Swing ..... and a Miss! >0< Doh!

Sorry I've been MIA. I can't really say I've been busy. Just rather lazy >0< But I wanted to catch you guys up on a little experiment I tried out! So since I am on the 4-Hour Body Diet (SCD/ Slow Carb Diet), I only get to "cheat" once a week and eat whatever I want. The only thing I really crave though are SWEEEEEETS. Yes, delicious, delectable, undeniably awesome sweets! I've gone through a whole mess of cravings; chocolate, donuts, lemon pie, lemon bars, pecan bars, pancakes, crepes. Now I've arrived at strawberries. More of a sign of summer in my eyes, but they have been popping up left and right at the grocery stores at insanely cheap prices. So I thought, why not try making something from scratch? After a little bit of searching, I came upon a possible solution, a Strawberry Tart! The only problem was, I don't have a tart pan, and I'm not in the financial status to be buying one all whilly-nilly. Soon after this idea kind of dropped, I talked with a friend, and she mentioned her families strawberry "shortcake" recipe. However, there was really no shortcake involved. Instead, they put strawberries and some 2% milk over home-made biscuits. With some ideas running through my mind, I thought I'd take my chance at a tart-pastry filling on top of freshly baked biscuits. I couldn't go wrong, right? Well, let's see....
First, the pastry cream! Don't be deceived though, with a tart, I've come to realize that it definitely thickens up a LOT, and is not a cream at all. Thicker than custard/pudding, this filling is not meant to be moved again after being set to cool. Here's what I tried (the pastry cream itself is really delicious!!!):

Pastry Cream: (from Ina Garten)

·         5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
·         3/4 cup sugar
·         3 tablespoons cornstarch
·         1 1/2 cups scalded milk
·         1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
·         1 teaspoon Cognac
·         1 tablespoon unsalted butter
·         1 tablespoon heavy cream
In the bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Add the cornstarch, and mix until combined thoroughly.

With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. (** I think I over-mixed the scaled milk and egg/sugar/cornstarch mix before it got on the stove, so mine came out foamy. No worries, it will fix itself with time!)

Don't be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. 

Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding.
Seriously, this stuff is THICK.

Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard through a sieve directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold. into a bowl. 

 Alright, so the pastry cream was finished, so I put it in a bowl and let it cool in my fridge. MY MISTAKE! This recipe is soo thick, you need to put the warm pastry cream directly onto what you are planning to eat it from (small bowls, tart shell, ect). I thought I was going to be able to scoop it out and place it on the biscuits... that didn't happen too well ^_^(). Anyways, the next step I worked on was the next day, where I baked some biscuits (just some Grands Homestyle) and cut them in half. 
sooo fluffy X3
Then I took some strawberries and hulled/sliced them. 
Hulled, soon to be sliced!
It was at this point that I knew the pastry cream wasn't going to work well, but I still attempted to glob some on the biscuits and -try- to make the top look pretty. Here's what I ended up with:
Not too bad. It wasn't the most beautiful thing I've ever made, but the taste was nice! So here's what I learned:
#1- Thick pastry cream = tarts. It will solidify and look great when cut in pie-like shapes!
#2- Try a pudding or thin custard for on top of biscuits!
#3- To jazz things up, with the biscuits, before adding pudding/cream, pour a little sweet liquor directly on the biscuit. I love Disaronno! X3

Don't think I'm gonna stop experimenting though. I just found a recipe online to make small tart-shells with puff pastry and cupcake pans (which I have a ton from V-day, hehe). I will definitely come back to this and try to work with it more!

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