Lately I have been preparing quite a few tarts made with puff pastry. Sure, in a way somewhat old fashioned and certainly far more difficult to handle if compared to shortbread style tart dough. However, I think that we can all agree that most people find pure butter puff pastry simply irresistible. It is one of my personal favorites as well, the flakes, the way it crumbles and then melts away, the amazing buttery flavor….. just extraordinary.
Certainly puff pastry does have disadvantages. Preparing the dough itself is a lengthy process and it is only wonderful the day it was baked. In case of puff pastry tart shells, they take a lot longer to prepare if compared to shortbread type tart shells. Simply the baking process takes a long time ….baking it blind, removing the paper and weights, pricking the dough, returning to the oven and ensuring that the dough is well pricked…..Another key element is that puff pastry is can be difficult in terms of giving the final product a contemporary edge. It is unfortunate because puff pastry is really like no other. Oftentimes I use puff pastry in plated dessert elements, where it is a little easier for me to give it a fresh, contemporary feel.
For the filling of a strawberry tart I love black currant (Cassis) cremeux. It comes from my parents who truly do grow the most delectable strawberries. Never have I had tasted such strawberries. One would believe the strawberries have been perfectly crossed with black currants. It is that exact flavor I am trying to copy which nature did so perfectly.
Getting It All Together!
At this time I have not featured an article on my site on making puff pastry so I must refer you to On Baking or your favorite recipe. Certainly prepare the puff pastry and perform the laminating the day before rolling the dough for the tart shells. Prepare the black currant cremeux once the tart shells are baked. As soon as the cremeux is made pour it in the baked crust and refrigerate. This will ensure a tart with a perfect “set” cremeux.
|8 oz||Black currant puree||240 g|
|3.5 oz||Eggs||100 g|
|3 oz||Extra fine granulated sugar||90 g|
|2||Gelatin sheets, bloomed||2|
|1 oz||Soft butter||30 g|
- Set up a Bain Marie.
- In a non reactive saucepan heat black currant puree to 195°F (90°C).
- In a bowl whisk the eggs and sugar very well until no strings remain. Temper the egg mixture with all the heated puree. Place the bowl over the Bain Marie and stir constantly using a rubber spatula to 203°F (95C°). Remove from heat.
- Stir in the bloomed gelatin and cool over an ice bath to 120°F (50°C). Stir in the butter. Use an immersion blender for optimum smoothness. Pour into a prebaked tart shell.