Tart Recipes with Tips

Serving a fruit tart is an elegant way to present a dessert that family and friends will love. A fruit tart is a gorgeous pastry crust, browned to perfection and filled with rich pastry cream. The cream is topped with seasonal fruit and glazed to give it extra sparkle and shine. Whether a single fruit is used or a combination of fruits, one thing is for certain, it’s difficult to resist the beauty of this dessert.

A fruit tart is best enjoyed the day it is made. However, the best part about making a fruit tart is that the pastry shell can be made a few days in advance so it can be quite a timesaver.

For many bakers, making pastry is one of life’s great pleasures. Whether it’s a tart or pie, there are a few secrets that can help you get a successful shortcrust pastry every time.

As with most baking projects, it’s important to start off well prepared. It makes the entire process much easier and quicker.

For most shortcrust recipes, you will need:

  • Large baking bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Dinner knife
  • Flat spatula
  • Plastic wrap or cling film

There is an old saying that cold hands make good pastry. The first golden rule of making shortcrust pastry is to keep the ingredients, the bowl, the surface, and your hands as cool as possible. When the pastry mixture becomes too warm, the end result is a greasy and/or heavy, dull finished pastry crust.

Always put pastry into a preheated, hot oven (425 °F /220 °C/ Gas 7). If the oven is too cool the pastry will melt rather than cook.

No one wants a soggy bottom when their pastry is cooked. To ensure your tart or pie crust is crisp, place a heavy baking sheet in the oven while it is heating up. When you’re ready, place the tart or pie directly on the heated tray.

Fruit Tart
Ingredients
For the Custard:
  • 2 ½ cups of Whole Milk
  • ¼ cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • Zest of ½ Lemon
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Paste or 1 Envelope of Vanilla
  • Small Pinch of Salt
For the Crust:
  • 2 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp of Lemon Zest
  • ¼ tsp of Salt
  • 1 Envelope of Vanilla or 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Envelope of Pandegliangeli or 1 ½ tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 cup of Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Shot Glass of ½ Limoncello and ½ Strega optional
Additional Ingredients:
  • Fresh Fruit of your choice
  • 1 Envelope of Tortagel Gelatin Specifically for this tart Prepared according to package
Instructions
  1. To make the custard, add all your custard ingredients in a large saucepan and with the heat turned off, whisk them all together to combine.
  2. Place your custard over medium heat and cook it stirring the whole time until the custard thickens. Strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl, cover the custard with plastic wrap (make sure the plastic wrap is touching the custard) and pop it in the fridge completely.
  3. To make the crust:
  4. On your counter add the flour, sugar, vanilla, pandegliangeli, lemon zest, sugar and butter and start combining all your ingredients together.
  5. Add the eggs and liquor and continue to mix in your ingredients adding more flour as necessary and kneading it until you have a smooth dough formed.
  6. Grease 2 10” tart pans and set aside. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece until it’s about ⅛” thick. Place each piece of rolled dough in the tart pans making sure to trim the excess. Using a form, prick the bottom and sides of the pan a few times. Bake them in a 375-degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, allow them to cool completely!
  7. To assemble the tart, divide your cream between the two tart shells, decorate them with the fruit of your choice in any pattern you like and gently spoon the tortagel mixture over the fruit making sure to cover the fruit completely!!
  8. Pop the tarts in the fridge for about an hour or until the gelatin is completely set!
Chocolate Tart
Ingredients
  • 1 stick 110g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup 30g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups 160g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup 50g ground almonds
  • 1/4 tsp 1g salt
  • 1 tbsp 15ml milk
  • Chocolate Filling
  • 7 oz 200g semisweet chocolate 55-70%
  • 2/3 cup 160g whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup 80ml milk
  • 2 small eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp 30g sugar
  • 1 tsp 5g vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Prepare the crust, in this case pate sablee. In a large bowl mix butter with powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and continue mixing until well combined and creamy.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk flour with ground almonds and salt and add to butter mixture.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour mixture into the butter until combined. Make sure you don’t overwork the dough.
  5. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, form into a disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  7. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap until it’s about 12in (30cm) in diameter.
  8. Press the dough onto the bottom and edges of a 8- 9 inch (20-23cm) tart pan. Cut the excess dough.
  9. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before baking.
  10. Prick the dough with a fork, line a parchment paper over the dough. Fill with dry beans, rice or pie weights.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and the parchment paper. Return to oven for another 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool before filling.
  12. Reduce oven temperature to 325F (160C).
  13. Prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan bring the cream and milk to a simmer over medium-low heat (Do not boil).
  14. Remove from heat and add the chocolate cut in smaller pieces. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar and vanilla and stir to combine. Add eggs one at a time and whisk to combine.
  15. Pour the chocolate filling over the cooled crust and bake for 20 minutes.
  16. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate the tart for at least 2 hours.
  17. Decorate as desired and cut slices using a hot knife.
Pecan Butter Tarts
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe 2-crust pie dough shaped into 2 logs and chilled
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown or demerara sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup lightly toasted pecan pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Pull the chilled dough from the fridge 20 minutes before rolling.
  2. Cut each of the logs of chilled pie dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured work surface to just under a ¼-inch thick and use a 4 ½ inch round cookie cutter to cut each into a circle. Line each muffin cup with the pastry so that it comes about ½-inch higher than the muffin tin, and chill the lined tin while preparing the filling.
  3. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepot over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is bubbling. Remove the pot from the heat.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and salt and slowly pour in the hot sugar mixture while whisking constantly until incorporated. Sprinkle a few pecan pieces into the bottom of each tart shells and ladle or pour the filling into each shell.
  5. Bake the tarts for 10 minutes at 400 °F, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 °F and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust edges have browned. Cool the tarts in the tin and after about 5 minutes, carefully twist them around in the pan to prevent sticking and keep them in the pan until completely cooled. The butter tarts should be stored refrigerated but are best served at room temperature. The tarts can be stored chilled for up to 3 days.

Crust Tips:

For a flaky pie crust, mix until the dough forms large pieces. It should hold together when you squeeze it, with some dry crumbly bits remaining around the edges. If it seems too dry, add a little more liquid.

To roll out pie dough, place between two sheets of lightly floured wax or parchment paper. Roll from the center to the edge, rotating the dough a quarter turn after each movement for an even, round crust.

To safely transfer dough, position a lightly floured rolling pin at the top of the circle of pastry. Gently roll the dough around the rolling pin, flouring if needed to prevent sticking.

Flute the crust by pressing a finger into the rim of the crust against two fingers on the other side of the crust to make an even impression. Repeat every 1/2-inch around the pie to create a ruffled edge.

Some recipes require blind baking or baking the pastry shell before it is filled. To prevent the dough from rising, line it with a lightly greased sheet of parchment paper and fill with dried beans.

If crust begins to brown to quickly, make a pie shield. Fold a square of foil into quarters, then triangles. Measure the pie, then cut out the center of the foil. Press the outer ring around the edge.

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