Whenever I think of some of my favorite things to prepare, tiny tarts always come to mind. Truly they are so varied there have been books written in their honor. These are two I personally made using sweet dough, pastry cream, lemon curd and fresh strawberries. Topped off with apricot glaze and meringue which was torched on top. They were so good!
To me … taste is everything. What good does it do to purchase a beautifully sculpted dessert only to be disappointed when you taste it? Flavor, fresh ingredients, but most important, is the way a cook interprets a recipe. I could go into an array of cooking terms, but this is not the focus of my post.
Simply put, it all comes down to the cook who prepares your food. Either they’ve ‘got it’ or they don’t.
Since yesterday was Thanksgiving and a very lovely one for me and my family, I get to focus on this special time of the year whereby the whole winter season becomes a place filled with goodies and treats. Black Friday’s have never been a shopping day of mine. I always wait to shop until two weeks before Christmas. For me, today signifies the day when I begin to think of the traditional recipes I might choose from and all of the recipe books I will pour over, in order to determine which I will prepare for family and friends.
This is such a special time of the year plus it is my favorite. During the next few weeks I will dwell on the subject of food. It is one closest to my heart and the beauty we can express when inventing a new menu or trying a new recipe is a fun way to share the holidays.
Fridays have always been my favorite day of the week as it heralds in the weekend. Many work 40 hours a week. But have you considered that from 5PM on Friday until 9AM on Monday, there are 64 hours to enjoy? Yes. The weekends are in fact longer than the work week.
Well … if you are ready to enjoy the weekend, please feel free to roam my site and look back over the last 19 months of posts. There are some excellent recipes I have included for you to try.
Pete Sucree (Sweet Dough)
Pie and Tart Doughs
Pate Sucree / Sweet Tart Dough
Very rich, crisp; not flaky. Used in tarts or tartletts. Sweet never savory fillings. It is a sturdy dough and should crumble in your mouth.
8 oz softened butter
4 oz sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon zest
1 large egg
12 oz A P flour
1/4 t salt
1) Cream butter in in mixer with paddle, with a little sugar to cut the butter.
2) Add the remaining sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and egg. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
3) Add all of the flour and salt. Stir until just mixed and dough holds together when pressed. Place onto work area and shim down until evenly blended. Cut in half.
4) Wrap in plastic wrap and let cool in refrigerator 30 minutes or until cool and firm.
5) Shape dough by rolling it out quickly…moving and lifting so it will not stick to surface…on a lightly floured and cold work area. Roll to 1/8 ” for thicker tarts and to desired thickness for other shapes. Any scraps may be add back to the dough and rolled out again. This is a non directional dough.
6) Place over rolling pin and transfer to lightly greased tarts pan. Reinforce walls, roll off top and crimp edges.
7) Rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until cool and firm.
Bake in preheated oven 350º to 375º 15 to 18 minutes or until amber in color. Bake blind by lining inside with parchment paper and using weights (remove the weights after partially baking and return to oven.) You may also dock the dough; pricking the bottom with tiny holes to allow steam to escape and bake for the specified time. You can bake right out of the freezer too.
Fill according to recipe. You may also use in a recipe which calls for a raw shell to be filled and baked together.
Yield is approximately 2 8″ tarts or 12 2 1/2″ to 3″ tartletts.
Unfilled shells may be kept at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 3 months. Unrolled dough 1 week in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer. To extend the shelf life of a baked shell you may use glaze, egg wash, whole eggs, whites, sugar, 10X, caramel, frangipane, thin layer of chocolate, glaze. For any egg used return shell to heat, in order to seal the surface.