Monday, July 6, 2015

Honeydew Custard Tarts


Juicy, cool, pale green honeydew melons are the perfect treat on a hot summer day. Something about cracking open a giant melon just screams summer to me. The watery, juicy flesh quenches that unquenchable hot-july-day thirst, and their gentle honeyed sweetness just shouts of dewy summer mornings. 


It was with melon's summery spirit in mind that I made these tarts. They're a lovely marriage of summery green honeydew and rich, indulgent vanilla custard. I love custard. Creamy, thick, perfectly-eggy vanilla custard pairs well with pretty much any fruit, and with honeydew it's a match made in heaven.


The custard gives the honeydew a nice body, a delightful creamy richness, turning the juicy melon into a velvety, smooth pudding that still maintains it's summery fresh flavor. Think of these as summer's answer to a pumpkin pie. All that creamy consistency and rich flavor, but instead of autumnal gourd, this tart offers up crisp fresh melon notes. 


I would serve these at a backyard dinner party, on a big table set with lots of lanterns, big glasses of prosecco, and fresh peonies- that is, if I had something as luxurious as a backyard. As is, S and I took them up to our DIY-terrace (ie. our bare roof, where we keep plastic lawn furniture), and enjoyed them after dinner while the sun set, and that was pretty spectacular too. Anywhere you serve them, these tarts are guaranteed to please!


Honeydew Custard Tarts

Crust: 
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs (about 1.5 sleeves of crackers, pulsed in food processor)
6 tbsp butter
1/3 C cane sugar

Custard:
1/4 C Honey 
1/4 C Cane Sugar
2 T Flour
1 Medium Honeydew Melon
1 tsp Vanilla
4 Eggs, beaten

Whipped Cream:
1 C heavy whipping cream
1/4 C Powdered sugar


First make the crust. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter 1 large, or 4 small 4 inch tart pans. Melt the butter, and in a medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Press into the buttered tart pans until a uniform crust is formed.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. 

Peel, chop, and cube the honeydew melon, then place in  food processor and puree until smooth. 

Combine honeydew puree, honey, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in medium sauce pan, stir to combine, sift in flour, and stir again until thoroughly combined

Heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 9-13 minutes. 

Pour the custard into the tart pans until almost level with the top of the crust. Place in refrigerator and allow to set for 2-3 hours. 

Before serving, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, and using the whisk attachment mix on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Spread a 1/2 inch thick layer over each tart. Enjoy!



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