Tarts and tartlets

Tarts and tartlets

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

The combinations of food, both sweet and savoury, that can be presented in an open pastry shell are almost endless. There is hardly an occasion, from afternoon tea or cocktails to a lunch or dinner party, a picnic or a relaxed family meal, when one or another of the great tart family would not be welcome.

The terms ‘tart’ and ‘flan’ are virtually interchangeable. The French lean towards the former, the English towards the latter, while Americans often call a filled pastry shell an open pie.

To shape tart shells: For directions on lining large or individual-size flan rings, see Pastry.

To line individual plain tartlet tins: For the tiny, saucer-shaped tartlet tins that are joined in a set of 12, roll pastry thinly and, using a round cutter, stamp out rounds a little larger than the top of the tins. If using pastry containing sugar or eggs, grease tins lightly. Fit the pastry rounds into tins, pressing lightly to ensure that no air remains between pastry and tin. Prick shells before baking.

To line individual fancy tartlet tins: Place the tins close together, about six in a group. If using pastry containing sugar or eggs, grease tins lightly. Roll the pastry thinly, lift on the rolling pin and lay it loosely over all the tins together. Shape a small piece of pastry into a ball, dip it in flour and use it to press pastry into the tins. Flour rolling pin and roll over tins, first one way, then the other, to remove surplus pastry. Fold trimmings together and roll out again to line more tins. Take each tin, press edges up lightly with the thumb and prick pastry bottom before baking until dried out and pale golden.

To bake unfilled tart shells: For directions on baking blind, see Pastry.

See also Flan; Quiche.

Savoury tarts

Savoury tarts can be created from store cupboard ingredients – eggs, milk, cheese, vegetables, even leftover meat and fish.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

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