We will explain step by step how to make a perfect tart and what mistakes to absolutely avoid!
Stuffed with jam, custard and fresh fruit or with a delicious layer of chocolate cream: let's face it, the tart is always good and everyone likes it, young ones and adult, but there are many mistakes not to be made in order not to alter the flavor . Are you really sure to do it right? Did it come too dry or not properly stuffed? Is the shortcrust pastry crumbling too easily or is the cooking not homogeneous? Maybe you have done something wrong and this is the right time to understand what! We will explain step by step how to make a perfect tart and what mistakes to absolutely avoid!
If your shortcrust pastry crumbles too easily then you have used less butter than necessary: to make desserts we know that precision is very important and for a perfect tart you will have to calculate 120 grams of butter per 300 grams of 00 type flour. Once the proportions have been discovered, let’s pass to the temperature: the butter must be cold, so do not take it from the refrigerator unless you have to use it. The temperature of the butter is essential for a smooth, compact, and at the same time fragrant shortcrust pastry. The shortcrust pastry must be worked for no more than 10 minutes to prevent the butter from getting too hot and make the shortcrust pastry a disaster! One last thing: the portion of shortcrust pastry must be wrapped with a sheet of cling film for food and left in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes before being rolled out with a rolling pin and stuffed.
The shortcrust pastry must be well balanced: the butter must be cold, the granulated sugar must be in a 2:3 proportion to the flour and the salt must not be missing! Yes, you got it right, the salt! For a shortcrust pastry that is not overly sweet and that is not cloying on the palate, you will need a pinch of salt to soften and balance the flavors: in the pastry-making even a pinch is important!
The perfect balance for a mouth-watering tart provides a similar thickness between the layer of the pastry and the layer of the filling. When you spread the jam, do it carefully but do not be shy or even too thrifty: a rich tart is a soft tart, which does not run the risk of drying out during cooking. If the jam you use should be too liquid, we advise you to sift it with a colander to eliminate the excess liquid which could make your shortcrust pastry base too soft and ruin the crunchiness.
Once the shortcrust pastry has been spread on a lightly floured surface, lay it gently on a tart pan and with a fork prick it: be careful not to pierce it completely but only slightly without arriving with the fork on the pan. In this way you can obtain a homogeneous cooking without risking that the filling moistens the base too much making it excessively soft.
In cuisine and pastry-making, the eye always wants its part and this rule certainly applies also to tarts. When you roll out the shortcrust pastry, always remember to keep a small portion aside to form the classic surface decoration, alternatively use the excess shortcrust pastry that will come out from the edges of the mold. To obtain a shiny surface, brush the shortcrust pastry with an egg or a lightly beaten egg yolk.
Cooking the tart is very important and if done wrong it could ruin all the work done! The perfect cooking must last at least 35 minutes at 180 degrees in an already hot oven. During cooking, do not open the oven door, do it only when the necessary time has elapsed; when the edges are still soft turn off the oven, open the door of the oven and let the tart rest in the oven off for another 5 minutes.