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Pomegranate Tartlets

Pomegranate Tartlets

2 ½ cups flour
1 cup butter or margarine
½ cup sugar
1 large egg

2 cups milk
½ cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons butter
Pinch salt
¼ cup cornstarch
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons butter, diced into pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup pomegranate juice
1 cup pomegranate arils

For the crust: Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine, then add the flour and mix until no streaks remain. Gather the dough together into one cohesive ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
For the filling: Mix together the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, eggs and cornstarch until smooth — make sure no lumps remain. When the milk comes to a boil, pour half of it slowly over the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then return everything to the pot and bring back to a boil, whisking constantly. When it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and immediately pour into a clean bowl (have on hand before you begin). Whisk in the butter pieces and salt until melted and combined. Whisk in the pomegranate juice until evenly distributed.
Cover with plastic and refrigerate the filling until chilled through — several hours.
(If you don’t whisk constantly, you will likely end up with a very sweet, very thick omelet. Not the desired outcome.)
Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll out on a well-floured surface (and continuously reflouring) until about ½ centimeter thick. Use it to cover either a large tart pan or several smaller ones. For a large one, roll the dough to 2 inches larger than the pan, gently drape over the pan, fit the dough in to the corners then trim the edges. For smaller tart pans, use a cutter that is big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your tart pans, cut as many circles as possible from the dough and fit in to the molds, rerolling as necessary.
Prick the bottoms of the shells with a fork several times and put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Cover the shells with parchment paper then fill with pie weights or uncooked beans. Then bake the shells at 375 F for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Let cool.
Whisk the filling again so it is smooth. Divide among the tart shells or pour about ½ inch in to a large one. Top with pomegranate arils, and serve immediately.

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