Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rolling out Pie Dough and a Few Tart Tips (Video)

Once you are a proud owner of the Vodka Pie Dough, you are on your way to wowing your family and friends with all sorts of sweet and savory delights.  But first there are a few more techniques to master and that's what this video is about.

YouTube Link: Rolling Pie Dough, Blind Baking, and Unmolding a Tart
More Videos: Helen's Kitchen Channel

FAQ about this technique

What do you do with trimmed pieces?
Collect them, smoosh them together into a little disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.  Then you can roll them out and make a little tart or galette.

Do you always need to blind bake an open faced tart?
If your filling is not too wet (not custard), you can freeze the tart shell for 30 minutes, fill, and bake.  But when in doubt, blind baking is safer.

How long should you bake after getting the beans out?
If I am baking for a quiche or some other custard filling, I bake all the way.  Custards are baked at a much lower temperature (about 325F) and they prevent the dough from baking once you pour them in, so it's best to pre-bake the tart shell until it's golden brown throughout.  After you get the beans out, lower the temperature to 375F and continue baking in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes.  If you are pre-baking for a filling that's not a custard, you only need the bottom to dry up (not feel like soft dough anymore), but it should still be pale.  That should take 5-7 minutes after you get the beans out.

What apples and pears work for baking?
You want apples and pear that hold shape and don't turn to mush.
Apples: Honey crisp, Pink Lady, Mutsu, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Golden Delicious.
Pears: Bosc, Taylor Gold

Do you precook the fruit?
If you are baking a double crust pie, precooking the apples will help them hold shape (yes, it's counter intuitive), and the filling won't be as soupy.  For galettes and tarts, I find it beneficial to toss the fruit with sugar and whatever else you want to add about an hour before baking.  Letting the fruit macerate like that, releases it's juice and helps it brown during baking.  I reserve those juices (you don't want all that wetness in your tart shell), reduce them in a little sauce pan and use as a glaze half way through baking time.  It produces beautifully browned fruit edges.  

How do you thicken the filling?
For very soupy fillings (blueberries, rhubarb, etc), I add 1 peeled and grated apple.  It dissolves and becomes not noticeable, but the pectin from the apple thickens the filling without that awful starchy taste that traditional thickeners give you.

What are your favorite recipes to make with this dough?
Galettes -- these are free form tarts with the dough covering the filling on the edges, but not in the center.  
Tomato Fennel Tart Tatin (if tomatoes aren't in season, you can use oven roasted canned tomatoes)

No comments: