Its after we moved in to the United States that tart , shortcakes and other baked stuffs became familiar to us , its so easy here with stove oven and egg beater and other kitchen appliances available here , if you want to make a cake , we have wide options to make things easier. In India , during my childhood days, making cake is almost a day’s work , we have another round electric oven , which has the capacity to bake only one cake at a time, and if there is any extra batter left we’ll have to wait till the first round baking is over .It was comparatively cheap than the toaster oven that was the only other option then.
But some how my mummy managed to buy a stove top oven from a gulf returnee , during those days , the Non resident Indians mainly from Gulf used to bring these electric stuffs and sell it , my Achachen (Dad) was against it as he said , there is no maintenance or parts available in our place if something goes wrong with this oven. Anyway with this stove oven mummy managed to make Christmas cakes in bulk and also bake cakes any time without much planning and that’s how I started baking cakes too. we baked numerous amounts of cake in that oven but slowly as my dad said , it retired and we sold it to a scrap dealer (some one who buy old metal stuffs and uses it for new purposes ) we call them “Aarchery Man ”
Things have changed now for the better , now our country is more developed , we get all electric stuffs and anything and everything we need.
This dish here is one of those ,which we used to get in our so called Hep Bakery in our place during those times and I still cherish the taste , so thought to give it a try , tart shell recipe is from Joyofbaking.com , Thanks to Stephanie Jaworski , I cling on to her recipe’s for almost all baking stuffs, she narrates it in such a way that its easy to understand and looks easy too.
Caramel dry fruit Tart
For the Crust (Tart Shells )
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
In a bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Place the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, and beat until softened (but using our own clean hands will give you good hand exercise,no mandatory need of an electric mixer here . but things are easy then ) . Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating just until incorporated. Add all at once and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten the pastry into a disk, cover with plastic wrap or cover , and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or just until firm (can place in freezer for about 10-15 minutes.)
Lightly butter and flour (or use a non stick spray) the bake ware or what ever you are using , i used the cup cake cover’s and placed those in cup cake bake dish.Make small balls with the refrigerated flour dough , then flatten each of those in to the cup’s ,lightly prick the bottom of the flour shells with a fork ( this is important or else you may end up having shortcakes kind of stuff which you don’t want for this recipe, will be tasty though )
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F , bake these shells in 400 degree F for just 5 mints and then reduce the temperature to 350 degree F for another 10 to 15 minutes , until the crust is golden brown , and transfer these to a rack to cool.
Ingredients for the Filling
Sugar 3/4 cup
Butter 2 table spoon
Dry fruits 3/4 cup (Any nuts , raisins, dates etc) chopped
Whipping cream – 1/4 cup
Caramelize 1/2 cup of sugar ( just put 1/2 cup of sugar to a pan and heat it in medium till it turns light brown)
once brown add butter and wait till it melts , do not stir at this point , then add cream and start stirring , use a wooden spoon here as it will be easy to clean , be extra care full when you do this , as pouring cream to the caramelized sugar may spatter and cause serious burns.Initially the sugar gets crystallized then when its heated again it melts , so wait till the whole things is melted and make sure there is no lumps , if there is , heat it for some more time until everything melts, then add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar which you have and stir , now the filling starts to thicken , add the dry fruits and switch off the heat.
Take 1 table spoon of this filling and arrange it on the tart shells and serve
I used cahsew nuts, dates ,figs raisins etc , use a mixture of nuts and fruits so that its crispy and chewy when you bite it. It is indeed a wonderful treat. Can serve these for a high Tea menu.
You can store these covered for 2-3 days , stays well !