Four Steps for Ready-Made Desserts for the Entire Summer

A two-layers tart; usually not used with fruit fillings

Hi, I am back. I trust every body is doing fine and you all enjoyed some great fruit tarts for the weekend?

So lets continue with our tarts preparation.

I like desserts that are easy to prepare, but not if it is on the account of quality or taste. That is why I am spending more time than usual on tarts (and I will continue with this topic through a few more posts). I’d like you to understand and appreciate this form of desserts; it is the most misunderstood baked dessert.

There is no need to buy those ready-made, mud-tasting pie crusts from the freezer section of the supermarket, when all you need is maybe 4-5 ingredients, a food processor, bowls, rolling-pin, a saucepan, a strainer, foil and parchment papers and a radio to put on your favorite music so that you can roll the dough to the rhythm of the music.

Step. 1. Shopping. Prepare a shopping list based on how many tart bases you want to prepare and what types and go shopping to your favorite store. Try to select a store that carry all the items/ingredients you need; like Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, or Gelson’s Market.


Step 2. Preparation of Tart Dough Bases. Decide which type(s) of tart dough you like the best. You can create a variety of different types, which is what I would suggest. Depend on how many tart bases you want to prepare you may need between 2-4 days to complete this process (it does not mean that you need to work 2-4 days; but there is a need to freeze everything overnight)

Pate Brisee: Flakey dough with the following ratios:

  • Using 100% cake flour
  • Using 100% all-purpose flour
  • Creating a dough with 1:1 ratio of cake flour to all-purpose flour
  • Creating a dough with 3:1 ratio – cake flour to all-purpose flour
  • Creating a dough with 3:1 ratio of all-purpose flour to cake flour

All of the above is prepared without a food processor (see post placed on June 22), where the butter is rolled into the flour. It is called the “rolling method”

Now, if you only prepare one of each you will have in the freezer 5 tart dough, placed in the tart pan, ready to be filled and baked.

You can prepare the same five Pate Brisee dough as above, using the “creaming method”, where you cream the butter with the sugar and eggs or egg yolk (or some may have other ingredients, like sour cream, or cream cheese) and you will have 10 tart dough ready to be used.

Creaming method – butter is creamed with sugar, salt, eggs before incorporated into the flour

Following posts will show you other methods of preparation. Here I just want to show you how few steps you need in preparing yourself for the summer with great desserts.

Step. 3. Preparing the Final Product with the Filings of your Preference ( 2-3 tarts for guests)

3a. Shopping for filling. Prepare a list as above based on what fillings you want to prepare. Usually, it is a good idea to have a combination of fruit, cheese and chocolate, or fruit, custards/curds, and nuts, or you can have one savory and two sweet tarts, like tomato and caramelized onion, ice cream and frangipane (almond paste) with pears.

Step. 4 Prepare the Fillings and bake the tarts only prior to the guest arrival, except in the case of ice cream or custard tarts.

You will need to put in some time and effort initially (when preparing all these bases) but then you do not need to do nearly anything during the entire summer for having a variety of great looking and marvelously tasting light desserts with very little effort and time on an “as needed” bases.

I’d like to hear from you if you tried to prepare any of the tart dough; how did it work out? Did you have some completely finished tart with the filling of your choice? Do you have any comments and/or suggestions that I could use in my next post?

Perhaps you own recipes inherited from an earlier generation. I love to learn to work with traditional or original recipes. I would truly appreciate if you could share with me some of those.

And lastly, could you please give me a “like” on my Facebook and/or re-tweet this post. Thanks a million.

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