Fiction-Food Café

September 13, 2018

Dragon Berry Jelly Tarts | The Dragon Prince

         The Dragon Prince from Wonderstorm is one of the Fall Netflix premiers that I've been greatly anticipating and it's finally arrived (Sept. 14)!! One of the things that got me really excited for the show, aside from the fact that it's an awesome-looking animated fantasy, is that The Dragon Prince has a couple of the creative minds behind "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and promises action, character depth, engaging story, and humor (the voice actor of Sokka is even in it!). Wonderstorm is even working on a video game based in the same world (release TBA)!

"Uhh, jelly tart?"
–Crown Prince Ezran, "The Dragon Prince"

          In a teaser trailer for the show, one of the characters was shown with a jelly tart and you know that further piqued my interest. :) And a few days ago The Dragon Prince official tumblr shared some viewing party ideas including jelly tarts! They explain that the tarts are young Prince Ezran's favorite food, and that they are based on hamantaschen (I'm assuming simply the shape), a cookie traditionally shared in relation to the Jewish celebration of Purim. (You might remember the peanut butter hamantaschen-inspired cookies I made for Voltron: LD).

          Because it's a tart in the show instead of a cookie, I wanted to make a pie-type crust instead of cookie dough, as well as make some special jelly combining dragon fruit and berries! I also wanted to make them large as they appear to be in the show (but you can make them any size). So, if you're wanting to celebrate the premiere and have a bit of time, please give these Dragon Prince-inspired jelly tarts a shot! :)

Note: Jelly is different from jam in that jelly is made of the juice from fruit after straining, and jam is made of mashed fruit and fruit bits, no straining. The recipe below is for a homemade jelly made of dragon fruit and strawberries and raspberries, but you could substitute in other berries, like blueberry or blackberry, etc (but I wanted to keep it red like in the show). If you don't have time to make your own jelly, or simply don't want to buy various fruits (or can't find dragon fruit [try an Asian market]), you can use a store-bought jelly/preserve of your choosing.
          The crust recipe below is adapted from eatwell101, with minor changes.

Dragon Berry Jelly Tarts

1 Large Dragon Fruit/Pitaya (white or pink inside)
1 Cup Chopped Strawberries (green tops removed)
1 Cup Chopped Raspberries
1/2 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Granulated White Sugar
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
Pith of 1 Navel Orange* (the pith is the white layer under the skin, thicker on underripe oranges)
2 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Granulated White Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2/3 Cup (11 Tbsp.) Cold Butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 Cup Ice Water of Cold Milk
1 Egg, beaten well (for egg wash)
Sugar, Demerara/Raw or Granulated White (for sprinkling)

Jelly: Cut the dragon fruit in half & use a spoon to scoop out the flesh (discard the skin). Chop the flesh & put it in a deep pot along with the chopped strawberries & raspberries. Add the water & cook on medium-low, using a potato masher to mash the fruit & bring out the juices.

Once the fruit is very soft & looks like soup, pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Stir the mixture around to get as much liquid through the strainer as you can. Scrape what's on the bottom of the strainer into the bowl; it's all right that some of the tiny black seeds will come through.

Pour the liquid back into the pot & stir in the sugar, lemon juice, & orange pith.
*To get the pith, it's easiest to zest/grate the outer orange skin (which you can use in other dishes) & then separate the white pith from the orange segments (you can go ahead & eat the segments if you want).

Bring the juice mixture to a boil & then lower to a steady simmer. Cook for about 20 mins. or until the mixture thickens. Pour into a small bowl & use a fork or tongs to remove the pith (try to scrape off any jelly stuck to it), & let the jelly cool until needed.

Crust: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, & salt. Add the cubed cold butter & use your finger tips to rub the butter into the flour mixture until you get course crumbs. Pour in the cold milk or water & use a spoon to fold & cut it in just until the mixture comes together into a dough.

Shape the dough into a ball & then cut it into 2 equal pieces. Ball up these pieces & lay them each on a large piece of plastic wrap. Flatten each ball to about 1/2" & wrap in the plastic. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Building & Baking: Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly flour a flat work surface.

Pull the dough out of the fridge & roll to about 1/8" thickness. Place a mid-sized bowl upside down on the dough & cut around it to make a circle (I used a bowl 6 1/2" in diameter). Re-roll the excess dough & repeat. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on each circle & stack them until you've rolled out all of the dough.

Place a few of the circles onto the tray. Spoon some of the jelly onto the circles & spread it to about 1" of the edges (depending on the size of your circles). Keep in mind how many dough circles you have & makesure you'll have equal amounts of jelly for each.

Working on 1 jelly-spread circle at a time, use both hands to carefully lift & fold over 3 sides, leaving a little triangle of jelly showing in the center (see photos). Pinch the corners slightly when done. There should be room now to put more of the dough circles onto the trays. Repeat with all of the circles. Leave at least 1/2" of space between the triangles.

Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Slide the tray of uncooked tarts into the fridge & let chill until the oven is ready.

Remove the tray from the fridge & brush the dough with beaten egg. Sprinkle generously with sugar (trying not to get too much sugar on the tray).

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the crust is golden & just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven & transfer the tarts to a cooling rack.

These tarts are perfect to snag & take on an adventure! Enjoy warm or room temperature, as is or with ice cream. Store in an airtight container with parchment or waxed paper separating the tarts if layering.

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