Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Lemon Blueberry Tartlettes
There are five basic parts to this tart:
1. The pate sucree. Pate sucree has more sugar than the Pate Brisee and is therefore a crispier, sweeter tart shell. The recipe came from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard. I am loving this book! Those of you familiar with pie dough making will see that Sherry puts it together more like a cookie dough (creaming butter first, then add sugar, then eggs, then flour) instead of the usual way I think of making pastry (cutting cold butter into flour and then adding liquid.) I figured the dough would shrink during blind baking (baking an unfilled pie shell) but it did not shrink at all! It was buttery, crisp and delicious.
2. Raspberry jam.
3. Lemon Curd. I used the lemon curd recipe from a wonderful blog I found recently called The Pastry Pal. I highly recommend this website for those of you who like to see step-by-step preparations along with wonderful stories and photos from someone who has worked as a professional pastry chef for several years. Irina has only been posting for two months, so if you want to get caught up on the site from the beginning, it would not be hard to do. You will definitely learn something. So far I've learned that lots of butter in lemon curd makes a fantastic lemony treat!
4. Fresh fruit - any fruit in season would be wonderful on this tart.
5. Apricot jam. Strained and thinned with water for a shiny glaze.
adapted from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard
enough for two 9- or 10- inch tarts, or 16 mini tarts
1/2 pound butter, softened but still cool
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
3 cups pastry flour, sifted
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1. Place the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly creamed. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar and mix for 30 seconds.
2. Add the salt and egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
3. Add the flour and mix until the dough just about comes together, about 30 seconds. Add the cream, then pulse the mixer on low speed for 15-30 seconds, or until the dough is smooth.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl, divide it in half, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 4 hours. At this point, the dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or may be rolled out and frozen for up to 1 month.
5. When you remove the dough from the refrigerator, it will be very hard. To make it pliable enough to roll out, you must soften it without warming it up too much. I cut the dough into several pieces and gently kneaded each piece, then gathered the pieces back together into a ball.
6. Roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness, using a small amount of flour on the board and rolling pin to keep it from sticking. Cut the dough into circles about an inch wider than the tart pans and gently place the dough into the tart pan, being careful not to stretch the dough too much. Press the dough into the sides of the tart pan and use a rolling pin or a knife to cut off the excess dough. Place the tarts in the freezer while the oven is heating.
7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the rack to the lower third of the oven. Prick the bottom of the pastry shell a few times with a fork. Line each tart with a piece of aluminum foil and fill it with dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and filling and bake 5-10 minutes more, or until deep golden brown. Cool on a rack before using.
from The Pastry Pal
3 large eggs
3 large eggs yolks
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, cut up into small pieces
1. Fill a medium pot with a couple of inches of water and bring to a boil.
2. Place the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt into a large metal mixing bowl and whisk together. Keep the butter chilled.
3. Set the bowl over the pot with boiling water. This is our faux double boiler.
4. You must whisk the entire time the bowl is over the water. Keep the mixture moving, so the eggs don’t get a chance to scramble. After a few minutes it starts to get frothy. (If necessary, hold the bowl still by gripping the edge with a kitchen towel.) Keep whisking. After a few more minutes, it transforms into something creamy. Whisk for another minute just to thicken it up.
5. Take the bowl off the heat. Feed it a handful of butter and whisk it in. The residual heat of the curd will melt it. Keep adding handfuls of butter until it’s all in and fully incorporated. If you still see any little lumps, return to the double boiler for a brief minute, until it disappears, but this is rarely necessary.
6. Push the curd though a fine mesh sieve into a container. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate. Once it’s completely cold, wrap the whole container tightly and store. (The curd will firm up considerably as it cools. Give it a good stir to loosen it up again before using.) You can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to a month. To defrost, let the container thaw in the fridge overnight.
To assemble the tarts:
1. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on the bottom of the tart shell.
2. Stir the refrigerated lemon curd until smooth and place enough in the tart to almost fill the tart shell.
3. Place the fresh fruit on top of the lemon curd.
4. With a pastry brush, apply a thin layer of strained apricot jam over the entire tart.
5. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint if desired.
6. Refrigerate the tarts until ready to serve. Serve these tarts the same day they are assembled.
One year ago: Favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup