I have noticed my students always make the same little mistakes with their tarts/pies. I have selected 10 steps, to adjust easily your recipe or technique to improve the quality of your tarts/pies.
Tips 1: So many recipes ask you to add the flour little by little. This can overwork the glutens and make your dough tough. Your dough will shrink when you roll it and/or when you bake it.
Claire’s tip:Add the flour in one or two batches (no more), and mix on slow speed.
Tips 2: Be patient and rest your dough! It’s really important to allow your dough to rest to let the gluten relax. Once the dough is mixed, wrap in plastic film and let rest for at least one hour in a fridge. When your dough is rolled into the mold and ready, allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes in the fridge, which is about the time it will take to get the filling ready.
Claire’s tip:Allow your dough to rest in a fridge; you will see a big change on texture and visual aspect of your tart. You can plan in advance and prepare your dough few days before. Keep the dough wrapped in a fridge or freezer.
Tips 3: To have a nice buttery texture, it’s important not to overmix your dough. Overmixing or overhandling your dough can result to a though crust or a cakey crust rather than a crisp tart shell.
Claire’s tip:Mix on speed 1 if using a mixer, it will take little longer but the texture you will get is worth it. Stop mixing as soon as you have all the ingredients combined. Do not try to have something perfectly smooth; you will continue work your dough when you roll and knead it..
Tips 4: Let’s talkabout filling! We all love a nice and rich filling, but too many ingredients can muddle flavors.
Claire’s tip:Do not overfill your tart, and allow space for the filling to rise (if this is the case). Do not mix too many flavors together, instead selected good quality products.
Tips 5: How to get blind bake tart shell perfect, every time? As mention on a Tip 2, let your lined tart shell in a fridge for at least 15 minutes, then remove and;
– Place a sheet of parchment or waxed paper over the shell.
– Cover the paper with dried pulses (for example: beans, lentils, rice, etc.).
– Do not overload the tart shell. If you place too much weight on your tart shell, it will get too thin during baking.
– Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven (180°C or 350°F) then remove the paper with the dried pulses and bake for a further 5 minute in a oven to dry out the middle of your tart shell.
Claire’s tip:Cover the paper evenly with dried pulses (not too much). Bake you tart shell 20 minutes then an extra 5 minutes after removing the parchment paper and the dried beans.
Tips 6: When rolling your dough, sprinkle your working surface with flour so the dough doesn’t stick. Be careful not to dust it too heavily. Also sprinkle your rolling pin and the top of your dough and rotate regularly to avoid your dough sticking to the table. Roll out to a thickness of 3-4 mm. If you are a beginner, making the tart shell thicker will be easier for you to line your tart mold.
Claire’s tip:Use flour on your working surface, to avoid your dough sticking to the table. Do not roll out your dough too thin.
Tips 7: Bring some flavor and texture to your dough. When using your basic sweet pastry dough recipe, you can replace a part of your flour weigh with ground nuts (almond, walnut, etc) or different flour (buckwheat, quinoa, rye, etc).
Claire’s tip:Replace a part of your flour weigh with different ingredients. Use always the same basic recipe, and follow the same steps.
Tips 8: If your basic sweet dough recipe contains caster sugar, the texture can be grainy. If you keep your dough in a fridge too long you will likely notice that your dough will sweat small drops of water when you remove it from the fridge.
Claire’s tip:Change from caster sugar to icing sugar, but keep the same quantity. You will obtain smoother dough, light and more crumbly dough. You can also keep this dough longer in the fridge.
Tips 9: When mixing your dough, use butter that isn’t too hard or too soft. If your butter is too hard, your mixing can be uneven and you will notice some white spots after baking. If your butter is too soft, the texture of your dough can be too crumbly.
Claire’s tip:Take your butter out of the fridge before to make your dough to let the butter adjust to the room temperature. You can also melt slightly your butter in the microwave.
Tips 10: You don’t need a separate recipe for each tart you want to make. You just need to perfect one basic sweet pastry dough recipe and stick to it. Bring changes and improve the recipe by adjusting the ingredients. When you find the texture and flavors you like – save this recipe, and you will always make the best tarts!
Claire’s tip: Just keep one recipe.
Download the copy to keep the tips in your recipes book. https://onlinecourse.thedessertexperience.co.nz/pl/164282
If you want to try some new recipes, check my course of Traditional French Tart. https://onlinecourse.thedessertexperience.co.nz
Which tips were the most useful for you? Do you have a problem with your baking? We are here to help – contact us to find a solution. Happy Baking!