Season 2 · Tarts & Pies

A Pair of Pies

I got through two challenges in two days and forgot to blog about the first one, so I’m going to combine the efforts in one post.

First challenge is a double-crusted fruit pie.  I got some Fuji and Granny Smith apples at the store and sliced up about 6 of them–4 Fuji, 2 Granny.

I mixed in sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and let it steep a bit.

I made a shortcrust pastry, using the recipe here, and divided it in two parts.

I rolled out one part for the lower crust and prepared it for blind baking; lined it with parchment paper and filled it with the black beans that I keep for that purpose.  I put it in the oven and out came a lovely crust…of course it was a little dark on the edges, but not burnt.  I filled the pie crust with the apples and a couple dollops of butter, then covered it with the other half of the pie dough.  Because I blind baked it, I wasn’t able to pinch the top and bottom together….maybe blind baking was the wrong decision.  I also had to roll that sucker out really thin because the dough quantity was low for two crusts.  I would increase the ingredients by 50% to do a double crust.

The pie came out *beautifully* though!

It tasted amazing.  YUM!  And the pie didn’t last 24 hours, so the rest of the family agreed…and I gave a slice to the handyman who is fixing our front porch.

And today, I saw that they wanted people to make 12 tiny tarts.  Custard tarts!  I like making custard, and I already made shortcrust…so happy day!  Of course, I found a recipe at the usual place…BBC Good Food…and got to work.

One of the problems that several contestants had was getting the tarts out of the tin.  It seemed logical to grease them first, so I put a bit of butter in the tin to aid in the release of the tarts.  (PS – it worked!)

Whip the egg yolks and sugar in the mixer until pale and fluffy.

Heat the cream, milk, nutmeg and vanilla until just boiling, then slowly pour into the whipping eggs and sugar.  If you pour it in too fast, as you know, it’ll turn into scrambled eggs.

Run through a sieve and allow to rest.  Skim off the foam before pouring in the muffin cups.

Cut 4″ circles from the dough and place them in the muffin tins.

I think I need to trim my nails…I tried very hard not to jab the dough and failed.

Take squares of parchment paper, crinkle them up so they’re more flexible, then use them to line the cups and fill with beans.  Bake 10 minutes at 350, then remove the beans and bake another 5 minutes.

Fill the custard tarts most of the way…then you’re supposed to fill them the rest of the way after putting them in the oven, but I ran out of custard.  Not sure what happened there…

The custard takes 4 egg yolks…so what do you do with the whites?

MERINGUE!

Whip the whites, cream of tartar, salt and vanilla into submission, then add sugar a spoonful at a time until it’s fully incorporated.  4 egg whites is too much for my mixer…I got sticky mix all over the machine.  I’m going to have to stick with 2 or 3 egg whites to make meringue next time.

I filled 3 pans with piped meringue cookies and put them in the oven.  Then I took the last of the meringue and piped it onto the custard tarts.

SWEEEEEEEEEEEET….

 

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