Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tasty Tarts

One of the most delicious and versatile baked treats to make is a tart. It's an elegant alternative to cake and pie, always looking perfect on a dessert table. One of the best aspects of any tart recipe is that you can make one or a dozen with basically the same recipe.They all are mouthwatering , with their glazed crusts  and rich fillings of fruit, cream or ganache.

A tart is basically a topless pie with usually a short crust.meaning it has a lot of shortening or lard in the recipe. Many professional and home bakers will sub in butter for a richer flavor and more crumbly crust. The pastry has been around since the medieval period, starting off with more meat than fruit fillings. The French quiche , German zweibelkuchen or onion pie and Swiss Gruyere pie are savory forms of it. Most tarts are now either custard or fruit filled. The truest form of tart is probably the English custard tart.It has a rich egg yolk filling, sort of similar to the Italian zabaglione.Any home chef can easily make them and also personalize them too. They can add in a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. or do a dusting of toasted coconut or toasted almonds on top.A Gallic variation is the tarte aux flan, a creamy one that has the light Spanish based custard as a filling. fruit tarts are a great way of using the fruits of the season. Nothing beats the sweet and tangy flavor of both apple and pear tarts.

Are tarts easy to make? They may seem complicated with all their steps but they're can be made by any novice home baker. The  star of any tart is the crust. This is what makes it extraordinary. If it's too soggy, then the whole thing is gloppy.The preliminary steps are similar to making a regular pie crust.The dough should be chilled, anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour The crust should be rolled out to an even thickness and then placed into a two piece tart pan.Remember the dough is supposed to be tender so don't worry if there's tears. These can be mended.If it's baked without the filling then prick the sides and bottom with a fork to prevent shrinkage. Don't do anything if the tart is to be baked with a filling.Luckily tart crust can be made with gluten free flour Tarts can also be made with almond or any ground nuts too. Beginners should start off with the simple custard tart and then work their way up to fruit and ganache filled ones.

Tarts are an elegant alternative to pie. They are easy to make for any home baker, who wants a classier dessert with no fuss. These fit the bill perfectly.

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