When I finished baking thumbprint cookies with mom’s burnt jam the other day, another idea popped up in my mind. The idea was using the jam for tarts. But if I put the jam alone in cookie tart shells, isn't it almost the same as the thumbprint cookies which were not bad but not really a great success? So I thought about combining the jam with pastry cream.
Jam & Cream Tarts and Cherry Tarts
Luckily, I have a good pastry cream recipe that one of the readers (she called herself "a fellow baker") gave me in her comment to my post about a year ago. I made the pastry cream over and over to try it with various kinds of fruits or jam, and I liked it every time. Most of the time I used heavy cream to make the half-and-half called for in the recipe, but this time I used vegetable whipping cream to make it lighter. Since mom’s jam had a little strong taste and slight bitterness, I thought rich cream might be overwhelming.
These American cherries were bought for a back-up plan. If the test batch of the jam & cream tart would taste terrible, I was going to give up on the idea right away and make cherry & cream tarts with the rest of the pastry cream and tart shells.
Unfortunately the cherries were not sweet… with not much cherry flavor, either. (Maybe not quite ripe yet?? It was hard to tell when they were on the shelf in the package.)
So I made one test sample of each of the jam & cream version and cherry & cream version, and tasted both. And you know what?! They were both GOOD!! :D
The pastry cream made the taste of mom’s jam a lot milder and gave a different kind of sweetness to it, so the slight bitterness from the jam became a pleasant aftertaste. Honestly, the tart would have been rather bland without the bitterness.The cream also supplemented sweetness for the cherries and made them taste a lot better.
So I made more of both kinds of tarts
* Note that now I have chervil leaves to garnish my desserts. ;) Yep, they are from my balcony garden.
My conclusion: Pastry cream is a savior! :D
BTW, the shells are store-bought cookie tart shells.
(No wonder they look good.)