I’ve never been that keen on shop-bought neenish tarts, I always found the mock cream a bit fake and greasy. However home made ones are a very different story. These take a bit of time, but well worth the effort. If you’re pushed for time you could use bought short crust pastry but they do taste better if you make your own. They can be filled with any kind of jam but I like to use the proper doughnut jam, which you can find in any good food supply shop. If you live in Melbourne I suggest you pay a visit to Anne at The Mixing Bowl in Camberwell, her doughnut jam is the BEST. I usually make a double batch – it doesn’t seem to take that much longer, and they really do disappear incredibly quickly. If you’re making a double lot you only need to make 1 ½ of the mock cream, as the recipe makes more than you need. Any leftover mock cream can be used to fill a cake, swill roll etc.
200 g plain flour
25 g icing sugar
100 grams butter
1 egg yolk (or the whole egg if you’re making a double batch)
1-2 tablespoons iced water
¾ cup (165 grams) sugar
1 ½ tablespoons milk
¼ cup (60 mls) boiling water
185 grams butter
¾ teaspoon gelatine
2 tablespoons boiling water, extra
Jam of your choice, I prefer raspberry
Icing sugar mix
Pink food colouring
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees C, grease small patty cake tins or small muffin tins.
- Place the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and blend until the butter is fully incorporated. Add the egg yolk. Gradually add the cold water, just enough until the pasty looks like it’s about to form into a ball but is still crumbly.
- Tip the pastry onto a floured surface, knead lightly and form into a ball. Place the pastry into the fridge for at last 30 minutes. This pastry shrinks quite a bit, so you really do need to refrigerate it for a while. One the tins are lined I then put the tins in the freezer for a few minutes to decrease even further any shrinkage.
- Flour the bench and roll out the pastry until it is the desired thickness. I like a thin, crisp and buttery pastry shell so I like to roll it pretty thin. Cut out rounds and place in the tins. Put a few fork holes in each shell. Bake for about 15 minutes or until slightly golden and beginning to crisp.
- To make the mock cream place the milk, sugar and water in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Mix the gelatine and extra boing water in a small container and add to the sugar mix. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. To speed this up you can pour the mixture out of the saucepan into another container.
- Beat the butter with electric beaters for quite some time, until the butter is really white. Pour in the cooled sugar mix and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Place a small amount of jam in each pastry shell and top with the mock cream. I use a palette knife to make sure I get a nice smooth finish. I find the tarts easier to ice if I pop them in the fridge for about 15 minutes so the mock cream can firm up.
- Ice as desired. The traditional colour combo is white and pink or white and chocolate icing, but you can do whatever you fancy.