Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Forced Creativity

I don't even know what to call this....ummmm. Lets go with: "Chocolate cream tart with raspberry coconut topping"? I bought tart pans. It's a secret desire of mine to be able to make bakery quality tarts. So, better get practicing. I started with a basic Sweet Tart Dough with Pasty Cream (see recipes below). Then...realized I didn't have any fresh OR frozen berries for the top. So...I added chocolate the the pastry cream (hoping it wouldn't totally ruin didn't). It still looked I pulled the can of Rasp. Pie Filling from the cupboard and spread it on. Better...but still boring. So...coconut caught my eye. Yes...much better. But it still needed a finish. So, I drizzled melted white chocolate on top. This is by far one of more wreckless things I've potential to ruining my first ever tart. But...what do you know. I got creative without a recipe and it turned out! Woo hoo! Next time, however, I will use fresh berries...and recommend anybody who bakes this to do the same. Don't let the long instructions fool you...this is really easy to make. Enjoy! -Matti

Sweet Tart Dough
by Dorie Greenspan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine
Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in--you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses--about 10 seconds each--until the dough, whisk will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change--heads up.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and , very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.To press the dough into the pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked.
Don't be too heavy-handed--press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
(Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) To partially or fully bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crustPut the tart pan on a baking sheet to bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a coking rack (keep it in is pan).To fully bake the crust: Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. (Keep a close eye on the crust's progress--it can go from golden to way too dark in a flash). Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

To patch a partially or fully baked crust, if necessary: If there are any cracks in the baked crust, patch them with some of the reserved raw dough as soon as you remove the foil. Slice off a thin piece of the dough, place it over the crack, moisten the edges and very gently smooth the edges into the baked crust. If the tart will not be baked again with its filling, bake for another 2 minutes or so, just to that the rawness off the patch.
Storing: Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months I (Dorie), prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer--it has the fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes to the baking time.
Sweet Tart Dough With Nuts--

This dough has a slightly more assertive flavor than Sweet Tart Dough, but you can use the two interchangeably. For the nut dough, reduce the amount of flour to 1 1/4 cups and add 1/4 cup finely ground almonds (or walnuts, pecans, or pistachios).

by Dorie Greenspan

2 cups whole milk
1 plump, moist vanilla been, split and scraped
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons (1 3/4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 3 pats

1. Bring the milk and vanilla bean (pulp and pod) to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and allow the milk to infuse for at least 10 minutes or for up to 1 hour.

2. If the milk has cooled, it will need to be reheated now.

3. Whisk the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Whisking constantly, drizzle one-quarter of the hot milk over the yolks. When the yolks are warm, whisk the remainder of the milk into the yolks in a steadier stream; remove and discard the pod (or save it to make vanilla sugar).

4. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, bring the mixture to the boil. Keep at the boil—still whisking energetically—for 1 to 2 minutes before pulling the pan from the heat and pressing the cream through a sieve into the small bowl. Let the cream sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the butter. (THIS IS POINT WHERE I STIRRED IN 1 CUP OF MELTED MILK CHOCOLATE CHIPS!) Cover the cream with a piece of plastic wrap—press the wrap against the cream—and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. You can speed up the chill by putting the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water. (Keeping: Covered tightly with plastic wrap, pastry cream can be refrigerated for 2 days. To smooth the chilled cream, whisk it for a few seconds.)

-Fill cooled crust with cooled pastry cream. -Top with berries (fresh is best) -Sprinkle with shredded coconut -Drizzle with white melted chocolate -Eat.


Cristie said...

Looks wonderful! Amazing for your first try at a tart!

CORMELS said...

yummmm! Wish I were eating treats!