Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mini Tarts

We were having Easter dinner with my husband's family, and everyone likes something different for dessert, so I decided to make an assortment of tarts for dessert. I made chocolate ganache, banana creme and cream cheese tarts. Then, I topped each one with either assorted fruit or whipped cream and nuts. They were so delicious, everyone was fighting over which one they wanted!

Basic Tart Dough
Adapted from Williams Sonoma
2 egg yolks
4 Tbs. very cold water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside. Stir together the flour, sugar and salt in a mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together. Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round or rounds 1 inch greater in diameter than your tart pans. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cook 5 minutes in pan, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Tart Filling
8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla

Mix with beater. Spoon into center of cooled shells.

Toppings: Blueberries, Strawberries

Chocolate Ganache Tart Filling
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs. framboise or Chambord
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Place the chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the framboise. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, slowly stir the mixture until smooth, then stir in the butter. Spoon the ganache into the center of the cooled shells, dividing evenly. Gently shake or tap the shells to smooth out the chocolate. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Toppings: Assorted Fruit, Whipped Cream & Nuts

Banana Cream Tart Filling
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
3 Tbs. cornstarch
2 cups milk
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 small ripe yet firm bananas
1/2 cup fresh orange juice

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and salt. Whisk in the cornstarch. Heat the milk almost to a boil. Whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture and return to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and 1 tsp. of the vanilla. Strain through a sieve into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the custard; let cool.Cut the bananas crosswise into slices 1/2 inch thick. Place in a bowl and toss with the orange juice. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Stir into the vanilla custard, then pour into the pastry shell and smooth the top.

Toppings: Whipped Cream & Nuts
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My Sister's Kitchen said...


Those tarts look amazing!I'm going to have to get some of those little tart pans next time I'm in Salt Lake or Vegas.

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