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Tart crust

One of my ambitions was to succeed perfect tart crusts like these. I actually didn't count how many times I tried it without being satisfied about the results. There were times when the dough was stretched back in the oven and the crust was unusable to hold any pastry cream inside. However, when this happened, my kids were happy as they just ate them as biscuits. Sometimes the stretch was just a little, but still it was not what I was looking for. I changed also the recipes many times hoping to find a finally a good one.
Another aspect in my trials was to find a good recipe. For me, using 6 egg yolks just for tart crust was not a good idea as I had to do something else with the whites. Another constant issue was the amount of sugar. I saw recipes with 250g of sugar only in the crust and this for me is definitively unacceptable. I could add sugar in the filling of the tart but the tart itself I prefer to have light amount of sugar.
With so many restrictions and so many expectations, one day I found this incredible recipe. Not too much sugar, only 1 egg used and.... perfect shape after baking.
With time I also though that my failures were due to wrong tools and this proved to be partially true. I purchased special perforated tart rings, special perforated silicone mat and special perforated tray only to increase my chances of success. But when trying them the first time, I was again disappointing. It was clear to me then that the problem was the recipe I used and not only the tools. But the next recipe I tried turned out as I so long wished. So yes, tools might help. A lot. But it's not only about the tools. Nevertheless, I intend to bake more tart crusts not only using these tart rings but also other types. We shall see about this in the future.

Until then, I cannot wait to fill in these crust with some pastry cream before my kids discovering them and eating them as they are.

Ingredients:
  • 240g all purpose flour
  • 95g powdered sugar
  • 35g almond powder
  • 120g cold butter (diced)
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt

Directions:
  1. In a standing mixer bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, almond powder, salt and cold butter. Mix with a pallet attachement of the mixer. It is ready when the flower becomes sandy and the butter is completely integrated.
  2. Add the egg in the mixer bowl and continue to mix. This will form the dough that we need.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl and and stretch it between 2 silicone baking sheets. I prefer silicone baking sheets as they are reusable but paper baking sheets are perfectly fine as well. The dough should be stretch to 3mm thick. This is very thick for a dough. To achieve this I used special dough sticks guides of 3mm on the sides. The extra dough over passing the boarders keep it for a second batch of dough to stretch.
  4. Place this stretched dough in the freezer for 15 minutes, while keeping it between the baking sheets.
  5. Remove it from the freezer and cut it immediately. First, remove the baking sheets on both sides of the dough. You'll need now to work very fast as the dough is melting very quickly. If this happens, place it back in the freezer for few minutes and continue afterwards.
    Best is to use perforated baking rings. Use the ring to cut the bottom and leave the dough inside the ring. Then cut with a knife or pastry cutter the stripes that cover the borders inside the rings.  Gently press the dough with your fingers to the boarders to insure the dough is entering the wholes of the perforated rings. This insures also that the dough won''t stretch back in the oven. Use a knife to cut the dough that pass over the borders.
  6. With a fork, make some holes on the bottom of the tart shells. This is to avoid bumping while baking. As I am using perforated silicone mat and tray I think this step is totally optional.
  7. Place them on a silicone mat that is also perforated. Place this silicone mat on a perforated silicone sheet as well. This allows the air to circulate while baking the tart crusts.
  8. When done, place them in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven at 160ÂșC for no more than 15 minutes.
  10. Remove them from the oven and let them cool before unmolding them. They will shrink a bit when cooling so they will be easy to remove. And voila, you just baked perfect tart crusts.

Recipe from here.

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