Tropical mango custard tart

I baked this in a 8-inch tart pan with excess dough and custard, so it will probably fit nicely in a 9-inch pan.

Ingredients

For sweet tart pastry, see this post
1 egg yolk

6 large eggs at room temperature
zest 1 orange
zest of 2 limes
2 mangos
135g sugar
120ml heavy cream

1 mango to decorate

Procedures

  1. Make sweet tart pastry. Brush tart with egg yolk after ~10-15mins of baking and continue baking for 5mins. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 140C/275F.
  3. Break eggs into bowl. Add orange and lime zest. Add sugar and mix well.
  4. Cut and puree mango. Sieve puree to remove fibers. Add puree to the egg mixture.
  5. Add cream and mix well.
  6. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir constantly until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. The mixture should still be liquid enough to be pourable.
  7. Pour mixture into tart shell.
  8. Baked for 50-55 minutes until custard has set. Leave to cool and decorate with sliced mangoes.
  • Note: I’ve found that letting excess pastry drape over the tart tin and then cutting it off after baking is a good way to ensure that the tart shell has enough and even height.

Adapted and inspired by Luis’ The Tropical Manchester Tart in The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking.

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Tarte au citron

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Tarte au citron is one of my favorite desserts and I’ve been looking for a good recipe to satisfy my cravings for a long time. This combination recipe turned out pretty well and is better than previous versions I’ve tried (E.g. Smittenkitchen’s tart shell + David Lebovitz’s lemon curd).

The french sweet pastry (or pate sucree) is very different in texture from the regular flaky pie crust and is definitely the pastry of choice for tarte au citron (and any creamy tart). Thekitchn’s method of rolling the dough between two wax paper is ingenious and a lot less messy. It is important to bake the tart shell with some kind of weight on top. I used a cake tin on top of the tart shell as weight. Cover with foil if the edges are browning too quickly before the center is cooked.

I adapted Pierre Herme’s lemon curd recipe and reduced the amount of sugar and butter. I will further reduce the amount of butter next time, and definitely use good butter. The fatty buttery taste is too rich and greasy-tasting for my liking.

French sweet pastry from http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-pate-sablee-for-classic-tarts-and-pastries-222311

Makes 1 (9-inch) tart

Ingredients
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cream or milk, if needed

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.Since the butter is softened, it should combine easily with the powdered sugar to create a creamy, homogeneous mixture.
  2. Beat in the egg yolk. Keep mixing until the egg yolk is fully combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. Add the flour: With the mixer on low speed, beat in the salt and flour — just until the dough comes together and there is no more visible flour. Like most batters and doughs, be careful not to overmix. The dough should be able to be pressed together between your fingertips and hold when done. If the dough appears dry or doesn’t hold together at this point, lightly mix in up to 1 tablespoon cream or milk.
  4. Chill the dough before rolling: Dump the contents of the mixer bowl on a piece of plastic wrap. Gather the dough together and press it into a round disk. This will make rolling it out into a circle easier. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days.
  5. When ready to roll, remove the dough from fridge and let soften on the counter. Now the butter in the dough has chilled and firmed up enough to hold together when you roll it, but it’s probably actually a bit too firm. Let it warm up on the counter just enough so it’s still cool to the touch, but starting to feel pliable.
  6. Roll the dough out to an 11-inch circle between two sheets of wax paper. To prevent sticking or adding more flour, roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper. Be sure not to press too hard at the edges or thin them out; rotate the dough to keep its round shape.
  7. Transfer the dough to the tart pan: Peel away the top layer of wax paper, and invert the crust into the tart pan. Peel away the top layer and fit the tart into the pan. Gently lift the edges and then press the dough down into the shape of the pan. Continue around until the dough is snug in the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges by simply running a paring knife around the top edge of the pan. Save any scraps to repair cracks that may occur during baking.
  8. Wrap the pan loosely in plastic and chill 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  10. Blind-bake the tart, about 30 minutes*: Line the chilled dough with parchment paper or foil. Fill the inside with pie weights or beans and bake until the edges just begin to brown. Remove the pie weights.
  11. Fully bake the tart, if needed: To fully bake, continue baking the tart crust without the pie weights for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the center of the crust is golden.

*31/12/2018: I recently baked this again (with cake tin and foil as weight) and my tart shell was burnt at 30minutes. Make sure to check at around 15mins.

Lemon filling adapted from Pierre Herme’s recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
  • 4 large eggs (I accidentally used 5 but it turned out fine)
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons)
  • 227g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1 fully-baked 9-inch tart shell

Instructions

  1. Have a thermometer, preferably an instant-read and a blender (first choice) or food processor at the ready. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
  2. Put the sugar and zest in a large metal bowl that can be fitted into the pan of simmering water. Off heat, work the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs followed by the lemon juice.
  3. Fit the bowl into the pan (make certain the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl) and cook, stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. You want to cook the cream until it reaches 180°F. As you whisk the cream over heat—and you must whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling—you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as the cream is getting closer to 180°F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point—the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking and don’t stop checking the temperature. And have patience—depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.
  4. As soon as you reach 180°F, pull the cream from the heat and strain it (optional) into the container of a blender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream rest at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140°F, about 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add about 5 pieces of butter at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed while you’re incorporating the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going—to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to beat the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.
  6. Pour the cream into the tart shell and let set in the fridge. 

Pastry cream

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole milk, heavy cream, or a mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Equipment

Saucepan
Whisk
Strainer

Instructions

  1. Warm the milk: Warm the milk in the saucepan until you start to see wisps of steam. It should not actually be boiling.
  2. Make the egg-sugar base: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the egg yolks and whisk them into the dry ingredients. This will form a thick paste. It’s fine if the paste looks crumbly or smooth; the important thing is that the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the milk to the egg mixture: Pour a little of the hot milk into the eggs and whisk to combine. Continue pouring the milk slowly into the eggs, whisking continuously. It’s OK to switch back and forth between pouring milk and whisking if you can’t manage both at the same time.
  4. Pour everything back in the pan: When all the milk has been added to the eggs, pour everything back into the saucepan. Set a strainer over a bowl and place this near the stove.
  5. Heat the pastry cream: Set the pan back over medium heat. Whisk constantly. At first, the pastry cream will look very thin and frothy, but it will start to thicken after a few minutes. When it has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, pause whisking every few seconds to see if the cream has come to a boil. If you see large bubbles popping on the surface, whisk for a few more seconds and then remove the pan from heat.
  6. Strain and cool the pastry cream: Stir the vanilla into the pastry cream and then pour the cream into the strainer set over the bowl. Stir to push it through the strainer. This will catch any bits of cooked egg that may be in your pastry cream.
  7. Cover and store: Cover the pastry cream with a piece of plastic wrap pressed right up against the surface of the cream and chill completely.

Notes:

  • This recipe fills about 24 profiteroles.
  • Not the best pastry cream I’ve had. The taste is too eggy. I will try making mousseline cream next time.
  • You can set the mixture over a water bath instead of heating it up directly on the stove to thicken.
  • To make matcha cream, add matcha powder to the mixture before thickening it in the pan.
  • To make chocolate cream, add bittersweet chocolate chips into the mixture as you are thickening it.

Adapted from http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-pastry-cream-168126

Pâte à Choux

Makes about 48 profiteroles

What You Need

Ingredients
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter
1.5 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 cup all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
1 large egg yolk, mixed with a tablespoon of water, for the egg wash
Pearl sugar, to top, if desired

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or baking mats. Cut the butter into small pieces — this makes sure it melts quickly and evenly.
  2. Bring the butter, water, and salt to a rolling boil: Combine the butter, water, and salt in a saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. The butter should be completely melted by the time the water comes to a boil; if not, reduce the heat until the butter has melted to avoid too much water evaporating, then bring it back to a boil.
  3. Add the flour: Take the pan off the heat and add the flour all at once.
  4. Stir vigorously to form a dough: Make sure all the flour is worked into the dough and no more dry flour remains. Once ready, the dough will resemble mashed potatoes.
  5. Cook the dough on the stove: Place the pan back over medium heat. Stir the dough, mashing it against the sides and bottom of the pan and then gathering it up into a ball again — this dries out the dough and cooks the flour. Some starchy buildup on the bottom of the pan is normal. Continue cooking the dough for 3 to 5 minutes. The dough is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the pan to form a ball, the surface looks shiny and glossy, and it’s thick enough that you can stand a spoon upright in the middle.
  6. Cool the dough: Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed until the dough is just warm to the touch. The outside of the bowl should also be just slightly warm to the touch. Alternatively, you can cool the dough by hand with a stiff spatula.
  7. Add 4/5 of the eggs: Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. With the mixer on medium-low, add the eggs to the dough in four separate additions. (This can also be done by hand with a stiff spatula.) As each addition is worked in, the dough will at first become stringy and goopy, then will form back together into a soft dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed between each addition.
  8. Check the dough: After the third addition, check the dough before adding the fourth. When the paste is ready, the dough should be soft, creamy-colored, and very smooth. It should also hold its shape when scooped. If you scoop up a little bit with your spatula and let it slide back into the bowl, it should leave behind a little “V” of dough on the spatula. Add the fifth or sixth egg, or just half of the sixth egg, if needed.
  9. Portion the dough onto the baking sheet: Scoop the dough out onto the baking sheet. You can also transfer the dough to a piping bag to pipe specific shapes. The dough can be made into nearly any size or shape. Space the puffs slightly apart on the baking sheet.
  10. Brush the tops of the puffs with egg wash: This makes the puffs golden. Sprinkle the tops with pearl sugar, if desired.
  11. Bake for 12 minutes, then turn down the oven temp to 375°F: When the pastries look puffed, after 12 to 15 minutes, then lower the heat to continue baking.
  12. Bake another 15 to 18 minutes: Exact baking time will depend on the size and shape of your puffs. Bake until the puffs are slightly puffed, golden-brown in color, and dry to the touch. They will detach easily from the parchment and feel hollow and light when you pick them up.
  13. Lower the heat to 300°F and dry out the puffs: Continue baking the puffs to dry them out another 10 minutes or less. If you break one of the puffs open, it should not be wet or eggy on the inside; bake a few more minutes as needed.
  14. Poke the puffs with a toothpick: Transfer the puffs to a cooling rack and poke each one with a toothpick or the point of a paring knife. This releases any lingering steam from the inside and helps prevent the puffs from getting soggy.
  15. Cool the puffs completely: Once completely cool, the puffs can be filled or used for any recipe. Unfilled puffs can be kept in an airtight container for several days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Adapted from http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-pate-a-choux-choux-pastry-80889

Notes:

  • My choux pastry baked a lot faster than the times specified in the kitchn recipe. I reduced the bake time in this recipe. If you are baking bigger puffs they will probably take longer.
  • I filled my profiteroles with pastry cream (see recipe) but ice cream goes really well.