The Ultimate Tartelette Crust
Yield: Roughly 4 individual tartelette shells (4 x 0.75-inch tart plate)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 to 15 minutes
Tessa's Recipe Rundown...
Taste: Buttery and lightly sweet
Texture: Wonderfully crumbly
Ease: The dough will at first seem dry; knead with patience and you will see it all come together in due time.
Appearance: A summery golden round of pastry
Pros: Easy-to-approach recipe, can be made in advance
Cons: Sandy, tender texture can discourage at first.
Would I make this again? With an extra spoonful of sugar, you’ve got the ultimate shortbread cookie dough!
Please welcome Diamond from Paris Elsewhere as she shares her first post! I’m thrilled to be bringing Diamond’s chic and elegant French-inspired style, recipes, and photos to you. Be sure to follow her adventures on Instagram! -Tessa
The twinkling details of a Paris daydream can kindle plans of strolls across lamp post-lined bridges overlooking the River Seine, the hopeful surprise of rainfall during the golden hour and a reposeful escape into a boulangerie on an ever-quaint passageway of Île Saint-Louis. I remember having planned for this and more on my first trip to the City of Light and love; but an 11-hour flight to Charles de Gaulle airport and hour-long traffic-lined autoroute ride into the city set the scene for an irresistible date with billowy bedding.
I finally arrived at my Parisian flat après-sunset, set my luggage on the wooden floor and sat to the dining table. Gazing around the apartment, my eyes fell upon a hint of double-paned windows behind tall curtains. I parted the velvet drapes, opened the windows and leaned over the wrought iron balcony. Fast paced footsteps on cobblestones carried the rhythm of the city. Warm, sweet aromas from the neighborhood patisserie traveled through the gentle wind and enveloped me from the balcony above.
My first taste of the city was from that 6-story flat, and my first bite of joie de vivre came from the patisserie below. A raspberry tartlet to this day remains my favorite “Welcome Home” when I return to Paris, and when elsewhere, it’s that kind nostalgic moment that reminds me la vie est belle.
The recipe I’m sharing made a cherished impression on me. Passed down from my adopted Parisian mother and adapted from the tips of my Parisian friends, this pâte sablée (pastry dough) embodies traditional French gastronomy.
The buttery taste and wonderfully crumbly texture of the pastry base make an elegant crust to the most coveted of tarts, especially my favorite tartelette aux framboises. Overall, the pâte sablée is slightly more delicate than a standard short crust pastry due to the enriching addition of sugar and egg yolks. This pastry is lovely with its classic elements; however, incorporating other flavors, like that of vanilla, cinnamon or lemon zest, can nicely complement your tart.
How to make The Ultimate Tartelette Crust
This pâte sablée recipe was passed down from my adopted Parisian family; it’s simple and sweet, the ultimate base for your tartelette of choice.
- Place flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center; then add butter, egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of ice water. Blend lightly by fingertip, gently kneading until all ingredients gather to form smooth dough. If a crumbly texture persists, add up to 2 tablespoons more of ice water by drops. Shape the pastry into a slightly flattened ball, dust lightly with flour and wrap in parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight, until firm.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge. Place the pastry on a floured surface and press it into a flat circle with the heel of one hand. Sprinkle flour over the pastry and roll it out with a rolling pin. Lift and roll it onto the pin. Unroll and ease pastry into a 4 x 0.75 inch fluted tartelette pan, pressing the pastry into the bottom and around the sides. Roll the pin over the pan to trim extra over-hanging dough. Chill for 20 Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Blind bake the tartelette shell (sans filling): Line with parchment paper. Use dry beans to fill the center of the pan. Edges of the tartelette will start to take on a golden color after 5 to 10 minutes in oven. Remove the parchment paper and return to bake up to 5 minutes longer. Baked crust will appear lightly browned in color. Set pan on a jar to slip off the loose-bottomed rim. Fill as directed in the tartelette recipe of your choice.
- Warm the milk in a saucepan so that it begins to steam.
- Place egg yolks in a bowl and gradually whisk, adding the sugar until light and thick. Beat in the cornstarch and hot milk.
- Pour mixture back into the saucepan. Set over medium heat, stir then whisk slowly until the mixture thickens like pudding. When it comes to an early boil, remove from heat.
- Add in vanilla extract and pour the cream into a strainer set over the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap directly over the surface of the cream and store. Pastry cream will keep 3 days under refrigeration.
Diamond Troutman was first introduced to the art of French cooking at age 11, when play dates with a friend turned into casual lessons of language and culture with her Parisian mother. These sweet lessons of joie de vivre inspired the ultimate wanderlust and a move to The City of Light, where she launched a food and travel blog called Paris Elsewhere. Today, Diamond is a Phoenix-based Content Producer for lifestyle brands, restaurants and magazines. When she’s not styling food for work, her go-to recipe at home is the classic sablé cookie.
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