If you are looking for a perfect shortcrust pastry for mini tarts and tartlets I have just the right recipe for you. This pastry is elastic which makes it easy to shape and work with. It does not deform during baking. It is an easy and quick to prepare and above all it is balanced between butter, flour, sugar and liquid. To make your preparations special just follow a few rules and a few tricks and you will have the sweet and fragrant shortcrust pastry that you will always come back to.
Perfect pastry for mini tarts and tartlets rules – the butter
The butter must be of good quality. This will make your pastry not only tastier and more fragrant but will prevent it from cracking.
The butter should be cold and diced. The wotking process by hand, in the mixer with the blades or in the stand mixer will quickly change the temperature and make it become about 10 – 15 ° C. This step will ensure that the butter will be soft enough to become creamy but cold enough to incorporate air that we need to incorporate the liquid.
Speaking of liquids, another rule that I highly recommend: weigh your eggs! Obviously I mean the yolk with the egg white and not the egg with the shell: D Why do I advise you to follow this rule? Well it’s very simple, unless you are a pastry chef or if you can remember the numbers perfectly by heart or do some quick calculations, it is difficult to remember how much an average egg weighs in compare to the small one or the big one and how many eggs to use in case you want to prepare 100 tarts. By weighing the egg you will learn to manage its mass just as you do with flour.
The eggs must be at room temperature. Eggs that are too cold will trigger the butter reaction which will cause it to change consistency.
The flour, the rules and the tricks
Flour is the source of gluten and gluten makes the dough resistant, elastic and chewy, that is, everything we don’t need in the pastry. For this reason it is advisable to choose a flour with low protein content (10-11%) and low strength. Just take a look at the nutritional table of your flour to see if it is suitable for a pastry. In short, the low-gluten flour (cake flour) makes your pastry crumbly and not chewy.
The last two rules are very simple but no less important. Never ever put baking powder or baking soda in the pastry dough as this will deform it during baking.
The shortcrust pastry must always be very cold. If you work the dough by hand and the pastry is becoming soft and sticky, place it in the refrigerator immediately. The dough must be worked quickly so as not to give it time to warm up too much. If you create your tarts with flowers or shortcrust strips, always place them in the refrigerator for at least an hour before baking to give them time to rest (relax any gluten creation) and let the fat mass cool down.
Follow the order established in the recipe. First the butter with the sugar, then the liquids and finally the flour. Do not throw everything together because the pastry will not have enough time to trigger certain chemical processes and you will find yourself with a more than problematic dough.
If you have been patient and you were persistent enough and have reached this point, now is the time to move on to the recipe. 😀
Shortcrust pastry preparation perfect for mini tarts and tartlets
Use the blender with blades, a stand mixer with a leaf attachment or a bowl and the mixer.
Place the diced butter and sugar into the bowl of your choice. Work at medium speed until they are blended.
Add a pinch of salt and whole eggs. This is also a good time to add aromas like vanilla, lemon or orange zest. Work the butter with the eggs briefly to make them mix but do not warm the dough too much.
Now add the sifted flour. Turn on your kitchen appliance and see how your pastry will be ready in seconds after the flour has been absorbed.
Turn off the mixer and give the pastry a short knead with your hands. Work the dough only as strictly necessary to incorporate all the ingredients to obtain a smooth dough. Place it on a sheet of baking paper or plastic wrap and make it flat. Wrap it up and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This will give it a chance to stabilize. The longer it rests in the refrigerator, the better!
I always recommend making the pastry dough in the evening and bake it the next day.
Take the shortcrust pastry from the fridge and roll it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured pastry board, bringing it to a thickness of 5 mm. Use it to line 6 – 10 tartlet moulds of 8 – 10 cm in diameter. Prick the base with a fork.
The baking time depends on how you want to use your pastry. You can create tartlets, mini tarts filled with marmalade or create empty shells to fill them with cream and fresh fruit. Follow the instructions of the recipes you have chosen for the baking times.
How to create empty shortcrust pastry shell
Place a piece of parchment paper and dried beans or special ceramic balls inside each tartlet. Bake in a preheated static oven at 180 ° C for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake again for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
I hope you enjoyed my recipe. Remember that the concept of perfection does not actually exist as the recipes must be suited to our needs and use. If you follow the simple rules of using low gluten flour and keeping the temperature of your pastry low, you will be on your way to victory.
I just want to tell you that I really appreciate that you have decided to prepare my recipe. If you like it, I would be very happy and it could be a huge help for me if you follow me on my official social channel such as instagram where I publish every time a new recipe comes out. To become my follower just search for foodohfood in your instagram or click on this link: https://www.instagram.com/foodohfood/ and press Follow. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Barbara. ^_^
lot of love. B.
p.s. If you are looking for simple cake ideas, how about this Apple pound cake loaf (photo below).