Category Archives: Tarts

Summer Savory and Sweet Tarts

I often prepared these delicious individual summer tarts for lunch in the Perfect Endings Bakery Cafe. Combining the savory and the sweet makes a perfect, light and complete summer meal. Each tart starts with Puff Pastry dough, easily found in the freezer section of your grocery store, which makes it quite convenient.  As well as simple and quick, you’ll find these tarts fresh, flavorful and visually exciting!

More a “preparation” rather than recipe, I gave Rachel the instructions and asked her to test them in her home and let us know what she thought about the preparation, the combinations and especially the flavor!

“I really enjoyed trying these two recipes (perhaps not as much as my husband).  They complimented each other well, making the perfect duo.  The savory tomato, pesto, mozzarella on puff pastry was simple to make and deliciously hearty.  The crunch of the puff pastry alongside the tenderness of the tomato was divine.  This savory treat is certainly a show stopper.  It even impressed my two year old who was yelling “ooh,wow!” as I plated it for dinner.

The balsamic strawberry dessert was both sweet and tart making it a perfectly refreshing summer dessert. It was quick to make and is one of those desserts you end up craving!  I thought this dessert was a good spin off of traditional strawberry shortcake.  It could certainly be paired with some vanilla ice cream but I topped mine with whipped cream and a sprig of mint.  It was light and enjoyed by the whole family. ”  – Rachel

Savory Tart:
1) Slice large, ripe tomatoes approx. 1/4″ thick.  Place the tomatoes on a rack set on paper towels (this removes some of the moisture).
2) Cut the slightly thawed pastry dough into 4″ rounds and bake on a parchment lined sheet tray in 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or so until crisp and brown.
3) Spread the baked pastry with Pesto (homemade or store bought), place a slice of tomato on top and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
4) Place the tarts back in oven until hot and cheese is melted – approx. 5 minutes
5) Serve (garnish with basil)
Sweet Tart:
1)  Slice 1 Quart of strawberries and mix in 2 Tabl. of good Balsamic Vinegar – allow to macerate in bowl on the counter while baking the pastry.
2) Cut the slightly thawed pastry dough into 4″ and brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
3) Bake in 375 degree oven on a parchment lined sheet pan for 15-20 minutes or so until crisp and brown.
4)  Cool pastry slightly and cover with strawberries.
5)  Dollop with whipped cream or ice cream on side and garnish with mint leaf.

Cranberry Walnut Tart

My top seller in the bakery for Thanksgiving was this Cranberry Walnut Tart.  It is sweet and tangy with a hint of orange and cinnamon. It can be made in advance and freezes very well.  If you are looking for a dessert that is just as lovely as it is quick to make, this is it!

In a bowl, whisk together:       
3 Tabl. Flour
½ cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Whisk in:
4 oz. Butter, melted and cooled
½ cup dark Corn Syrup
2 Eggs, whole
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Zest of 1/2 orange

In bottom of  partially baked tart crust* place:
2 cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries whole
1 cup Walnuts

Pour liquid ingredients over the nuts and berries.  Bake in 350 degree oven for approx. 30 minutes or until lightly browned and center is set.  Cool.

* Recipe for tart dough is in archives

Pecan Tart

I do love the flavors of pecan pie, but I find the inch or so of “goo-iness” is a bit much for me.  A few years back, I began making Pecan Tarts instead of pie, so I could enjoy the flavor of the pecans more. In this case, less (“goo-iness”) is more!

This tart can be baked ahead and frozen.  After it cools, wrap it well in plastic wrap or large freezer bag.  Bring out of the freezer the day you’d like to serve.  It thaws within an hour.            

Have prepared and pre-baked 1 Tart Crust (as found in recipe section)

In bowl, whisk to make smooth:
1 cup Brown Sugar
3 Tabl. Butter, melted
1/2 cup Dark Corn Syrup
3 Eggs, whole

Line the bottom of the pre-baked tart shell with Pecans. Pour the above mixture over the top of pecans.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until it is set in the center.  Cool completely before serving.

Keep this tart at room temp. if you are going to serve in a day or two.  Otherwise, refrigerate, and bring to room temp. before serving.  Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Tart Dough

When thinking of Thanksgiving desserts, most people lean toward serving pies. I’ve always preferred making and serving tarts.  I especially prefer having a Pecan Tart rather than pie, because you get less of the “gooey” and more of the pecan.

Whether you wish to serve pecan, cranberry, chocolate or a cream tart, you have to start with the right crust.  Tart crust is not the same as pie crust.  Pie crust should be flaky, while tart crust is a bit sweeter and sturdier.   This recipe will make enough for 2 tart shells.

Place in mixer bowl and mix with a paddle just until butter is incorporated:
2-1/2 cups AP Flour
1 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
3/4 cup Butter, cut into small cubes

When the above mixture is incorporated, add and mix just until it comes together (DO NOT OVERMIX):

1 Egg, whole

Press the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.   Place the dough on a floured counter or plastic wrap and roll out into a circle.* Bring the tart pan near the dough.  Fold dough in 1/2 and flop onto tart pan and unfold.  Press dough firmly into the bottom and sides with fingers.

If recipe calls for a partially baked tart crust, line the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights to lessen shrinkage. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 -12 minutes.

If recipe calls for fully baked tart crust, bake at 375 degrees 12-14 minutes or until lightly, golden brown.  Cool completely before filling.

* Follow same instructions for rolling out the tart dough as can be found under pie crust.

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