Cocktail or Dessert?

My mother and I are dessert people. We would much rather waste the calories or $5 for a brownie sundae. My father, sister, and husband would rather have a martini or a pint. Not saying, I don’t like the occasional cocktail. One of my new-found favorite cocktails is a British summer staple.

Pimm’s Cocktail. It is made out of 1 part Pimm’s liqueur, 3 parts lemonade (lemonade here is more like lemon flavored seltzer), fresh mint, orange slices, lemon slices, strawberries, and sometimes cucumber slices. It is very refreshing and a great addition to a summer afternoon. I believe Pimm’s base is gin.

Yesterday, I asked David what kind of treat I should make. As usual, his response was pie. This is something that we bicker about often. I enjoy pie but am very limited due to my dislike for berries. So, I came up with something that was inspired by David and my love for a Pimm’s Cocktail.
Pimm's Tart
Pimm’s Cocktail Tart

Sweet Shortcrust Tarts (2, 4-5in diameter tart shells)
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup cold butter, diced
1-2 tbsp cold water

1. In a large mixing bowl mix together flour, salt, and sugar.
2. Add butter to dry mix. Using a pastry cutter, back of fork, or fingers break down butter into flour until you get pea sized pieces of butter throughout.
3. Working a tbsp at a time mix in water. When the dough forms into a ball wrap in plastic bag or cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
4. Preheat oven 375F/190C. Take dough out of fridge and roll out for the two tart shells. The pastry should be 1/8 inch thick. Press the rolled out dough into the tart shells and cut off excess.
5. Prick the dough with a fork a few times. Line each prepared tart shell with parchment paper. On top of the paper add dry beans, rice, or baking balls to prevent the dough from bubbling or sinking.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper. Return to oven for 15 more minutes until crispy.
7. Cool completely.

Pimm’s Pastry Cream
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp Pimm’s (you can easily omit this)
1/2 tsp orange extract (orange zest would also work)
1/2 tsp lemon extract (lemon zest would also work)

1. In a saucepan, combine sugar cornstarch. Slowly whisk in milk trying to avoid lumping. Heat over medium heat until warm.
2. In a bowl add the egg yolk. Slowly, whisk in milk base to the egg yolk. Add everything back to the saucepan and to the heat.
3. Continuously whisk until it becomes thick about 3-5 minutes.
4. Whisk in Pimm’s and extracts. Pour into a bowl and line the pudding with cling film to avoid any skin development. Cool completely and store in fridge until use.

Assembly
2 tart shells
Pimm’s Pastry Cream
Fresh strawberries
Fresh mint

1. Add pastry cream to tart shells.
2. Line with strawberries on top.
3. Sprinkle with torn fresh mint.
4. Enjoy!

The creaminess of the pastry cream with the crunch of the tart shell and the sweetness of the strawberries were amazing. It really did remind me of a Pimm’s cocktail.
Pimm's TartWe shared again with our housemates. After looking at the size of our tart I knew I was not going to eat it all. We all adored it. It was a particularly humid day yesterday and it was a refreshing ending to our meals.

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