Brazilian Strawberry Tartlets (Tortinhas de Morango)
Brazilian Strawberry Tartlets are a classic in every padaria. Not only they are delicious and undeniably cute, but they’re also bite-sized, which makes them perfect for parties.
Helloooo, strawberries! I’ve been waiting for you.
Well, truth be told, we had strawberries all winter long, since they don’t really disappear. But summer is their true season and the shelves at the grocery store are overflowing with them!
So I’m officially declaring strawberry season here at Olivia’s Cuisine. And I will make the very difficult sacrifice of testing and eating lots of strawberry desserts, so I can share them here with you! You’re welcome!
To kick off the season in grand style, I’m sharing my twist on the classic Tortinha de Morango. Delectable Brazilian strawberry tartlets, filled with a layer of strawberry jam and a layer of pastry cream!
If you’ve ever been to a Brazilian padaria, our version of a bakery, chances are you’ve seen – and have hopefully eaten – one of these.
They are quite easy to make and even easier to eat! True one-bite wonders, you won’t be able to resist them!
My twist on a classic Brazilian dessert!
In Brazil, you can find these in different sizes and forms.
They are often tarts (or tartlets) filled with Brazilian pastry cream and topped with fresh strawberries. The fresh strawberries are sometimes brushed with a shiny glaze (geléia de brilho), made with strawberry jell-o, and the shells are crusted with chopped cashews.
My version is a bit different. No glaze for me, as I think fresh strawberries are beautiful enough and don’t need any “make up”. I also think it makes the strawberry tartlets too sweet and artificially flavored.
I’m also adding a homemade strawberry jam, which is not traditional, but adds a stronger strawberry flavor to the tartlets! No pectin and not a lot a sugar, since we want a little sourness to balance the sweetness from the pastry cream.
Not to be too braggy, but I would take these tartlets over padaria tortinhas any day!
These Tortinhas de Morango are made of:
- Pâte sucrée shells (recipe here) – tender, crumbly and so delicious!
- A chunky homemade strawberry jam – adds a little sourness for balance.
- Brazilian pastry cream – a rich, creamy custard. Made with a staple ingredient in Brazilian desserts: sweet condensed milk!
- Fresh strawberries to decorate.
How to Make Brazilian Strawberry Tartlets
- Make and blind bake the crust. Store at room temperature.
- Make the strawberry jam by cooking fresh strawberries and sugar until thickened. Reserve to cool.
- Make the Brazilian pastry cream. Whisk together sweet condensed milk, whole milk and heavy cream, and cook until simmering. Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch in a separate bowl and temper with a ladleful of the milk mixture. Once tempered, add the yolks to the milk and continue cooking until thick. Add the vanilla extract. Refrigerate until cold.
- Garnish with fresh strawberries.
Brazilian Strawberry Tartlets FAQs:
Can I make these ahead of time? Unfortunately, no. Brazilian Strawberry Tartlets have to be assembled right before serving, as they are supposed to be served cold and will get soggy in the fridge.
That being said, you can make all the components a couple of days ahead. Store the pastry cream and jam in the fridge and the baked shells at room temperature.
Can I freeze them? I don’t recommend freezing these tartlets. The texture will change considerably as the cream will break down and weep moisture.
How to store leftovers – Don’t! Just eat them all.
For the tartlet shells:
For the strawberry jam:
- 2 cups strawberries, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For the Pastry Cream:
- 1 (14oz) can sweet condensed milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 strawberries, halved
To make the tartlet shells:
- Cut the dough into 12 tartlets and use your fingers to press it in the mold. You can patch any thin parts or cracks with excess dough.
- Freeze the crust for 15 minutes or no longer than 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove the tartlets from the freezer and, using a fork, liberally prick the chilled dough all over to allow steam to escape.
- Place the tartlets in a baking sheet, line the shells with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges just begin to brown, rotating halfway through. Time will vary depending on the size of tartlets and the material the pans are made of. But generally it can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the parchment paper and weights, then continue baking for a few more minutes until the center of the pastry crusts are golden.
- Cool completely before removing from the pans. Reserve.
To make the strawberry jam:
- Combine the chopped strawberries and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the stove, over medium heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the strawberries have released quite a bit of liquid.
- Uncover, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Let it cool completely. Reserve.
To make the pastry cream:
- Combine the sweet condensed milk, whole milk and heavy cream in a large saucepan. Bring it to the stove, over medium heat, until it starts to simmer.
- In the meantime, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Once the liquids start to simmer, remove a ladleful and add, slowly, to the yolks, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.
- Transfer the tempered yolks to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened considerably, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Pour the cream into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
- When ready to use, whisk vigorously to soften the texture.
Assembling the Strawberry Tartlets:
- Top which tartlet with a layer of strawberry jam. That will depend on the size of your tartlets, but I could fit about half a tablespoon on mine.
- Place the pastry cream in a piping bag with a large drop flower or star tip.
- Pipe the pastry cream over the strawberry jam.
- Decorate with fresh strawberries and serve immediately.
The strawberry tartlets should be assembled right before serving. They don't do well in the fridge, as the cream filling will make the shells soft and soggy. However, you can prepare the pastry cream and jam up to 2 days in advance and keep them in the fridge until ready to use.