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I crave more of the tender quick breads and galettes, and J. craves desserts that are richer, such as these tarts. While desserts at home change throughout the year, the age old peanut butter and chocolate combination is an ever present theme. I find that this recipe, as simple as it is, to be straight to the point, no fancy spun sugar, no voluptuous ribbons of butter cream or expensive boutique ingredients.

There is nothing to distract you but pure joy.

 

It takes a favorite treat to feel a little special these days here at home. J. is always excited when I make desserts especially ones with peanut butter and chocolate. As I whirlwind about baking with whatever comes to mind, I take a pause at times to consider a simpler approach to give comfort where I can, with our busy schedules and much to do’s, these are perfect.

If you are not going gluten free, try this pâte sucrée recipe or perhaps a chocolate one here. I am sure you will find these to be simply delicious.

Hopefully I am back to a more consistent posting schedule!

Hope you all had a smashingly great Thanksgiving holiday!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart Recipe [Makes 6 tartlets]

g/f pâte sucrée

In the Days of Summer

½ cup creamy peanut butter, unsalted

½ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate glaze recipe [here]

1 Tablespoons salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F after tart dough is ready to roll out.

preparing the peanut filling:

1. Mix together peanut butter and softened butter until smooth.

2. Whip in confectioner’s sugar and salt until smooth.

3. Spread filling among six prepared tart shells and chill in the refrigerator.

4. Pour glaze over filling and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

*note: Reserve extra glaze for another use.

Serve right out of the refrigerator or allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes and enjoy.

Gluten-Free Pâte Sucrée Recipe

2 cups gluten-free baking mix

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Tart rings used were 3 inches in diameter and ¾ inch tall.

Only half of the dough was used for these peanut butter tarts, so save the remaining for later.

preparation:

1. Process butter and confectioner’s sugar together until fluffy, 2 minutes.

2. Add egg and sea salt and process for another minute or so.

3. Add g/f flour mix and pulse just until combined, approximately 5 seconds.

4. Dump bowl onto a work surface and knead just to form a ball.

5. Flatten dough and wrap in plastic wrap; chill for 2-4 hours.

6. Cut half of the dough into six portions.

7. Roll out one dough portion at a time to an eighth inch thickness.

8. Line a tartlet ring and place in refrigerator; repeat with remaining dough.

Bake @ 375°F from chill for 20-23 minutes or until edges start to turn golden.

Cool for a few minutes in the tart pans, then unmold and cool completely on a cooling rack.

*note: For the filling recipe I wanted to elaborate on the consistency a little bit. The peanut filling should be thicker than a buttercream. There may be a little tweaking if your choice of peanut butter is softer or thicker. And always adjust the sweetness or saltiness as your taste may differ.

With the weather feeling like late spring last weekend I couldn’t help but make a spring inspired tart and seeing all of those chives in the garden I didn’t hesitate one bit.

Every little bud I see peeking out of lifeless branches or silently emerging out beneath the damp earth always makes me stop to take a peak. The air definitely smells of spring. The buds are plump, the grasses appear like pin cushions and the bulbs have broken ground with force.

We definitely take daily walks through the garden to catch everything that is going on and to see how much the clumps of perennials have spread from last year.

Back in side from the amazing weather there was also a beet root soup cooking away in the kitchen that made it into the late afternoon meal that I must share with you soon. These two items were not intended to be eaten together, but I was hungry for a soup of beets so be on the lookout for this soup.

I am certainly making the beet soup again and a few others this weekend and finding more discoveries of spring outdoors.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Asparagus & Leek Tart Recipe [makes 3-6” Tarts]

¾ cup millet flour

½ cup sweet rice flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

½ teaspoon sea salt

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

1 large whole egg

2 egg yolks

¾ cup leeks, halved & sliced thin

1 Tablespoons coconut oil

½ bunch asparagus, cut into 1” pieces

4 large eggs

½ cup cream

1 Tablespoons chives, finely sliced

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg, beaten [for brushing the tart shell]

preparing the tart dough:

1. Combine the millet flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and salt in a food processor.

2. Add in the cold butter bits and process until a coarse meal forms.

3. Add egg and egg yolk and run the food processor until dough forms.

4. Pour mixture onto a cold work surface and knead until smooth.

5. Form dough into a disc shape and chill until firm, approximately 2-4 hours.

pre-baking the tart shell:

 1. Allow dough to soften so it can be rolled out easily, approximately 30 minutes.

2. On a floured piece of parchment roll a third of the dough into a seven inch circle.

3. Press into a six inch tart ring and set aside. Repeat with remaining two rinds & chill for 15 minutes.

4. Bake in a 375°F for 15 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven and brush with beaten egg. Bake for another 15 minutes.

6. Set aside while you prepare the filling.

*note: Tart rings have no bottoms so line a baking sheet with parchment and fill with dough right on the sheet.

preparing the filling:

1. Saute leeks in coconut oil for a minute over medium heat.

2. Add asparagus pieces and cook until tender. Cool slightly.

3. Whisk together eggs, cream, chives, salt and pepper.

4. Divide asparagus and leeks amongst the tart shells and pour custard over.

5. Bake until custard is just set in the center, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Where is the summer going? I think a lot of us are extra busy this year and its time we take a little break to enjoy what short summer we have. The garden seems to be in a hurry this year to bloom. The fall bloomers are just about ready. Checking years past they start to bloom at the end of August. So let’s take some relaxation time and perhaps serve it up with something sweet.

Who’s in the mood for pears, I am? It’s one of my favorite fruits. Don’t let the heat of the summer keep you out of the kitchen. This recipe is rather quick to make and with a short time in the oven you will have a delicious dessert to enjoy outdoors.

Almond Pear Tart Recipe

 

3 ripe D’anjou pears

Pâte Sucrée

Frangipane

1/3 cup apricot jam

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Pâte Sucrée

2 cups all-purpose flour

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

1. Process butter and confectioner’s sugar together until fluffy, 2 minutes.

2. Add egg and sea salt and process for another minute or so.

3. Add flour and pulse just until combined, approximately 5 seconds.

4. Dump bowl onto a work surface and knead just to form a ball.

5. Roll out between two sheets of wax paper to an eighth of an inch.

Chill at least 2 hours.

6. Peel off one side of the parchment and invert over 6-4 1/2 inch tart rings.

7. Press down on the dough so the tart pans cut the dough to size.

8. Press dough into the sides of the pans and then the bottoms.

-If there are any tears in the dough just push to seal.

-If it is very warm in the kitchen, you can roll out individual tart shells; just divide dough into six even pieces.

 

Frangipane Recipe:

¾ cup granular sugar

¾ cup almond meal

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon almond extract

1 large egg

 

Preparing the frangipane:

1. Combine the butter and sugar together until smooth.

2. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

3. Fill a piping bag with a ½ inch round tip with frangipane.

 

Baking the tarts:

1. Remove prepared tart shells from refrigerator and pipe a ¼ inch layer of frangipane into the bottom.

 -Alternate: Divide frangipane evenly between tarts and spread out using the back of a spoon.

2. Peel, halve and core pears, placing one half in the center of each tart.

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes until frangipane has risen and edges are golden in color.

4. Cool for 15 minutes before removing tarts from their pans.

Finishing the tarts:

1. Heat apricot jam in a small saucepan and strain through a fine mess sieve.

2. Brush jam over tart tops and sprinkle toasted almonds around the edges.

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