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Old 03-01-2009, 02:26 PM   #1
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A tart dough question

I have a question about a tart I made yesterday. The recipe was for a double chocolate ancho chili tart with almonds. The tart dough was easy to make. Just cream the butter and sugar together. Then add the cinnamon, ancho chili pepper, and salt. Then the unsweetened coco powder and vanillia extract. Finally you add the AP flour and mix just until incorparated. Nothing complicated about that. Then you roll it out to and 8 inch disk and put in fridge to harden. Once it hardens you roll the dough out into an 11 inch disk and put it in the 9 inch tart pan and trim off the extra dough. Put it back in the fridge and let it harden. The dough had harden so now the recipe said to bake it in oven at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes till it was dry. I did that, but the sides of the dough just melted, so it looked more like a chocolate gramcracker crust, than tart crust.

The almonds were just toasted and finished with cinnamon and sugar mixture. The filling for the tart was just ganache with some ancho chili puree and amareto.

Once the baked tart was cool, it said to put the almonds on the bottom layer and then pour the ganache on top and put it in the fridge for 3 to 5 hours to let it set. When I served finished product, there was no side to the crust, just the bottom. It tasted great and everyone loved it, but I know it could have looked great as well as taste great.

What did I do wrong?

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Old 03-01-2009, 06:28 PM   #2
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I forgot to add that it called for a tart pan with a removable bottom, and that I did not have a tart pan with a removable bottom.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:33 PM   #3
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Doughs made with butter often "melt" from the pan sides. To avoid this, butter the tart pan and press the dough ins as you did. The, cut a section of parchment paper into a strip that will wrap around the pan twice. Curl the strip into a circle that will just fit into the pan. The sides have to be as tall as the tart crust sides. The paper-circle will hold the pie-crust up until it sets its shape.

The problem with using butter is that it melts at a low temperature, before the starches in the flour have a chance to bind together. This causes the crust to lose its shape and fall inward. Shortening based crusts hold up better, but don't give you that rich and butter flavor.

If using a pie pan, you can place another pie pan of the same size into the first pan to keep the sides up. Just don't try to push it in deep. Let gravity do the work. And butter the outside of the inner-pie pan to keep it from sticking to the crust.

Hope this helps.

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Old 03-01-2009, 06:34 PM   #4
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Hmmm. Without seeing the recipe, I'm not sure what went wrong. Maybe too much butter? Not enough flour? Butter not incorporated enough? If you don't have a tart pan, what did you bake it in? I make alot of tarts, because they are easier than pies and they always look pretty. Your recipe sounds yummy - will you post it? Oh, and welcome to DC!
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:37 PM   #5
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Goodweed is right about the butter. I usually use good old fashioned lard for my pastry crusts - with maybe a third butter for flavor.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:49 PM   #6
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I had a 9 inch tart pan, just not one with a removable botton. I will post the recipe and soon as I get the cookbook back. My neighboor like it a lot so I lent her the cookbook to copy the recipe. I should get it back from her by tomorrow and then I will post the recipe.

Thanks for all your helpful tips.
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