Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pastry Crust

I love the summer. I love the sun, heat and summer fruits. So I decided to make a strawberry tart. I made the crust from scratch and it was super easy to make. The dough was a little sticky so you are going to need a good amount of flour. Once you cook the crust it will shrink so make sure that you roll the dough out to cover the entire tart pan. This is a must try. See the recipe below.

One thing to keep in mind is the once you take the crust out of the oven the first time it will puff up. Let the crust cool and it will go back down to a normal size.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons cold shortening (recommended: Crisco)
1/4 cup ice water
2 cups Pastry Cream, recipe follows
2 pints whole strawberries, hulled and halved

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Put the flour mixture in the bowl of a fitted paddle. Add the butter and shortening and mix until the butter is in the size of peas. Add the ice water and mix until the dough comes together. Dump on a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out the dough and fit into 4 (4 1/2-inch) tart pans with removable sides. Don't stretch the dough when placing it in the pans or it will shrink during baking. Cut off the excess by rolling the pin across the top of each pan. Line the tart shell with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, butter side down, and fill them with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and foil, prick the bottom of the shells all over with a fork, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

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