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Mini tart shell

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping someone can help me. I've been trying for years to find a reliable method for making mini tart shells. The two main problems I have are having the shells puff up during the baking and then trying to get them out of the pan. I've used pie dough, shortbread cookie dough and just now Paula Deen's tart shell that uses flour, butter and powdered sugar which you mix up well and press into the pan. I've even nested them together to keep them from rising but I'm not too thrilled with that either. I know there must be some technique that makes this simpler than I'm experiencing since bakerys make them all the time. Any thoughts???
post #2 of 18
Yup. Line out your tart shells as per normal, then put another foil shell on top. Place the tart shells upside down on a baking tray. Lay another baking tray ontop. The weight of the tray will prevent the dough from puffing up and the outside shell from falling off. Bake as per normal, coold down, turn the tart shells right side up and remove the extra foil shell. Works well with pie dough as well.

Now you can buy me a beer..........
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Not so fast Foodpump...a girl's gotta check it out before picking up the tab. I gotta admit, I've never tried that method before. Think I'll do it right now. Let you know the outcome. Thanks a bunch!!!
post #4 of 18
I use sweet paste for minis, if possible. The dough is less prone to puffing. Maybe the egg and sugar combination...

Never had a problem after 20+ yrs.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sweet paste? Could you please pass along the recipe? Do you grease the pans?
post #6 of 18

How mini and how many?

OK, I admit I was a tad confused trying to engineer the above method in my head.

I would do upwards of 200+ for Sunday brunch. + I only had enough pans for about 30 at a time. I like to use a sweet shortbread recipe, but have used all kinds. Puff is the worst but it depends on the result you're trying to get.

If you don't mind them looking a little rustic, this is the method I use:

Do you use non-stick muffin tins? Spray with Pam even if you do.

Take your chilled dough. Use the smallest ice cream scoop you have, or roll about a TB of dough into a ball.

Place in bottom of sprayed tins. Press in bottom of tins (I use a half sphere old tablespoon measure). Take a sprayed SS shot glass (flat bottom works great) and press into dough, kind of rolling it around to press evenly into tins.

Bake as indicated. When you remove them and they're still hot and puffed up, take the good ol shot glass again and squish the inside <again>. In tarts you aren't looking for puffy, you're looking for flaky and it didn't seem to hurt them in the slightest.

Once a little cool, you can gently flip the pan over and they should fall out, tapping the pan on your board if need be.

I would have to do a production line and this actually works even if the pan is a tad warm.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks AprilB. That's similar to the first method I used today, except I didn't spray the pan. I pressed the centers down which worked ok, but then I couldn't get them out of the pan, your method is obviously better. I used the individual fluted pans that aren't non-stick (I think they might be mini-brioche pans) Right now I am working on the upside down method but I followed another thread and I'm considering making tuilles as the vehicle for my filling. Isn't an obsession a terrible thing? Too bad I don't have better things to do with my Sunday evenings.:crazy:
post #8 of 18
1 1/2 lb butter
15 1/2 oz sugar
3 eggs
1 lb 14 oz bread flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, then remaining ingreds.

Roll between two sheets of parchment and chill. Cut out circles and press into pan.

The dough actually behaves better after you re-roll and chill. It's not a flaky pastry, but crisp like a cookie.
post #9 of 18
Yo April B, the above technique isn't really all that complicated. I "developed" it when I had a party that insisted I use my own pie dough (all butter) instead of the mfctrd stuff. I call it "Newton's apple theory". When baking tarts blind you're allways fighting gravity, you can fight hard and use beans, rice (I used to use lake gravel!) to stop gravity from pulling the walls of the tart down. Or you can let gravity do all the work and basically bake the empty tart upside down and let ol' gravity the pull the walls down for you. The only extra steps involved are turning the tray right side up when done and removing the foil tops .
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #10 of 18
Food pumps method is how we bake quantity. After a lot of thought we decided that the idea of turning the oven up side down will not help the gravity issue.
If your tarts are fat based, you might have more trouble if you spray. That seems to fry the dough. Bake em dry, the fat will release them, even better if they ar right side up.
up side down, in side out,
post #11 of 18 are we turning muffin tins upside down?

Or are you talking about individual tarts as compared to mini muffin pans?

Like I mentioned in my post, it depends on the size. I'm talking about the tiny 2"-ish size.

I'm just having a problem visualizing the way you mentioned...and I'm pretty good at envisioning stuff. I suppose if I saw what you were talking about it would be pretty obvious.

The way I picture this method is using an upside down blind baking method using foil? Is that right?

Wouldn't the foil be a little flimsy? (they need a scratching chin "pondering" icon)

For 3 1/2 -4" tarts I'd cut some foil and press that in when the dough is thoroughly chilled. The foil seemed to do just fine right side up. ...

In any event, I spray lightly because all the tins I've used were a little worn (like me :crazy: ) and would have some sticky spots (also like me!) and I needed a quick release for production with as little waste as possible (ie: breakage). Never had a problem with them turning into little tart empanadas. :p

post #12 of 18
I'm just totally assuming that the foil is to keep things clean, We put them into the mini molds(36ct) We then put another on top and flip over. This kee3ps them from the gavity shrink.
One of the fastest to produce these is to call Albert Uster and have em overnighted:D :lol: Kidding
I hope everyone saw Momo's posted recipe. Notice the bread flour, this will also help in preventing puffing.

So what's the deal April, you trying to prevent FP from getting his beer?
post #13 of 18
I've tried the upside down trick although with a 10" pie dish but the principal is the same. The dough was 1/2 butter & 1/2 shortening. As the fat melted in the oven gravity did its thing and chunks of dough dripped on to the sheet pan. It was a disaster.

post #14 of 18

Pasta Frolla

Years ago I got a great formula from Lidia's restaurant from her former pastry chef, a sweet dough that works well for tarts and cookies.
It has both egg and leavening and pops out with rarely a stick.
I use pam, I use pam for everything. A light spray on the tart shells works wonders. ( even spray parchment paper when making cookies!)
Chill the dough after blending in plastic wrap, maybe over night is best.
Roll the dough after working it to soften in a 1:1:1 dusting of APflour, Corn Starch and 10X. (I use this to dust for all cookies and sweet doughs, does not toughen the dough as redily as AP alone)
Cut and press into molds, dock with a fork.
ALLOW dough time to rest in the cooler for 15 min or more.
Make sure your oven is ready at 350 F.
Bake. The sides may slide a tad, but the leavening makes up for it.
I also have a cream cheese dough that I can line a two inch high mold with and it makes a very impressive high sided tart!
When I get back to the shop tomorrow I will post.:bounce:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much everyone. I should be able to get one of these to work for me. I'm going to try Momoreg's recipe first and then go from there. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm having over-nighters this weekend and a big 4th of July BBQ so I'll have opportunity it try it out. Thanks again.
post #16 of 18

Aw, heck...I'LL buy FP a beer...!

Just our of curiousity though, isn't bread flour a little dense for flaky pastry?

(flaky pizza tarts....)
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, so here's where I'm at. I tried Momoreg's recipe. First I rolled it out, chilled the dough, cut and fit it into the pans. It was a little tedious fitting it into the pan so I decided to try rolling it into balls and using a tart tamper, I formed it inside the pan. Both worked fine but I still had a little puffing up going on making a rather thick crust. Then I hit on laying it on an upside down mini pan. I used a petal shaped cookie cutter and centered them as much as possible (Ididn't bother to shape them around the cups). I then put another pan (bottom to bottom to keep the bottoms flat) and put them in the oven. As they baked they sort of "melted" and layed down the side and just slightly over the edges. When they came out of the oven the edges looked like pretty little flowers. Was an easier method, made a thinner shell and was just gosh darn pretty. I'm going to try this method with pie crust next. I liked the dough (a lot) it was very tender and not what I thought it might be like with bread flour.

post #18 of 18
Nice idea, Joyce. I'm glad you made it work for yourself.

AprilB, It's not supposed to be flaky. It's basically a cookie dough. In a pinch, without bread flour, I just use ap, and increase it by a small amount. Same ultimate result.
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