Being me, I can't sit put and just bake only cakes...so I've started to explore into pastry tarts. Apparently there are a few kinds of pastry bases. But to simplify things, there are 5 main types (more info here). They vary from the hard crusts to the super nice and flaky ones and they all have different methods of making too.
And so I started off with the simplest form: Shortcrust pastry. Process didn't take that long but I forgot one vital step...poking the base of the pastry to allow air to escape if not the base will expand.
And then I got ambitious further by making a shortbread tart which was indeed challenging especially when it comes to shaping this soft dough. There was alot of taking out of the oven and poking the base a few times just to make sure it doesn't rise too much. But it was worth all the efforts :). Tasted absolute yuuuuuummmm and of course it was a Hen's do that was behind the motivation. So I dedicated this to Min.
Courtesy from joyofbaking's recipe
- 75g unsalted butter
- 35g icing sugar
- 1/2 cup (30g) plain flour
- 10g cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 170degC (350 degF). Lightly butter a 12 miniature cupcake tray. Set aside
- Cream butter and sugar together. This will take about 2 minutes.
- Add in vanilla extract.
- Further add the cornstarch, flour and salt and mix until incoporated.
- Divide the dough to 12 even pieces and place on ball of dough in the center of each cupcake tin.
- With your fingertips, press the dough up the sides of the individual cupcake tin so there is an indentation in the center.
- Once filled, place the pan, with the unbaked shells in the freezer for about 10 mins so that the shortbread becomes firm. This will help to prevent the shortbread from puffing up during baking.
- Bake for approximately 18 - 20 minutes or until lightly browned. About halfway through the baking time, lightly prick the bottom of each shortbread, with the tines of a fork, if they have puffed up. Check again after another five minutes and prick again if needed. Once they are fully baked, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove the tarts from the pan. (These may be made in large quantities and frozen.)
- 75g Cream Cheese
- 132g sweetened condensed milk
- 30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
- Beat cream cheese until fluffy.
- Add the condensed milk and lemon juice.
- Transfer the filling into a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. This gives time for the filling to become firm and allows the flavours to mingle.