HUNGARIAN RAISIN (CRANBERRY) WALNUT TARTLETS
I love this recipe with its sugary, buttery filling and old fashioned feeling. I brought 17 to my monthly discussion group and all of them disappeared. Some people went for two. Rick had four. I just watched. If they only knew how much butter, cream and sugar was packed into each tartlet, they might have thought twice.
I couldn't believe the volume of pastry needed for this recipe. It was evident by the sheer weight of the filled muffin tin. Assembling these tartlets was monk's work. They tested my patience handling measuring the volume of ingredients for each tartlet. I was so frustrated by them once they were assembled. I likely won't be making them again. Too much work. Coming from me, that's a big statement.
FLAKEY AND TENDER CREAM CHEESE PIE CRUST
- Like I said, the volume of pastry to make by hand was challenging. Still I wanted to do it, as I want to learn the feel of pastry and I lose that in the food processor. Besides, I worried that my food processor would break. (HA! that was for anyone following the saga of my food processor).
- Julia Child teaches to rub the cold butter into the flour with your fingers. This wasn't a small amount of pastry so thought the butter might warm up in the time it took. The pastry cutter was proving to be too difficult, and the butter was too hard, and I just didn't have the energy (or maybe the patience). I learned back in Home Ec to cut the cold butter with two knives, so I resurrected the old technique to see how it worked--an old fashioned way for an old world recipe. It wasn't so bad. The butter and flour incorporated and I was able to finish it off with my fingers.
- I cut the pastry into four pieces and left them overnight in the fridge.
- RAISIN WALNUT FILLING
- This was easy, except the egg butter filling looked unappetizing. A bit of a turn off really.
FILL THE TART SHELLS IN THE MUFFIN PAN
- I know this is super easy, but it took me forever to complete, and I was very happy to drop it in the oven.
BAKE THE TARTLETS
- FIRST TRAY: OMG. What a mess. 34 grams of the liquid mixture was just too much. I had the exact right size muffin tin.The pastry fit into the cup perfectly, the nut mixture seemed to be correct, but when it baked up, the filling expanded and the butter oozed all over the floor of my oven. The butter created so much smoke, I disconnected two smoke alarms and slide the back door open to air out the house. I was so pissed.
- What was worse was that the tartlets were stewing in its own juices. You could hear the sizzling through the oven door. This isn't right! So instead of the advised 22 minutes of baking, mine went about 40 minutes. I took it out when the pastry seemed brown enough, but the liquid hadn't reduced. There was no way I was going to wait 30 minutes for them to cool, so in a fit of rage I set a towel on the counter and flipped the pan over while the tartlets were still piping hot. The muffins fell willly nilly onto the towel (thank you gravity). A few of them broke and I could see the dough was still raw. Gees. So I set hot tartlets on a baking tray to cool while I prepared the second tray.
- NEXT TRAY: Filling the second tray I added 28 grams of liquid mixture instead of 34, and it baked up better than the first batch, but the tartlets continued to stew in its own juices.
- TWICE BAKED: I knew that soggy pastry was no good and considering all the work (and ingredients) I had invested, I baked them for another 20 minutes outside of their muffin cups, and the liquid continued to sizzle. When they looked and sounded dry enough, I took them out. After all, I didn't want them to be too dry.
- CONCLUSION: Captain Canada went b*$&%^t s@&$^%t over them and practically ate them for dinner. For me, I nibbled at one and liked them, but I just didn't have anymore enthusiasm for them. They were too greasy.