The recipe I am sharing is fuss-free; no baking weights are needed, don't need to roll out the dough (which necessitates more washing). Oh and get a non-stick pan; it saves you the hassle of greasing the pan. Quick, easy, simple.
(makes two 20cm tarts)
250g cake ﬂour (I used plain flour before and I did not notice a significant difference)
150g unsalted butter (I love President brand though its pricey)
60g fine/caster sugar
1 large egg
60g almond meal (ground almond)
1. Toast ground almond at 120 degrees for 10 minutes
2. Creaming sugar and butter. This took me around 1-2 minutes; the duration depends on how soft your butter is. You should get a pale fluffy texture.
3. Add in whisked egg and mix well
4. After adding in flour and ground almond, form a dough and separate dough into two portions. My total dough came up to be about 750g. Wrap both pieces of dough in cling wrap and place in freezer. I chilled one piece in the fridge for 10 minutes before use. For the other piece to be used for another tart, place dough with cling wrap in a ziplock bag and store in freezer until use.
5. Take out the chilled dough and press/mould it onto tart pan. (you do not need to roll out the dough). Prick dough and chill in the freezer for another 10-15 minutes. Bake in pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 20-25 mins or until golden brown (no baking beads or weights required)
The tart base recipe can also make a 18-23cm tart. Using it for a 18cm tart just means that the base is slightly thicker, 23cm being thinner
You will notice I did not use any weights when baking the tart base. Freezing the tart base before baking in the freezer for 15 minutes prevents the tart from proofing and cracking.
Instead of using 1 whole egg, you can reserve around slightly less than 1 tablespoon of white egg to brush the tart base when it is out from the oven. This helps to seal the tart and prevent the tart from softening (especially important on fruit tarts where there is pastry cream). Personally, I don't like wasting another egg just for this sealing purpose. If you find that a hassle, either omit this step completely or use alternative glaze like apricot jam or chocolate.
When handling the tart base, do not over work the dough. Also, instead of pressing out the dough directly inside the pan, you can choose to roll out dough with rolling pin to a circle slightly bigger than the tart base and place dough onto tart pan. Trim off the excess dough and remember to flour your tabletop and rolling pin.
For some tart recipes, refer to the following, and more to come...