2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. solid vegetable shortening
1/4 c. milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg, well beaten
3 tbsp. cornstarch
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 tsp. almond extract
1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp. milk for egg wash
Shift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl or mixer. Add shortening and blend until it resembles coarse corn meal. Add milk, vanilla, and eggs. Work dough with hands into a smooth ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside.
In a medium saucepan whisk together the cornstarch and sugar, making sure there are no lumps. Slowly add milk, add butter, and place sauce pan over medium heat stirring constantly over medium heat until thick. Once thick, remove from heat and stir in egg yolk and almond extract.
Divide dough in half. Rollout one ½ half of dough into an 11-inch circle about ¼ inch thick. Using a 3-inch fluted biscuit cutter, cut out circles of dough and press each one into the bottom and sides of a 3 ¼ inch tart pan. Reroll dough and repeat process. Makes 12 tart shells.
Fill each tart shell with about 2 tablespoons of filling.
Rollout second ½ half of dough into an 11-inch circle about ¼ inch thick. Cut out 3-inch circles of dough and place over top of each tart. Pinch tops closed.
Place tart pans and a cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and refrigerate for 20 minutes,
Bake in preheated 425ºF oven, middle rack, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Once the tarts are cooled completely remove them from tart pans. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.