It has been a while since I posted anything. With the move from New York to London, I have hardly cooked for the past few days. My temporary kitchen still lacks basic things to make any meal. But the food in London has been wonderful so far. The portions are small compared to USA but taste wise I am not missing much. There are lot of restaurants of various cuisines from all over the world. But the food is little pricey here even by Manhattan standards.
Bakeries, pastry shops and cafes are in abundance around central London which we have been exploring over the weekend. They have lots of French desserts - they all look yummy! Inspired by the dessert shops around here, I thought of posting the recipe for a fruit tart I made when I was in New York.
Mixed Berry and Ricotta Tart
Ingredients for tart dough
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter
1/8th teaspoon salt
1 egg mixed with little cold water
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.
It's very easy to make tart dough. The flour to butter ratio is 2:1. The only important thing to keep in mind is that the butter should be really cold. That helps to keep the tart flaky.
In a bowl mix flour and salt. Cut the butter into the flour with a fork and mix it well. The flour and butter mixture should end up with a sandy texture. Add the egg to the mixture. Bring the flour together to make a dough ball. Don't over knead the dough, otherwise it will make the tart tough. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes. If you have extra dough then at this point you can freeze it. It freezes really well up to a month.
If you want you can use food processor to make the dough. Food processor makes the task easier and less messy.
Roll out the chilled dough into a 1/8 inch thick round sheet on a floured surface. It should be larger than the tart mould. Carefully transfer the sheet to the tart mould. Trim the excess dough off the tart mould by rolling the rolling pin across the mould rim. Chill it for 30 more minutes. The idea is to keep the butter solid. So when heat hits the dough, butter melts and creates air pockets which keep the tart flaky.
This dough can make a 8 inch tart. But I made a 6 inch tart and froze rest of the dough. Once you have the tart dough handy you can whip up any sweet and savory tart within no time.
First partially bake the dough without any filling. Line the dough with parchment paper and add pie-weight or dried bean on the parchment paper and bake it for 10 minutes. The weights ensure that the dough doesn't puff up. Then remove the pie-weight and bake the tart dough for another 5-6 minutes till it starts looking a little brown.
4 oz ricotta cheese
Zest of one orange
Fruits (Berries, mango or whichever fruit you like)
Mix all the above ingredients except the fruit well.
Fill the half baked tart shell with the filling and bake it for another 20 minutes or till the filling settles.
Take the tart out of the mould and let it cool completely, ideally on a cooling rack. Fill the tart shell with your favourite fruits. I used raspberry, blueberry, mango strips and blackberry sauce (blackberry and sugar ground together and passed though a sieve to discard the seed).