19 January 2007

sweet little things

tartlets! what a good way to end my holiday baking stint. once again, its my first attempt at baking proper tarts and it turned out really well, i should say. the tart shells were nice and crusty, slightly sweet, almost like a cookie. for a first timer, i should have stuck with traditional tart dough recipes that were tested and tried over and over and published in books. but no! the usual, ambitious me decided to try the recipe for tart dough i found on alpine berry. but i'm glad i did! my rebellious side was probably showing when i ever so slightly changed the recipe. i added an egg to enrich the dough after referencing from Sweet Food. i'm so lucky i succeeded.

Tart Dough

230g butter
90g sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
300g flour
1-2 tbsp cold water

Cream butter until smooth and light in colour (about 2mins).
Add sugar, vanilla essence, salt and egg and beat for another 2mins.
Add flour and mix on low speed.
Add just enough cold water to moisten the flour until it the mixture forms pea-sized bits.
Form dough into a disk and refridgerate for at least 1 hour.
Lightly butter and flour tart tins.
To line tart tins, roll dough to the thickness of 1/8 of an inch on a lightly floured surface. Alternatively, take balls of dough and press into tins.
Prick the base of tart shells with a fork.
Refridgerate lined tart tins for 15 mins or until firm.
Bake in pre-heated oven (175 degC) for 15 - 30mins depending on size of tins.

the recipe i used for the custard was adapted from a recipe for vanilla cream i found on La Tartine Gourmande. i made only 1/3 of the recipe as i only made a batch of 10 tartlets. making small batches proved to be very troublesome. but still the outcome wasnt too bad. it wasnt too sweet (maybe because i decreased the sugar) and had the a nice eggy flavour from the egg yolk. it wasnt smooth enough though, and that was probably due to the fact that i didnt stir enough while cooking or that it was cooled for too long before i spooned it into my tart shells. but it still tasted good!

Custard Filling

125ml milk
1-2 drops vanilla essence
1 egg yolk
20g sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp butter

Beat yolk, sugar and cornstarch in an electric mixer until thick and light in colour.
Bring milk and vanilla essence to a boil.
Add hot milk gradually to egg mixture while beating on low speed.
Transfer mixture into the pan again to cook, stirring frequently until thick.
Let cool.

Spoon lukewarm custard into cooled tart shells.
Top with sliced fruits (kiwis, plums, nectarines, etc.) or other garnishes (orange zest, sugar decorations).


mae said...

These are so, so cute. In fact, too cute to eat. I'd just want to stare at them... :)


evinrude said...

Aha! Thanks. ^^ I love cute little things.