I know! I know! It has been a while! A lot has been going on!
I went on vacation to Asia after the last post for three weeks, then we have family visiting for two weeks, then I got married! And then summer arrived and my house, despite being the fridge it is in winter, is very hot in the summer so I can’t bear to even look at my oven. *gasp*
However! I decided I need something special for Canada 150. So I decided maple syrup needs to be used, to combine with my favourite thing: custard.
You have heard me whine and complain about pastry before. Because this is what I do, whine and complain about pastries because pastries are difficult and you fail more than you succeed. HOWEVER! I have found the fool proof plan to make tart/pie shells, so I can’t make ANY pastry at all I can still have tarts.
For a traditional pastry, you combine stuff to make a dough. Then roll it out to as even as you can, then try to drape it over your tins and try not to break anything. All of those processes are hard and you can mess up if you breath too heavily. And pastry shrinkage is simply the worst. You make a perfectly reasonable tart shell and by the time it is baked it is half the height it was and won’t hold all the fillings you have planned for. What even is the point of tart shells that can’t hold a mountain of delicious fillings?
BUT FEAR NO MORE!! This recipe only require you to make the dough and then press it into the tart tin. Now, that does mean your tart shell isn’t as uniform and could be a bit bumpy depending on how fussy you are when you press the dough in. You know what though, you put stuff in tarts, the bumps won’t be seen, it’s all good. The only change I have made from the original recipe is I don’t fancy putting the butter mix in the oven in a glass bowl because I have had perfectly reasonable oven-proof glass dish broke in the oven for me. Since then I have been a bit wary about glass dishes that claim to be oven-safe. (I know, this is a stupid reason, I should just get better glassware) So instead, I put the butter mix on the stove and try to brown it a bit. It has worked for me, but if you don’t have trust issues like I do, oven that shit.
For the Tart pastry: (makes 4 x 4″ Tart shells)
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe which he also adapted from someone else. ADAPTCEPTION
85g Unsalted Butter, cubed
1 Tbsp Oil
3 TBsp Water
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/8 Tsp Salt
160g AP Flour
1. Preheat oven to 210°/410°f
1. Combine the butter, water, oil, sugar, salt in a small saucepan. Heat it till the butter has melted. You can try for getting the edge of the butter to brown, but if you don’t it doesn’t seem to be a problem either.
3. Wait for the dough to get cool enough to handle, press the dough into the tart tin. It is very pliable so just take your time and press it as evenly as you can into the tin.
4. Once you are done, poke the pastry with a fork so they don’t bubble up. For a regular pastry you will have to put heavy stuff in them like ceramic beads, or actual beans to weigh them down; that’s called blind baking. But we don’t have to with this! So much better.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. Let them cool.
For the Maple Custard filling:
Adapted from The Telegraph:
5 Egg Yolks
275ml Whipping Cream
180g Maple Syrup
1. Preheat oven to 160°c/320°f
2. This custard is super simple, so make sure you use good quality maple syrup! Here is a link tell you what the grades are, so you know what to look for.
3. Combine Yolks and syrup. Then add in cream. Pass everything through a sieve into a small saucepan to make sure everything is nice and smooth.
4. Heat the mixture up until it is warm to the touch. Be careful not to let it get too hot, or boil.
5. Pour the custard into your tart shells. You can try get rid of the bubbles, or you could leave them be. Original recipe says you can get rid of bubbles by blow torching it. I’d be a bit hesitant to do so, instead I’d say you should tell them about the harsh reality that we are facing now and burst their bubbles in a gentle but grown up way.
6. Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 150°c/302°f and bake for another 5-15 minutes until they are set on the edge but jiggly in the middle. You will have to grab the oven rack and shake them, there is no other way. *** IMPORTANT: ALWAYS PUT YOUR TART TINS ON A TRAY TO BAKE. Especially if you use the 2 pc tins where the bottom separate. The custard could leak, and you will end up with a mess in the oven.
7. Once they are done, let cool on a cooling rack. Grate some fresh nutmeg to top your custard if you wish. If you don’t have fresh nutmeg though, don’t bother. You can eat them immediately, or let them chill in the fridge for the next day. They are good either way. Now go forth an enjoy more maple syrup in your life!