Chocolate tarts and acing shortcrust pastry

Making a pie crust is a therapeutic process. Ofcourse they are fragile, need a lot of TLC and patience but with time and a little bit of technique, it can be a breeze.
This was my third attempt at making shortcrust pastry. I spent a lot of time reading different pie recipes and understanding the science of pie making and that helped me immensely while I was making this batch.

I should also give some credit to the beautiful gourmet unsalted butter I used.

Now I have seen a lot of recipes that jump straight into the filling by saying “choose your favourite crust”. The challenge is to find that recipe that works for you. I can safely say I found mine.

Shortcrust rule of thumb – Chill chill chill. Chill the butter, chill the flour, chill the bowls, chill the pastry after putting into the shells. Chill and chill some more till it goes into the oven. (I think I sound a bit like Gordon Ramsay now)

And after these are done, you can let your whim take over and pour in any kind of filling you wish to. Mushrooms/chicken in bechamel kind of savoury or lemon curd, raspberry or mascarpone kind of sweet. The possibilities are endless.

I played safe with ganache because you cannot go wrong with dark chocolate, can you?

I like this recipe because my mother liked it (she is generally very critical and not very easy to please with desserts). We demolished this in seconds.

I also made some raspberry jam from frozen raspberries along with these tarts that I generously spread on my toast this morning. The verdict is out: Bye bye store bought jams!

Ingredients:

200 gms of All purpose flour
100 gms of unsalted butter cut in cubes ( I used Elle&Vire)
About 3 tbsps of chilled water
A pinch of salt
1 tsp of sugar

Method:

Keep butter, flour chilled in the fridge for about 40 mins.

Add a pinch of salt and sugar to the chilled flour. Add the cubes of butter and mix slowly with fingertips till the mixture resembles that of bread crumbs. You can use a food processor. Uneven sizes of fat in the mixture is totally okay.

Add this point, create a well in the center of the mixture and gradually add a tablespoon of water bringing the pastry dough together in slow swirling motion, add another tablespoon of water till the dough comes together. Make sure the dough is not wet. We don’t want to roll out a butter flour mash instead of pastry.

Bring the dough together, cover with cling film and refrigerate for minimum of 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry, place in tart cases, cut the extra edges with a knife and pierce the pastry with fork. Keep the filled tart cases in the fridge for another 15-20 mins.

Preheat oven 200 degrees for 10 mins. Blind bake tart shells for 15 mins on 200 degree Celsius. Remove beans and bake for another 6-7 minutes at 180 degree Celsius (you can add egg wash here so the tart doesn’t get soggy once you pour your filling)

Cool tartlets completely and add filling of your choice.

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6 thoughts on “Chocolate tarts and acing shortcrust pastry

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