Looking for an untraditional tomatillo dessert? These tomatillo tartlets sweeten the sour, liven the citrus and highlight the piquant. Baked in a crunchy pecan cookie crust, rediscover the refreshing tart and sour tomatillo. This tomatillo dessert is ideal for your summer picnic.
Thank you Rick Bayless for this recipe. Over the years, you’ve taught me that Mexican food draws its character from the heart and hands. Check out his original Tomatillo Tart recipe.
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MISE EN PLACE THE COOKIE CRUST
Combine sugar and pecans in the bowl of a food processor.
- Measure the butter and keep cold.
- In a small bowl, separate an egg yolk and combine it with the cream. Keep cold.
- Combine the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
DIRECTIONS FOR ASSEMBLING THE COOKIE CRUST
- Pulse until the pecans, and sugar are finely ground.
- Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture is the size of small peas.
Add the cold butter into the finely ground pecans and sugar.
- Add the flour and salt to the butter, nut and sugar mixture and pulse a few times just until the flour disappears.
Add the flour and salt to the butter, nut mixture.
- If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a few more drops of cream.
- Pour the rough dough onto a clean counter and knead it lightly until it holds together.
The rough cookie crust dough on the counter.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm about 1 hour.
MAKING TARTLET SHELLS
Filling the cups with cookie crust dough.
- With your fingers, press the dough evenly on the bottom and up the sides of each cup.
- Set the tray back in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees.
BLIND BAKING THE TARTLET SHELLS
- Bake the tart shells at 350ºF degrees for about 14 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the dough is set.
- If the dough rises in the center, gently tamp down the heave and set back in the oven for another minute or so.
- When the tart shells are golden, remove from the oven and let cool in the tray.
Baked tart shells.
MISE-EN-PLACE THE TOMATILLO FILLING
- Toast the pecans on a baking tray at 325ºF for 10-12 minutes, just until they are dry in the center, and toasty brown. Let cool.
- In a measuring cup with a spout,, stir together the tapioca flour with the water.
- Peel the tomatillo husks and rinse the tomatillos clean.
Fresh tomatillos are best for these tarts. Still in their husks.
- Chop the tomatillos in ½ inch chunks and set them in a large bowl.
Chop the fresh tomatillos for the tartlets.
- Combine the sugar, a pinch of salt, orange zest and ¼ cup of the pecans.
- Just before you’re ready to bake, combine the tomatillos and the sugar mixture and fold gently just until combined.
- Fill each tart shell with the tomatillo mixture.
- Stir the tapioca flour and water to recombine.
- Gently pour the tapioca slurry into each cup, filling to about ½ to ¾ full. Avoid filling 100% because the tapioca will expand and overflow, making the baked tarts difficult to remove from the cups.
- Sprinkle the remaining pecans over top of the tarts.
BAKE THE TOMATILLO TARTS
- Set the tomatillo tarts in the 325ºF oven and bake for 45 minutes until the filling has set. There will be a little movement in the very center of the tart which will finish setting as it cools.
- Remove the tarts from the oven and let cool.
- With an offset spatula , gently wedge the tip between the shell and the tin to release the tart. Remove to a wire rack .
COOLING AND SERVING
- These tomatillo tarts are best served the same day while the cookie shell is crunchy. If left overnight, the moisture from the tomatillos will soften the cookie shell.
- Serve at room temperature.
Tomatillo Tarts: The Finer Cookie
- NOTE ON SUGAR: ¼ cup of sugar will maintain a bright tang to the tomatillo filling. It balances with the sugar in the cookie crust. You can add more if you feel it’s necessary. NOTE ON TOMATILLOS: While it's better to use fresh tomatillos for this recipe, sometimes they're not available. If not, use canned tomatillos and drain them thoroughly after you've cut them and before adding the sugar. Sugar will draw out the liquid further.