It’s probably common to buy a suitable dish or form for the recipe you want to make, but I often do it the other way around. It’s a bit like buying a pretty dress and then searching for a party to wear it (not unusual for me either). I bought a few nice looking pastry forms and immediately started browsing and creating recipes to use them. These puff pastry tarts or tartlets are definitely my favorite so far.
I love the crispiness and lightness of the puff pastry shells with the sweet sugar crystals on them. You can fill them with all the ingredients you love, like the fresh raspberries I used.
They look elegant and are perfect for party food or as a small snack with some coffee. Plus: because they’re so small, you can always have a few (yet don’t feel absolutely stuffed). You can easily make them a few days in advance and just fill them at the last minute.
They are best when you blind bake them: that’s partially baking the pastries while weighting the base down (with pastry weights, beans, rice or lentils) so the base won’t puff right up. This will give the tarts a much crispier crust that won’t get soggy.
Some great sweet suggestions and flavor combinations:
- Raspberries only (pictured), because sometimes simple really is best. The soft, juicy ruby red berries are a perfect contrast with the crispy pastry shells.
- Stewed plums or peaches (or a not too sweet jam) with some basil leaves on top.
- Soft whipped cream with fresh strawberries.
- Dark chocolate with raspberries (pictured left): fill the shells with melted chocolate and let this cool off.
- Dulce de leche and a few banana slices.
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1 small sheet of puff pastry per tart (I use store-bought)
about 2 teaspoons of sugar per tart
filling of your choice (see suggestions above)
small baking forms, greased
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C) and let puff pastry thaw.
- Roll pastry a bit thinner and place it into the greased baking forms.
- Line the pastry along the sides and remove excess dough. Prick bases with a fork. Sprinkle over sugar.
- Line the pastries with baking paper and weigh it down with weights, rice or beans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Take out and remove the weights and baking paper. (if the bases did puff up, you can push them down with the back of your spoon). Place back in oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
- Leave to cool completely.
- Fill with ingredients of your choice (see suggestions above).