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Raspberry Curd Tartlets

13 May

May 13th, 2015

I made a very similar flavor tart a few posts back using a raspberry-lemon curd; however, this time I used only raspberries. The tartlet crust is also the same shortbread crust recipe, except I made these bite-sized — 2 inches in diameter. I found the tartlet molds at a local baking supply store and I couldn’t resist. My collection of baking supplies is forever growing, but that just means more reasons to bake!

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Shortbread Crust (AKA Pate Sablee), recipe from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts book

90 g sugar
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
255 g cake flour

Y= twenty-four 2-inch mini tart shells

Directions:

  1. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar and salt together, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg yolks. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Add the flour at once. Mix until dough comes together.
  4. If dough is dry and crumbly, add 1-3 tsp of cold water. Add 1 tsp at a time.
  5. Wrap and rest dough in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
  6. Once the dough has rested in the refrigerator, roll out the dough and press into the tartlet  molds.
  7. If dough feels a bit soft, refrigerate the lined molds for about 10 minutes before baking.
  8. Using a fork, slightly dock the dough.
  9. Bake at 340F for 14-16 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before unmolding and filling.

Raspberry Curd

⅔ C raspberry juice (See my previous post for instructions on how to prepare raspberry juice)
4 oz sugar
4 egg yolks
3 oz softened butter

Y = enough to fill 15 mini tartlets (recipe can be doubled to have enough to fill all twenty-four tartlet shells)

Directions

  1. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan heat the raspberry juice to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Temper the yolk-sugar mixture by adding half of the heated raspberry juice to the yolks, while whisking to prevent the yolks from curdling.
  4. Add the tempered yolks back to the saucepan and heat on medium.
  5. Continue to heat until the mixture thickens, while whisking to prevent the bottom from burning.
  6. Once the mixture thickens, strain into a clean bowl over the butter.
  7. Whisk to combine.
  8. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to cool.

Meringue
60 g egg whites
½ C sugar

Directions

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled.
  5. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.

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To Assemble

  1. Pipe or spoon the raspberry curd filling into the tartlet shells.
  2. Pipe a dollop of meringue in the center of the curd.
  3. Carefully torch the meringue.
  4. Refrigerate tartlets until ready to serve.
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Raspberry-Lemon Tarts with a Shortbread Crust

19 Apr

April 19th, 2015

One of my favorite online home cooking websites I follow is called The Kitchn, and when I came across their raspberry lemon curd recipe, I knew I had to try it. Although I have been using a lot of berries lately, I couldn’t pass up this recipe, as it was appropriate for the Springtime weather. Plus, I absolutely love the color of the curd from the raspberry and lemon combination.

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Shortbread Crust (AKA Pate Sablee), recipe from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts book
90g sugar
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
255g cake flour (I used AP flour)

Y= lines eight 4-in tart molds

Directions:

  1. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar and salt together, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg yolks. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Add the flour at once. Mix until dough comes together.
  4. If dough is dry and crumbly, add 1-3 tsp of cold water. Add 1 tsp at a time.
  5. Wrap and rest dough in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
  6. Once the dough has rested in the refrigerator, roll out the dough and press into the tart molds.
  7. If dough feels a bit soft, refrigerate the lined tart molds for about 10 minutes before baking.
  8. Using a fork, slightly dock the dough.
  9. Bake at 350F for 17-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before unmolding and filling.

Raspberry-Lemon Curd, recipe adapted from The Kitchn
1 ¼ C fresh raspberries, or 1 bag of frozen raspberries
¼ C fresh lemon juice
4 egg yolks
1 egg
1 C sugar (I reduced to ¾ C)
6 T cubed, unsalted butter

Y= enough to fill eight 4-in tarts

Directions:

  1. Heat the raspberries in a sauce pan. Allow to come to a boil and reduce to low heat. Stir occasionally to break raspberries apart. Continue to heat until raspberries become juicy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Strain the raspberry juice into a clean bowl. Discard raspberry pulp.
  3. Return ¼ C + 2 T of the raspberry juice with the lemon juice, eggs, and sugar to the saucepan. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook the mixture until it thickens, stirring to prevent the bottom from burning.
  5. Once the mixture thickens, strain into a clean bowl over the cubed butter.
  6. Slightly whisk together to melt the butter.
  7. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to cool.

To Assemble:

  1. Whip ¼ C of heavy cream until medium peaks.
  2. Fold the whipped cream into the raspberry-lemon curd to lighten.
  3. Using a spoon, fill the baked tart crust with the lightened curd.
  4. Alternatively, you can omit the whipped cream.
  5. Garnish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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I folded in whipped cream to the curd, which lightened the consistency and color of the curd…still so pretty!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tartlets

29 Oct

October 29th, 2014

Following my tartlet series, this is my third flavor using the same tart shell recipe as my dark chocolate ganache and lemon cheesecake tartlets. Fall is my favorite season and pumpkin flavored anything is a must when October rolls around.

The tartlets were full of pumpkin flavor and they definitely reminded me of a pumpkin pie more than a cheesecake. You can replace the tart shells with a graham cracker crust, which was what my husband preferred. In fact, the pumpkin cheesecake recipe listed below yields plenty, enough to make 48 mini tartlets and a 6-inch cake. If you don’t get to using all of the filling at once, it does keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Otherwise, you can divide the filling recipe in half.

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 24 mini tartlets.

The other half can be frozen if not used immediately.

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray mini cupcake pan with non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; working in small pieces, roll a piece of dough into a ball. (I eyeballed the size of the pieces).
  8. Place ball of dough into the pan. Repeat until you fill the entire cupcake pan.
  9. Have a bowl of extra flour set aside. Dip the tart tamper in the flour and proceed to flatten each ball of dough. As you push down with the tart tamper, the dough will take the shape of the cupcake pan. Re-dip the tamper in the flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
  10. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough.
  11. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Remove and slightly chill before filling.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

16 oz Cream Cheese
2C Brown Sugar
4T Cornstarch
1 tsp Cinnamon
4 Eggs
30 oz pumpkin puree (almost 2 cans)
10 oz Evaporated Milk

Y= enough for 48 mini tartlets and one 6-inch cake

Directions:

  1. Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, cream the cream cheese, brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon together. Stop and scrape down the sides. Continue to paddle until smooth.
  2. Add the eggs. Continue to mix.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on low speed. Scrape down sides as necessary.
  4. Add the evaporated milk and mix until fully combined.
  5. Fill a pastry bag with the pumpkin cream cheese filling and carefully pipe into the tart shells.
  6. Bake at 275F for 20 minutes, rotating halfway.
  7. Remove from oven and allow tartlets to chill at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.

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Lemon Cheesecake Tartlets

26 Oct

October 26, 2014

Recently I became obsessed with mini tartlets; they are convenient, perfectly portioned, and I love photographing them. Like my dark chocolate tartlets I previously made, I used the same batch of tart shell recipe. I had half the dough leftover, which I froze. This time, however, instead of using tartlet molds, I experimented with a wooden tart tamper I found at Sur La Table. The tart tamper was really easy to use and it fit perfectly in my mini cupcake pan to form the round tart shells.

I used a basic cheesecake recipe and added lemon zest. Depending on your preference of tartness you can adjust the amount of zest. I love the taste and fragrance of lemon zest so I opted to add more. These tartlets kept well in the refrigerator for several days, which was convenient because I readily had dessert waiting for me after dinner.

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 24 mini tartlets.
The other half can be frozen if not used immediately.

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray mini cupcake pan with non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; working in small pieces, roll a piece of dough into a ball. (I eyeballed the size of the pieces).
  8. Place ball of dough into the pan. Repeat until you fill the entire cupcake pan.
  9. Have a bowl of extra flour set aside. Dip the tart tamper in the flour and proceed to flatten each ball of dough. As you push down with the tart tamper, the dough will take the shape of the cupcake pan. Re-dip the tamper in the flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
  10. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough.
  11. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Remove and slightly chill before filling.

2014-10-04 21.12.01Press the tart tamper down on the dough and it will take the form of the pan. 2014-10-04 21.21.302014-10-04 21.24.28

Dock the lined dough by using a fork to make tiny holes.

Lemon Cheesecake Filling
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1.5 oz Sugar
1 Egg
6g of egg yolk
1 ½ tsp Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Zest of one whole lemon

Directions

  1. Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar together. Stop and scrape down the sides. Continue to paddle until smooth.
  2. Add the egg and egg yolk. Continue to mix.
  3. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  4. Add lemon zest. Mix to combine.
  5. Fill a pastry bag with the cream cheese filling and carefully pipe into tart shells.
  6. Bake at 275F for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow tartlets to chill at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Garnish with whipped cream and more lemon zest.

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Dark Chocolate Tartlets

12 Oct

October 12th, 2014

I’m like a kid in a candy store whenever I’m at Sur La Table, one of my favorite places to shop for kitchen ware. I can spend hours there browsing, making every excuse as to why I need a another gadget, an extra pan, or more piping tips. And I love it when I find a good deal. That’s exactly what happened when I found these tartlet molds. I couldn’t resist and basically picked up all the molds that were on clearance.

Using a simple dough recipe I made several mini tart shells, filled with a simple dark chocolate ganache. It definitely would have been easier to just make one large tart; however, these individual, bite-sized tartlets are much more adorable. It took some patience to line each mold with the dough, but the results were worth it!

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 18- 2 inch  shells

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray molds with a non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; using a rolling-pin, roll dough out.  Since the dough will puff up a bit once in the oven, roll out thinly.
  8. Working in small pieces, line the molds, leaving a few unmolded.
  9. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the refrigerator; using the other half of un-lined molds stack on top of each lined mold. This prevents the dough from puffing up too much when baking.
  11. Bake at 350F for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the unlined molds. Place lined molds back in the oven and bake for another 6-7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Once cool enough to handle, removed baked shells from the mold.
  12. Repeat with remainder of the dough.
  13. Allow tart shells to cool completely before filling.
  14. If not using the other half of the dough, freeze for later use. Dough can be kept in the freezer for 1 month.

2014-08-16 01.57.46Individually lined molds2014-08-17 06.18.17Baked shells- ready to be filled2014-08-17 07.18.59

Chocolate Ganache Filling
200 g Dark Chocolate (I used 72%)
200 g Heavy Cream

Directions:

  1. Finely chop chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Heat the heavy cream on medium heat. Once the cream comes to a simmer, remove from heat.
  3. Slowly pour the heated cream over the chopped chocolate and leave for 30 seconds.
  4. Whisk to combine the cream and chocolate.
  5. Carefully pour the ganache into each tart shell. Allow to set a room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour. 2014-09-22 05.32.42 2014-09-22 05.27.36 2014-09-22 05.24.02                           Garnished with chocolate shavings and fleur de sel.

Lemon Tart

5 May

One of the best things someone can do for me is to give me free lemons…it’s like opening presents on Christmas morning. I jump for joy inside and it never gets old. And for whatever reason, lemons always make me think of desserts- the endless possibilities of things I can make with them. Even though tart-like desserts are not my go-to picks (I prefer chocolatey desserts), I still enjoy eating them every once in a while. And I always pair fruity/tart desserts with a good cup of black tea.

A gym-mate brought these lemons to our gym from her tree, and I took most of them since no one else wanted to. We don’t have a lemon tree, so any opportunity where there is free lemons, I’m there. The one day when we have a permanent home, that is the one thing I would plant in our backyard.

So why a lemon tart?  I have this oddly shaped tart pan, measuring about 11in x 8in that I have not really used much. It’s tricky using such pans because you have to estimate and calculate the measurements correctly so that you make enough dough and filling to cover the entire pan. Luckily, I used my usual double batch crust recipe. After rolling out the dough and before blind baking it, I used a fork and thoroughly poked holes throughout. This prevents the dough from puffing up too much. I increased the filling measurements and it was just the right amount, with about ¼ C filling leftover. It does require a lot of egg yolks, which is fine for me because I can use the egg whites to make French Macarons.

It is important to allow the tart to completely cool after coming out of the oven before covering and refrigerating. Otherwise, condensation will form on the surface of the tart when it is ready to serve. I prefer to dust a bit of powdered sugar before serving. Another option is to serve it with some meringue.

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Crust:
12oz flour
2 sticks cold, cubed butter
7T cold water
1T cider vinegar
1tsp lemon zest

Y= 1-400g dough and 1-257g dough.

Directions:
1. In a food processor with the dough attachment, combine flour, salt, zest and butter. Pulse until mixture becomes crumbly.
2. Add the water and vinegar in thirds, pulsing in between.
3. Finish mixing the dough by hand on a floured surface. Divide dough in two pieces – one piece at 400g. Wrap, refrigerate and allow dough to rest for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
4. At this point, you can also freeze the dough.
5. Roll out the 400g dough on a floured surface. Transfer the rolled out dough to the tart pan by carefully rolling it onto your rolling pin. Press the dough into the tart pan.
6. Using a fork, thoroughly poke small holes in the dough.
7. Line a piece of parchment paper on the dough, then fill with pie weights (I use uncooked beans for weights). Blind bake at 400F for 10 minutes, remove pie weights, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Lemon Filling
11 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
8 oz sugar
lemon zest from 4 lemons
1C of lemon juice
pinch of salt
6T butter, cubed
4T heavy cream

Y= enough to fill a 11in x 8in tart pan.

Directions:
1. In a saucepan, combine yolks, eggs, sugar, zest, lemon juice and salt. Whisk to combine.
2. Place saucepan over medium heat. Continue to whisk the mixture to prevent the bottom from burning. You can also trade-off with using a spatula, which allows you to scrape the bottom of the saucepan.
3. Cook until the mixture has thicken, about 6 minutes.
4. Place a strainer over a clean bowl and pour the mixture through.
5. Add cream and stir to combine.
6. Pour lemon filling into cooled crust.
7. Bake at 375F for 12 minutes. Keep an eye out near the last few minutes as the filling can get brown. Once the filling has set, remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely before covering. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Fresh Fruit Tart

8 Nov

November 8, 2012

I made this fruit tart since I was going home to visit. My parents are big fans of fruity, not so sweet desserts, so I knew they would like this fruit tart. Berries are out of season, so be prepared to pay a little more if you want to use them for the tart. The various fruits make this tart very appealing because of the bright, vibrant colors.

You can find ready-made crust at the supermarket, but I made mine from scratch. It is a Pate Brise dough, and fairly easy to make and can be frozen if not used right away.

For the Pate Brise Dough

Ingredients:

250g cake flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

125g cold butter, cubed

65 mL water

Yield: two 8-in tarts

Directions:

  1. Sift cake flour, salt, sugar together.
  2. Cut-in butter into dries using a bench scraper until you get lentil-size pieces of butter.
  3. Form a well with the middle of the mixture. Add some water.
  4. Sift the mixture with fingers to combine the water with the dries.
  5. Add more water as needed, but be careful not to add too much water.
  6. Continue to sift mixture until the dough comes together.
  7. Wrap and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  8. Carefully roll out dough and line tart mold.
  9. Blind bake the shell at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

For the pastry cream filling

Ingredients:

474mL milk

125g sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

2 egg yolks

50g cornstarch

Yield: ~2 cups, enough to fill one 8-in tart

Directions:

  1. Heat milk, vanilla, and half of the sugar in a saucepan. Occasionally whisk the mixture.
  2. In a bowl, whisk egg, yolks, sugar, cornstarch together.
  3. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, temper the egg mixture with half the liquid. Whisk.
  4. Return the tempered mixture back to the saucepan.
  5. Heat on low while stirring constantly until the mixture slightly thickens, about two minutes.
  6. Cool pastry cream over an ice bath, or cool overnight before filling the tart shell.

Assembling

  1. Fill tart shell with pastry cream.
  2. Carefully cut and slice strawberries and kiwis.
  3. Arrange fruits in any pattern.
  4. Nappage fruits to give a glossy sheen. You can buy apricot preserves, dilute it with some water and heat the mixture up. Apply nappage using a pastry brush.

 

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