Tuesday, July 14

Simple and easy methods to make pie crust and tart shells at home

Got nothing to do this Sunday? Feel like drawing out the chef in you? Well here are some easy recipes for all the novices out there which can render your image like a pro when it comes to baking. So get some flour in bulk and call the baker inside you!

When it comes to making crusts, there can be a lot of factors clouding your mind like whether to use butter, lard, or both in a suitable proportion. Whether to freeze the ingredients a night before or to avoid that altogether.

All doubts will be resolved, rest assured.  At the end of this session, you will be able to make crusts to bear the heaviest of pies.

Here are simple yet effective recipes to make pie crusts and tart shells.

How to make Pie Crust:

Begin with a pie plate and start adding butter. Take a bowl, large enough and add flour to it with some salt as per your taste. Add some butter and shortening and start to blend the ensemble.

You can use an electric blender if you have. If not, you can still blend the same in the traditional way with two forks. Blend until the batter become a bit coarse. Set aside some ice water and add a tablespoon of it to the batter at a time. Keep mixing with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough is formed.

Take a sheet of plastic wrap and sprinkle some flour on it. Place the ball of dough on it and flatten it out in a disc. Again sprinkle some flour over the disc and place another plastic wrap in it. Start rolling the dough disc from the center and until its 3-4 millimeters thick.

Now remove the top piece of the plastic wrap, fold the disc and lay it on the pie plate. Now remove the bottom piece of the wrap. Gently press the dough against the bottom and sides of side plates.

Now again remove a piece of plastic wrap and cover the plate and place it in the freezer. You may keep it there for around a minimum of 30 minutes to an entire night.

You can now remove the pie plate and unwrap it before proceeding to bake. If you want to go for some prebaking, use a prick to poke some holes on the base and side of the crust.

If u don’t want to pre-bake, then you may directly apply the pie filling of your choice according to the given directions and start to bake. Once baked, the hot n crusty pie is now ready to be devoured.

 How to make tart shells:

The little crispy tarts along with its yummy fillings are an amazing dessert you can boast about before your family or friends at a house party. I’ve never seen them fail to land me a compliment on my mediocre baking skills.

Believe me, these are some of the easiest of things you can make and require no prior experience at baking.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup of unsalted butter (approx. 350 grams)

¾ cups (90 grams) of powdered sugar

1 ½ teaspoon of (6 grams) of pure vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups (300 grams) of all-purpose flour

1/3 cup of corn-starch or rice flour

½ teaspoons (2 grams) of salt

Start buttering up a batch of miniature muffin tins, using a brush.

Put some butter in a bowl and beat it with an electric stand mixer on medium speed or regular old hand mixer. Continue the beating until the butter turns up smooth. Add sugar and again beat till its smooth. Now add some vanilla extract and beat again. Scrape the residue on the insides of the bowl if required and continue beating.

Add some flour, corn-starch, and salt. Mix the dough thoroughly. If the dough feels too soft to roll balls out of it, Refrigerate it for around an hour till they harden just enough.

Now roll little spheres out of the dough and gently press them into the muffin tins on bottom and sides till they take the shape of the tin. To make the shortbread firm, you can refrigerate them for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 F and place the rack at the center of the oven. You may now bake the batch for around 20 minutes or until they develop a brownish tinge around the edges.

If they start to puff up, gently prick the center of each tin. Remove when baked. The tart shells are now ready for use. You can use different kinds of fillings to complement the tartlets.

You can go with any kind of cheesecake filling. Consider ones with berries like raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries for enhancing your treat. You can also blend different fillings to create a unique taste. Try being creative with this part.

Go grab a pair of oven mitts and brace yourself for a delight.

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