Butter the rings
I like to butter my rings before lining with dough. It will slide down the ring more easily and won’t ever ever stick to it once baked.
How to roll and cut the dough
These days I always roll my dough in betwen two sheets of feuille guitare, a thin acetate. If you can get your hands on it, it’s much better than baking paper, as the dough won’t crease.
If I’m using pâte sucrée or as I show you here my favourite biscuit dough (any kind of soft dough that patches well, really; I can’t think of any aside from pâte brisée or feuilletée), I like to cut strips to the height I want my tart to be and a disk for the bottom.
This is way easier to handle and creates a flawless tart case with perfect corners.
To calculate how long the strips that goes around the ring should be, it’s very simple.
circumference = diametre x 3.14
And then, for the bottom-disk: just cut it one cm smaller than your ring.
To line the ring, simply place the strip of dough on the inside, sealing with your fingers where the two ends meet. And then place the disk of dough in the centre, pushing it slightly so that it reaches the sides. Run your finger to smooth out and seal.
Blind-baking with clingfilm
I usually go for clingfilm whenever I’m blind-baking a large tart (bigger than 10cm-wide), as it’s the most convenient.
Simply layer two large pieces of clingfilm, smoothing out with a tea towel, then place over your unbaked tart case and add rice or pulses up to the rim. Press with your hands to compress your baking weights, making sure they go well into the corners of your tart. Loosely close your clingfilm. If you wrap it too tight, the clingfilm as it shrinks a little with the heat, won’t be in contact with the sides of your tart anymore.
This technique is amazing as it bakes the dough much more evenly than any other. But it can be a bit of a pain at times, with the clingfilm breaking and spilling rice everywhere. Yes, it’s happened before ;)
Blind-baking with cupcake papers
This is my go-to method, one that I learnt at Pierre Hermé, back in 2007. Using your fingers you “break” cupcake paper so that they are the size of your ring. Fill with rice or pulses. And you’re pretty much set. It’s incredibly easy, reusable for almost-ever and the fastest.
This method has only one downside: it will leave imprints on the baked tart case.
The baking temperature
At the restaurant I always go for 155°C, but at home, in my not so amazing oven, I’ve found that 165°C works perfectly.
Of course it also depends on the kind of dough you’re using. The best is to experiment, until you’re happy with the results.
As a general rule though, 150-160°C for fan-assisted ovens, and 165-170°C for traditional ovens.
Peel your tart
This is my absolute favourite trick to make tart cases neater than neat. Simply trim any bits of dough that might have popped out a little out from the rings, either at the base or the top with a peeler.
Do this when your tart case is completely cold. And ever so gently.
Ceramic baking weights?
No thank you. They’re too big: don’t get in the corners. Too heavy: break the delicate structure of your dough, leave imprints. Too expensive.
If you have any other question, please leave me a comment and I’ll try to answer. Also, if there is any technique or ingredient you would like to see broken down, tell me. x