Mixed Fruit Tarts with Lemon Curd
Ingredients:For the sweet tart dough:- 2 1/2 sticks (10ozs; 285g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (150g) icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup (lightly packed) (3 1/4ozs; 100g) finely ground almond powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean pulp or pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 3 1/2 cups (490g) all-purpose flour
Method:To make the dough in a mixer:
Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar, almond powder, salt, vanilla and eggs and, still working on low speed, beat to blend the ingredients, scraping down the paddle and the sides of the bowl as needed. The dough may look curdled – that’s alright. With the machine on low, add the flour in three or four additions and mix only until the mixture comes together to form a soft, moist dough – a matter of seconds. Don’t overdo it.
Gather the dough into a ball and divide it into 3 or 4 pieces: 3 pieces for 10-inch (26cm) tarts, 4 for 9-inch (24cm) tarts. (Of course you can press the dough into one large disk and cut off as much as you need at the time that you need it.) Gently press each piece into a disk and wrap each disk in plastic. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or for up to 2 days, before rolling and baking. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to a month.)
To prepare for baking:
1. Pinch balls of dough and press them into each tart mould using your thumb. Make sure you press more around the bottom rims where dough tends to gather. I like to my tart shells thin and delicate. Once you have pressed all the dough into your tart moulds, place them back into the fridge for another 15 minutes before baking.
2. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Fit a circle of parchment or foil into the crust and fill with dried beans or rice before baking.*
* Note from The Little Teochew: I did not blind bake my mini tart shells and they turned out OK.
3. Fully bake the crust for about 20 minutes, or until they turn golden. Transfer the crust to a rack to cool. These can keep at room temperature for 8 hours.
*Adapted from http://www.thelittleteochew.com/2011/02/strawberry-tarts.html
- Make this at least 1 day in advance because you need to chill and rest the dough for a minimum 4 hours or up to 2 days, before rolling and baking;
- You are encouraged to make the full quantity because lessening the measurements may not yield the best results.
- Unused dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for a month. Frozen disks of dough take about 45 minutes to an hour at average room temperature to reach a good rolling-out consistency. Baked crusts can be kept uncovered at room temperature for about 8 hours.
Ingredients:For the lemon curd:
100g Superfine sugar
125ml Lemon juice
150ml Whipping cream (35%fat)
A pinch of salt
Put eggs, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a stainless steel bowl. Using a whisk to mix together for 2-4 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves.
Pour in the cream and mix well to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and use a whisk to stir continuously for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and thick. Have a rubber spatula on hand to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you work. The curd should transform as it cooks, starting off as a very thin cream with froth on top that will then become thick with bubbles. These bubbles will disappear altogether about 5 minutes before cooking is complete. most importantly, keep stirring at all times or you may end up with a grainy texture in the finished curd.
When the mixture is cooked, remove from the heat, stir for about 1 minute longer to cool a little, then place plastic wrap directly onto the top of the curd and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
*Adapted from http://dailydelicious.blogspot.sg/2010/11/simple-lemon-curd.html
Any fruits of your preference.
Raspberry/Strawberry jam or marmalade
Fill up the tarts with the chilled lemon curd. Top with any fruits of your preference. If desired, you may make some simple glaze. I used around 2 teaspoons of strawberry jam (raspberry jam is preferred as it will not cover the actual colour of the fruits) and dilute it with a tablespoon of hot water. Brush the glaze over the fruit toppings to create a shiny surface and to enhance the taste.