Tips for Totally Terrific Tarts
Tarts – the less crusty and more elegant version of single crust pies – are one of the most delectable desserts you can make. Fortunately, they are easy to create, use tasty and healthy fruits or berries and are no more difficult to make than the more familiar pie.
Take a look at Our Deer’s excellent tart recipes for glimpse at the variety tarts can give, then try your hand at a sweet (or savory) tart today.
How to Select Tart Pan
Tarts should be made in a tart pan, which is shallower than an ordinary pie pan. Tart pans come in many sizes, from single-serving pans to extra-large, multi-serving pans. (If the pan is less than 4 inches around, it’s really a tartlet pan.) Most tart pans are metal and have a removable bottom, which allows you to slip the tart out of the pan easily.
It’s also possible to make a tart using a tart ring (or a “flan ring”). The ring sits directly on a baking sheet, and is designed for crisper crusts – usually on savory tarts.
The Perfect Tart Crust
Many people find the crust the trickiest part of making a tart. However, by following just a few tips, your crusts can turn out flaky and delicious.
If your tart recipe doesn’t have a crust recipe along with it, you can use any good pie dough recipe. Flatten the dough into a disk and chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This will make the dough easier to roll out – and flakier, too.
To make the crust flakier still, try rolling it out between two sheets of parchment paper. Why does this make the crust flakier? Because you’ll use less flour. It also makes for a less messy kitchen.
Roll the dough into a circle that’s slightly larger than your tart pan. Place the crust in the pan and trim the dough, if needed. Crimp the dough to the edges of the pan. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork. To keep the crust nice and dry, try baking it by itself, with some dry beans in the bottom to weigh it down. Bake for ten minutes, then add the filling and continue to bake.
Filling for Tart
If you’re making a fruit tart, consider exchanging potato starch for the cornstarch or arrowroot called for in the recipe. This will thicken the filling without altering the taste of the fruit.
For high acid fillings (like cherries), use quick cooking tapioca instead.
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