Sometimes in life sh*t happens, and sometimes tart happens, or both.
Most of the times I decide what I will cook when I am visiting the market. During the previous week I visited the market and I couldn’t resist to the characteristic sweet smell of strawberries. Everything happened very quickly, at least on the market, because when I went back to home everything happened…well, how to put it? Sh*t happened.
I am not very good at pastry, I admit it. But I couldn’t imagine myself putting flour instead of cornstarch while making cream patisserie. And burning the tart.
On this post, as you already can imagine, I am not going to guide you on how to make a perfect tart, but I will guide you on how to make everything wrong when making a tart.
I have started with the crust of the tart. You will need the following ingredients:
- 300 g flour for all purposes
- 140 g butter
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk, for brushing
In a mixer bowl, I added the caster sugar and butter and beated it for about 2-3 minutes, until the butter dissolved completely. Then, I turned down the speed and added the egg. The flour color has changed and turned slightly yellow because of the egg.
If the dough is too firm add 2 tablespoons of ice water, very slowly, until the dough comes together and becomes soft enough to work with. I didn’t add any water, but this wasn’t a problem.
Finally, I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap (I hate plastic wrap, I never cut it correctly) and then refrigerated it in order to allow it to rest for at least 1 hour.
In order to bake the tart you have first to preheat oven to 160* C.
Grease and flour a 28 cm round tart pan. Set aside. Then use a rolling-pin to roll out the dough, slowly. If you find it difficult to roll out the dough, let it rest at room temperature for 5 minutes so it can soften.
When the dough has stretched out a bit, lift the pieces of parchment and dust with some more flour to help it roll out easier. Roll out some more and dust again if necessary. The dough needs to be rolled out to become as thin as a stack of 10 playing cards.
Use the rolling-pin to help you transfer the dough to the tart pan. Press on the dough, lightly with your hands, to help it stick to the sides of the pan and then pierce small holes onto the bottom of the tart dough with a fork.
Spread 2 large sheets of plastic wrap over the dough, crisscrossed. Add cooking weights (or beans). Cover the weights also, by turning over the top sheet of plastic wrap.
Bake the tart shell along with the weights for ½ an hour. Remove from oven and lower the oven temperature to 180* C. Remove weights and brush tart shell with some egg wash (egg yolk diluted with a small amount of water). Bake for another 5 minutes, until it turns golden brown.
What went wrong in my case? When I removed the beans I thought that the tart was not baked enough and thus left it for 15 minutes in the oven. DO NOT DO IT, the tart is ok. Follow the instructions.
Now the cream patisserie. Everything went wrong. I used the following ingredients for making the cream:
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 2/3 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean (split down the centre to expose the seeds)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Making the cream (or trying to make the cream):
Using a mixer, beat together the sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. In a small saucepan combine the milk and the vanilla bean, bring to a simmer. Then remove the vanilla bean. Pour about half of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, and stir.
Then return this milk/egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan, and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the custard is thick and slightly bubbly. Make sure to whisk constantly so that the mixture doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
P.S.: The photo was taken before cutting a piece for Daron. Thanks God. The cream was not thick and when I cut a piece…the cream was everywhere.