Monday, August 14, 2006

Fruit Tarts - meant to have posted this about a month ago



On Friday, I decided to make some fruit tarts not really for any particular reason, maybe because i hadnt made any plans to go out or anything, plus I wanted to try a new recipe for shorcrust pastry because all my other attempts have failed miserably.

The recipe that I used came from The Cooks Book which I bought quite a while back and I think its one of the best books that I have now! ^-^

The recipe I think was a bit too salty even though I had reduced the amount suggested and added more sugar than was required, but I am happy to say that the recipe worked really well for me and i actually successfully made a good shortcrust pastry. The resting time for the dough however was 2 hours so that made me slightly impatient but I kept to that time and at the end of the day, ended up with some gorgeous tarts!!! The dough didnt crack or tear so I think this is definately one that I'm going to use over and over again!!! (after I've used the huge ball that was left over which i placed in the freezer)

The Foolproof Pastry!!!!! - makes about 1Kg!!!!

375g Unsalted Butter (softenend and cubed)
2Tsp Salt (This was waaay too much so i would halve this amount to 1Tsp)
1 Egg Yolk
2Tsp Caster Sugar (I have a sweet tooth so I added quite a lot more)
100ml Full Fat Milk (warmed to room temperature)
500g Plain White Flour (sifted) (plus extra for dusting)

Method

1) Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until soft, then stir in the salt and egg yolk. Mix the sugar into the milk then pour into the butter mixture and stir constantly until well mixed in.

2)Gradually add the sifter flour to the butter and stir together with a large wooden spoon.

3)Once the mixture begins to come together, turn out onto a clean worksurface and lightly knead until it just forms a soft, moist dough. Try not to over-work the dough or you will end up with a very elastic bready textured shortcrust pastry.

4)Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm then refridgerate for 2 hours. ....yes it says 2 hours!!! this will stop the dough from shrinking once it goes into the oven.

When I took it out of the fridge it was solid like a rock and I got a bit impatient with it and bashed it a few times with my rolling pin...parents thought there was an earthquake. but this didnt seem to effect the finished pastry.

I rolled it out and lined a few tart cases with the pastry and then froze the rest that was left.

Using a fork, I pricked the bottom of the tart shells a few times, then lined them with greaseproof paper and filled them with baking beans.

I think I baked them for 15 minutes at 180°C. might have been a bit less longed but I can't remember.

To finish, I filled the tarts with a layer of Patisserie cream and a layer of whipped cream as my relatives love whipped cream...I'm not a huge fan. And of course I decorated them with lots of fresh fruit then glazed with a mixture of sugar, water and apple jam.

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