Tarts to Start 2016


2015 buttertart

Why hello there!  It has been quite some time since I posted a recipe and I can only say I owe you quite a few to catch up.

For New Year’s Eve 2015 to welcome in 2016 I have baked up some yummy tarts.  A few have pecans, a few have raisins and a few are plain to make sure everyone has the tart of their dreams.

Today’s pastry is a recipe I tried from the Magpie Recipe Book, Sweets and Savories from Philadelphia’s Favorite Pie Boutique. I’m not a great pastry maker and usually buy the premade tart shells and make my own fillings.

So this is easy, very tasty, light and flaky.  Definitely worth the small amount of effort this pastry takes. So give it a try!

For the best pastry, no matter what recipe you use, make sure to Chill, Chill, Chill your pastry before rolling.  Also do take the time to freeze your butter and shortening.

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Magpie Dough for Flaky Piecrust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and frozen

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, frozen, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon ice-cold water

In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Pulse the machine 3 times to blend.  Scatter the frozen butter cubes over the flour mixture.  Pulse the machine for 5 seconds at a time for about 5-7 times, to cut all of the butter into pea-size pieces.  Scatter the pieces of frozen shortening over the flour-and-butter mixture.  Pulse the machine for about another 4 times, for about 1 second each.  The mixture will resemble coarse cornmeal, but will be a bit more floury and riddled with pale butter bits.

Turn the mixture out into a large mixing bowl, and make a small well in the center.  If you find a few butter clumps that are closer to marble size than pea size (about 1/4-inch in diameter) carefully pick them out and give them a quick smoosh with your fingers.  Pour the cold water into the well.  Use a curved bowl scraper to lightly scoop the flour mixture up and over the water, covering the water to help get the absorption started.  Continue mixing by scraping the flour up from the sides and bottom of the bowl into the center, rotating the bowl as you mix, and occasionally pausing to clean off the scraper with your finger.  The mixture will begin to gather into clumps but will still be very crumbly.  If not sticking together add another 1 tablespoon of cold water…I did to my dough.

Lightly gather the clumps with your fingers and use your palm to fold over and press the dough a few times.  Just squish it together DO NOT KNEAD it, until it becomes together.  It will be a raggedly moist wad of dough that barely hold together.

This is how it should look.  Now wrap it well and put it into the fridge to rest overnight.  Minimum 8 hours in the fridge before using.

Rolling:

Lightly flour a smooth work surface and a rolling pin.

Take the chilled disk of dough out of the fridge.  Give it a couple of firm squeezes then unwrap it.

Use the rolling pin to press the dough down, turning it in quarter turns, until you have flattened it enough to start rolling.  Scatter a bit more flour as needed to stop sticking.

Roll from the middle out turning dough a quarter turn each time until about 1/4-inch thick.  Cut into 4 or 4 1/2-inch rounds to fit into your tart/muffin tins.

Now fill with your favourite buttertart filling and bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Then turn down to 375F and bake for another 10-12 minutes until filling is bubbling and edges are brown.

I made about 15 tarts with some dough left over.  I squished the leftovers together and wrapped it in saran and then a ziplock bag and put in the freezer.  I can probably get another 6 tart shells out of it and will save it for some mini quiches or more butter tarts.  It will freeze for about 1-2 months well wrapped.

Happy New Year 2016 and I hope you drop by again in the upcoming months!

2015 buttertart

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