Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Easy as Pie Lightning Tartlets

I went out to my garden this weekend and I was blown away by how big everything got after being away for a week.  I harvested five artichokes!  I gave one away to another gardener at my community garden.  Then I saw my strawberries.  It took a while to even locate and pick them all.  Then I had an unusual problem: what do I do with all these strawberries?

I could just eat some of them, sure.  And I did.  Immediately.  But for once in my life I had too many strawberries.

I decided to whip something up.  My idea was to make something incredibly quick, but still with a beautiful flaky crust.  I had this idea that pie crust doesn't need to take as long as it does with gluten dough because it doesn't need to rest to "relax" the gluten.  Whether or not that's strictly true is unimportant.  Sure, it helps to rest the dough to get the water to absorb evenly, but for the sake of a Lightning Tartlet I decided to omit the resting.

Then I decided to omit the rolling out.  That saves a lot of time and frustration.  Then I cut some more corners.  You'll see.  What you end up with is a very fast, easy tartlet recipe that you can whip up for a quick dessert.

Recipe for Lightning Tartlets

Makes 4 tartlets

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, bring to a boil:

4 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
2 Tbsp minced rhubarb (optional)
a pinch of salt

While the fruit mixture is boiling, make your crust.  In a food processor, mix:

1 cup Deluxe Pastry Flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

When the dry ingredients are mixed, add:

6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Pulse the butter into the flour mixture until the largest pieces are about the size of a pea.  Then add:

2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter

Pulse the food processor again until the large pieces aren't bigger than 1/2 inch.  Pour over the butter and flour mixture:

3-4 Tbsp ice-cold water

Pulse the ice water into the flour and butter for 1-2 seconds.  Add more ice water and repeat until the mixture looks like little pellets.  The dough should stick together when you pinch a bit of it between your fingers.   If it doesn't, you need more water.  Once the mixture is the right consistency, stop mixing.

Divide the crumbly dough between four tartlet pans.  They may look too full but the pie dough will smash down considerably.  Start forming the edge of the dough.  Make a rim by shaping it with your two thumbs together, then press down the bottom.  Press everything very firmly into the pan.  Don't worry too much about over-compressing it.  The dough will puff up a little in the oven.

Remember your fruit filling boiling away on the stove?  Taste that.  Don't burn yourself.  Adjust the ingredients if necessary.  Once all the crusts are formed, fill the tartlets with the fruit filling, still hot.

If you'd like, add a dollop of cream cheese like I did with this blueberry tartlet.

Bake in the 400 degree oven about 15 minutes or until the crusts begin to brown.  Let them cool before digging in.  Serve them in the pan to avoid a mess.  While the crusts will hold together on their own, it's tricky to get them out without spilling the fruit contents until they've cooled completely.

For more strawberry recipes see the Gluten-free Homemaker's blog carnival Gluten-free Wednesdays.  Her theme this month is strawberries.



Anonymous said...

Those look so good! I love anything and everything strawberry.

Gina said...

Thanks for the comments on my tartlets! Strawberries are so good when they're in season, aren't they?

Jennifer said...

They look delicious!

l'actrice said...

OMG! They look lovely:-)

Gina said...

Thanks everyone! They were quick and easy too :)

Anonymous said...

oh those are so cute!! i love the colors! delish!

Gina said...

Hey thanks Glutenfreehappytummy! They are pretty quick to make, too :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! so yummy!! Thanks for sharing.

Abstigale said...

Just made these. Pretty little tarts. The inside could use some corn starch for cohesion, and a reduction in butter (maybe 1/4 or 1/3 less?) would make the crust awesome! Following the recipe, my crust basically melted because of the super high butter content.