Thursday, July 13, 2006

She bought a Tart Pan

After recently making several recipes in a springform pan that called for a tart pan, I finally bought a tart pan. I bought a 9" one and four mini-ones (4"). I used them for the first time after buying a big bag of cherries at the market, and calling a friend to come to dinner with her greyhound, Carla. (the photo is Carla and Kingsley each on a bed in our dining room)

I kinda made this recipe up as I went along, but the tart dough recipe came from Martha's Baking Handbook (a recent purchase after paging through it in every bookstore I went in since February)

Tart dough:
6Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
2 tsp heavy cream

Beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the egg yolks one-at-a-time. Add half of the flour and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour, salt and the cream and mix till just combined. Dump onto a piece of plastic wrap and press into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or freeze for future use.

From here on out I made up what I did as I went along. I read several of Martha's tart recipes and Ina's, and proceeded from there. I rolled out the dough and pressed it in to each of the 4 small tart pans. I pricked the bottom with a fork and froze them for 15 minutes. I preheated my oven to 350. I covered each tart shell with foil and weighed them down with beans and blind baked the crusts for 10 minutes. While they baked Tim pitted cherries for me, and I mixed them with about 1 Tbsp flour and a couple tsp of sugar and some sliced almonds. To slightly cooled tart shells, I added my cherries and almonds, and baked them for another 15 minutes. After the tart cooled I removed them from the pans, and I glazed them with some melted apricot jelly, thinned with a bit of water. I just painted that mixture over all the surfaces with my pastry brush to try to make a shiny end-product.

They were pretty good. I certainly have tons of things to try, but I did like the more shortbread-like tart dough, versus a light and flakey pie dough. I will be excited to try some savory tarts for appetizers or first courses in my new mini-tart pans too!

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