Recipe: Wheels Of A Dream

Inspired byRagtime The Musical

Mini Tart Pastry Shells with a hint of Lemon Zest, filled with a Vanilla Bourbon Custard, and topped with Bourbon-Soaked Blueberries and Strawberries.

“With the promise of happiness…”


Part A: Mini Tart Pastry Shells

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cold butter (cut into small pieces)

  • 2 tablespoons ice water

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions - Part A:

  1. Add the flour and cut butter into a medium mixing bowl.

  2. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer blend the flour and butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.

  3. Using a fork, stir in the the water, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

  4. Stir with the fork until the dough holds together. Then using your hands (wash them thoroughly first, of course!) gather the dough into a ball, flatten, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (NOTE: If not using immediately, wrap with plastic and refrigerate up to three days. Otherwise put in freezer for up to three months.)

  5. While your dough chills you can move on to making the Vanilla Bourbon Custard.


Part B: Vanilla Bourbon Custard

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 and 1/4 cups whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons of Bourbon of choice (or to desired taste)

Directions - Part B:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, using a fork, whisk together egg yolks and sugar just until pale yellow and creamy.

  2. Add in cornstarch and flour and mix until just combined. Set aside.

  3. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, vanilla extract on medium-low heat just to a boil.

  4. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture until fully combined.

  5. Transfer mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly and vigorously until mixture thickens. (NOTE: Don’t leave the saucepan unattended for even a moment. You really have to whisk constantly.)

  6. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium heatproof bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent it from creating a ‘“skin.” Refrigerate until chilled.

  7. Whisk by hand before using to get rid of any lumps. (NOTE: The custard can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. It does not keep in the freezer.)

  8. While the Vanilla Bourbon Custard chills in the refrigerator you can work on prepping the Bourbon-Soaked Blueberries and Strawberries.


Part C: Bourbon-Soaked Blueberries and Strawberries

Vanilla Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mason Jar Contents

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 2 cups Bourbon of choice

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (rinsed)

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (rinsed and quartered)

  • Large Mason Jar

Directions - Part C:

  1. Combine water and granulated sugar in small saucepan and heat on medium until sugar is fully dissolved.

  2. Let the mixture come to a boil, stirring occasionally.

  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Set aside

  4. Rinse blueberries and strawberries. Add blueberries to a large mason jar.

  5. Quarter strawberries and add to the mason jar with blueberries.

  6. Fresh squeeze 1-2 lemons until you get 1/4 of fresh lemon juice. Add to mason jar.

  7. Add your Bourbon of choice to the mason jar.

  8. Add the vanilla simple syrup to the mason jar. Used a big wooden spoon to stir.

  9. Fix the lid to the mason jar and turn upside down to make mixture of blueberries and strawberries intermingle.

  10. Put in refrigerator for at least 24 hours before prepping pastries. (NOTE: This mixture will eventually be strained off and only the fruit will be used in the final product. But I highly recommend keeping the strained off Bourbon mixture to add to Bourbon on the rocks as it almost serves as a vermouth of sorts! It was quite tasty.)

Baking The Mini Tart Pastry Shells - Part D:

  • Chilled Pastry Dough

  • Mini Cupcake Pans

  • Rolling Pin

  • 2-inch Circular Cookie Cutter

  • Wire Rack



  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

  2. Spray mini cupcake pan with non-stick spray. Use a paper towel to spread evenly in each little cup. Set aside.

  3. Flour a flat surface or cutting board and take about 1/2 of the chilled tart dough and roll out as thin as possible.

  4. Using cookie cutter, cut as many 2-inch circles from the dough as possible.

  5. Place each 2-inch circle in an individual cup of the mini cupcake pan. Press down on bottom and sides.

  6. Prick the bottom of the tart once or twice with a fork.

  7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until crust is set and just beginning to get slightly golden on edges.

  8. Gently turn the mini cupcake pan upside down onto the wire rack. Most pastry shells should fall right out. Use a fork to loosen any at that stick slightly.

  9. Let shells cool before serving. (NOTE: Once baked I would not recommend waiting more than 24 hours before serving dessert.)

  10. Repeat process until all dough is used.

Getting Ready To Serve

  • Mini Tart Pastry Shells

  • Vanilla Bourbon Custard

  • Bourbon Soaked Blueberries and Strawberries 

  1. Place mini tart shells on a platter side-by-side. 

  2. Whisk the chilled custard then scoop a helping of the Vanilla Bourbon Custard atop each tart pastry shell using a 1/2 inch cookie scoop.

  3. Strain the fruit from the mason jar. (NOTE: I cannot stress enough that you should keep the liquid that is strained off. Just think about it. It’s Bourbon + Lemon Juice + Vanilla Simple Syrup + Blueberry and Strawberry Infusion. It’s delicious. )

  4. Arrange strained fruit atop the Vanilla Bourbon Custard as desired.

  5. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.


The Company of  Ragtime The Musical

The Company of Ragtime The Musical