Friday, July 13, 2012

Shortbread Tea Tarts

Photo Credit:
J. M. Klejeski
1 cup (227 grams) (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (55 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) all purpose flour
3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch (corn flour) or rice flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Lightly butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, 36 miniature muffin tins (approximately 2 inch (5 cm) in diameter).
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together (1-2 minutes) until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and mix just until incorporated. If the shortbread dough is too soft to roll into balls, cover and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.
  • Take a scant 1 tablespoon of shortbread dough (about 15 grams) and place in the center of each muffin tin. With your fingertips, press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the individual muffin tin. Once filled, cover and place the tart pan, with the unbaked shells, in the freezer for about 15 minutes so the shortbread can become firm. (This will help to prevent the shortbread from puffing up during baking.)
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. About halfway through the baking time, if the shortbread has puffed up, lightly prick the bottom of each shortbread with the tines of a fork. Once they are fully baked, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove the tarts from the pan. (They can be frozen.)

8 ounces cream cheese (not low fat)
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

We used blueberries and raspberries, but kiwi, tiny strawberries, or blackberries would also be good.

The original recipe is here.  There were lots of warnings about how fragile the crusts were, but mine came out of the pans really well.  I did take care to weigh the dough (15 grams, as suggested) and when I pushed them into the mini-muffin tins, I made sure the sidewalls weren't thin at all.  The impressions I made were more bowl shaped, resulting in fairly thick bottoms and walls.  Fortunately, the shortbread was delish (!) so this wasn't a problem at all.

We piped my standard fruit pizza filling into each (rather than the sweetened condensed milk version on the original recipe), topped it with a berry, and refrigerated them until the tea party.

I made the crusts early in the week, and just filled them a few hours before serving.  It is now the day after though and they're still very good.

1 comment:

Margaret Mary said...

A double batch made 66 this time. Also, they puffed up so when I took them out of the oven, I just squished them in a bit with the round end of a spatula.