Basic Tart Dough
tablespoons very cold water
teaspoon pure vanilla extract
cups unbleached AP flour
cup granulated sugar
tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-in cubes
Tart and Filling
rolled-out rectangle of Basic Tart Dough
cups heavy cream
8 - 10
fresh mint sprigs (abt 40 leaves), + sprigs for garnish
ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small slivers (I prefer Ghirardelli)
tablespoons light corn syrup
Confectioners’ sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
- Dough: 1. In sm bowl, stir together the egg yolk, water, and vanilla; set aside.
- To make the dough by hand – In lg bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. 1. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. 2. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.
- To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater – Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt in the mixer bowl. 1. Add the butter and beat on med-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. 2. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.
- 3. Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. 4. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 mins. 5. To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 - 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. 6. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. 7. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed then roll out until the dough is about 1/8-in thick. 8. Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round or rounds 2-ins greater in diameter than your tart or larger tartlet pans. 9. Cut out a rectangle 2-ins larger on all sides than the pan.
- Chef’s Notes: Nut Dough Variations – Add 2 T ground toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts to the flour mixture and proceed as directed. Make-Ahead Tip: The tart dough may be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 mo. To freeze, place the dough round on a 12-in cardboard circle and wrap it well with plastic wrap. Alternatively, use the round to line a tart pan and wrap well.
- Tart: 1. Fold the dough rectangle in half and carefully transfer to a 13¾ x 4¼-in tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. 2. Unfold and ease the rectangle into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. 3. Trim off any excess dough by gently running a rolling pin across the top of the pan. 4. Press the dough into the sides to extend it slightly above the rim to offset any shrinkage during baking. 5. Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell until firm, about 30 mins. 6. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375F. 7. Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. 8. Bake for 20 mins then lift an edge of the foil. Chef’s Note: If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking every 5 mins, until the dough is pale gold, for a total baking time of 25 - 30 mins. 9. Remove the weights and foil. 10. Continue to bake until the shell is golden, 7 - 10 mins more. 11. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Filling: 1. In sm saucepan over med heat, warm the cream until small bubbles appear on the surface. 2. Remove from the heat and add the mint sprigs. 3. Let stand for 20 - 30 mins. 4. Put the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, set over but not touching barely simmering water and melt, stirring occasionally. 5. Alternatively, in a microwave proof bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30-sec intervals. 6. Pour the cream through a fine-mesh sieve into the melted chocolate, discarding the mint sprigs. 7. Add the corn syrup and stir until smooth. 8. Pour the filling into the tart shell. 9. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hr. 10. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, let the sides fall away, and then slide the tart onto a serving plate. 11. Let stand at room temp for 20 mins before serving to take the chill off. 12. Just before serving, lay strips of waxed paper over the top of the tart and dust lightly with Confectioners’ sugar (see photo above). 13. Carefully remove the strips and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Mint