilla extract.
- In a small pot, whisk together the remaining cup of milk and 1/4 of sugar. Heat on medium-low until until it just starts to simmer.
- While whisking, drizzle your hot milk into the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- Pour back into the pot and head on medium. Continue to stir until the custard thickens and remove from heat.
- Add the cream cheese and whisk until all the lumps are gone.
- Pour custard into a bowl or container and cover with plastic wrap. This prevents a thick skin from forming. Put in the fridge and allow to cool completely.
- Bake tart shells for about 5 minutes then allow to cool. This step is optional but I prefer to toast pre-made tart shells.
- Spoon custard into the tart shells. You can also use a piping bag with a decorative tip.
- Top with fresh berries