perfect pastry and butter tarts to die for

Sshhhh don’t tell anyone but this is the pastry recipe on the inside of the Tenderflake box; which I will never, ever compromise. I’ve tried Crisco and butter pastry, but nothing beats good ol’ lard.

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Perfect Pastry

Adapted from Tenderflake

The general pastry making rule is, if you’re making pastry, it’s just as easy to make a double batch (a whole package) as it is to make a single batch – what you do with a cup of lard is your business.

1 package tender flake lard

5 1/2 cups all purpose flour OR 6 cups cake + pastry flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons of sugar **

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice

ice water

In a large bowl, mix flour and salt together. With a pastry blender, work in lard until pea-sized balls form.

In a 1 cup measuring cup, crack egg, add vinegar and add enough cold water to reach the 1 cup mark; whisk together.

Creating a well in the bowl, add egg mixture into flour, using a wooden spoon. Turn dough out onto counter and knead until a ball forms. To create extra flakiness, fold the dough horizontally then vertically when you knead it. Divide into two discs and wrap in plastic, let rest in fridge for at least an hour or until firm. Remove from fridge and on a well floured work surface, roll out and continue rest of your recipe.

** The addition of sugar is my own, I find it works well with a sweet dessert, if using the pastry for a savoury dish you can take the sugar out.

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Butter Tarts to Die For

This is based on my mom’s recipe; it’s origin I’m not too sure of. Over the summer I had an epiphany: butter tarts are really easy to make. After making a batch or two or three, I finally came up with my idea of the the ultimate and perfect butter tart. The nutiness of browned butter, replaces regular butter and the golden, buttery carmel Lyle’s syrup replacing regular corn syrup, take these already decadent tarts to a whole new level.

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Take note: these are runny! If you let them cool to room temperature or even put them in the fridge they should harden up a bit.  You can also cook them longer, the smaller the muffin cups you use the less runny they become. I used half of my pastry but ended up with 1 cup left of filling. You could delve into the rest of your dough to finish it off or put it in ANYTHING else at a later date.

1/2 1x basic pastry dough

1 cup browned butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup Lyle’s golden syrup

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

1 cup raisins/toasted chopped nuts/dried cherries/dried cranberries

for the filling: Brown butter in pan, transfer to bowl and cool slightly to room temperature but still liquid. Add sugar, syrup, vanilla and salt. Whisk in eggs. Make sure the butter mixture is completely cool or else your eggs will scramble.

for the pastry: remove from fridge and roll on well floured surface about 1/4” thick. Using a cookie cutter or cup, cut out circles slightly bigger than chosen muffin cups. I would recommend using regular size, but because I’m greedy and I use extra large…I don’t have a cup the exact size of my muffin cups so I roll the pastry a little bit just to make it fit. You may need to fold the dough in a seam so it fits. Repeat with remaining dough. Dock holes in bottoms of tart shells. Put in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

assemble: Preheat oven to 400 degreesFor easy assembly, put filling into large measuring cup so you can pour into shells. Sprinkle a few raisins (or whatever you choose for your filling) into bottom of tart shells. Pour filling into cups 3/4 full. For large size muffin tins bake for 20-30 min, for medium size bake for 20-25 minutes and for small size bake for 10 minutes – until pastry and filling are cooked. To check doneness, jiggle the pan. The filling should still be a bit loose but not completely liquid.

Let cool for at least an hour until you even try to remove them from the pan. They WILL break and the filling WILL go everywhere. If you can’t wait – as I almost never can – just put it in a bowl and enjoy it with a spoon. I still suggest using a fork and a plate even if you wait the appropriate cooling time.

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4 responses to “perfect pastry and butter tarts to die for

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