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Tart Dough help needed

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Tracy L. Nov 14, 2004 07:40 PM

I made the tart dough for the Pinenut Rosemary Tart from the Last Course. It rolled out beautifully after refrigeration but when I put it in the tart pan it broke and tore. I did little patch jobs but it looked funny, kind of rustic, (it tasted great, very tender and tasty). I adapted the dough recipe so I could make it in the food processor. I don't own a mixer and have no space for one at this time. I am trying to figure what went wrong. The only two culprits I can think of are; the dough was too cold to roll out or there was not enough liquid in the dough. I'd really like to perfect this skill, tarts are very versatile. If anyone has any advice, please share. Thanks

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    Nina W. RE: Tracy L. Nov 14, 2004 08:04 PM

    Please, do yourself a favor and read about tart doughs in Julia Child's first book. You won't regret it.

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      Carb Lover RE: Tracy L. Nov 14, 2004 11:27 PM

      Need some clarification before I can give some input. How exactly did you 'adapt' the recipe for the food processor? A list of your ingredients and amounts, along w/ a quick run down on your method for making the dough would be helpful.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Carb Lover
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        Tracy L. RE: Carb Lover Nov 15, 2004 03:08 PM

        The tart recipe is copyrighted material so I can't reproduce it. It was pretty much the standard crust with a couple of variations: 1 stick butter, 1.5 c. of flour (about .25 of the mixture was almond flour), about 2 tbs. confectioners sugar, pinch of salt and a beaten egg. I chilled the butter and the egg. Combined the flours with sugar using a steel blade. Then added butter and pulsed to a cornmeal consistency and then added the egg to make a ball. Then I chilled it for an hour.

        Since it sounds like you know enough about tart making, you most likely know the standard 'mixer' version of a tart recipe. Hope this information helps.

        1. re: Tracy L.
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          poppytrail RE: Tracy L. Nov 15, 2004 03:17 PM

          This is very similar to a recipe I use from a Maida Heatter cookbook. It is very crumbly (not crumbly really, it kinda tears randomly) when rolled out so I use the pat-in-the-pan method detailed above.

          1. re: Tracy L.
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            Carb Lover RE: Tracy L. Nov 16, 2004 10:57 AM

            Hmmm...I definitely am not a baking expert (do more cooking actually), but I've made a number of different pastry doughs in my day. I'm actually not loyal to any one recipe since I usually just go w/ whatever that particular dessert recipe calls for. Basic ingredients: all-purpose flour, chilled unsalted butter, tiny bit of sugar and salt, ice water.

            Like you, I've always made my dough in a FP as opposed to mixer. If I understand you correctly, there are differences in recipes depending on which method you use? I guess I've never seen a recipe before that gave different ingredient amounts depending on equipment. Did a quick consult w/ my "Baking w/ Julia" and, while there are different methods obviously, the ingredient amounts remain constant.

            The method that you described exactly resembles my method; however, a few things differ which may be culprits:

            1) Almond flour: I've never worked w/ this before but can imagine that it may contribute to a more dry, crumbly texture.

            2) Egg: I've used recipes calling for an egg before but have preferred ones that use ice water to bind at the end; eggs tend to make crust more dark and tough in my experience. Perhaps your recipe could have benefitted from water in addition to egg to make the dough more pliable.

            3) It's also important to roll out the dough relatively quickly, otherwise it will get too warm and become more fussy. In that case, pop back in fridge for a few min. Good luck!

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          poppytrail RE: Tracy L. Nov 15, 2004 02:10 PM

          I agree with Carblover. There is not enough information to advise you on what went wrong. Here is some advice though: If your tart dough is giving you trouble rolling it out, just pat it into the pan. Flatten it into a disc and place it in the center of the pan. Starting in the middle, use your finger tips to spread it out to the sides. As it reaches the sides, use your flattened palm and fingers to continue pushing. Make sure you are distributing the dough evenly. Ease it up the sides and form your rim. Make sure it all looks pretty even and parbake or fill.

          1 Reply
          1. re: poppytrail
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            Tracy L. RE: poppytrail Nov 15, 2004 03:22 PM

            Rolling out was fine. My problem was getting it from the pastry board to the tart pan. I ended up gently patting it in and repairing and was thankfully it didn't shrink (which has happened in the past. The places that didn't need repair looked ok, but not great.

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