Friday, April 3, 2015

Perfect (and super easy) Shortbread Crust

A few years ago, my friend, St Cheryl of Shirlington, gave me a recipe for a Shortbread tart crust that I thought was pretty much perfect.  It had 3 ingredients - flour, confectioners sugar and butter, was quickly assembled in a food processor, patted into a tart shell and baked.  I have been using it ever since.  Over Christmas this year, I found a recipe on the Martha Stewart site for a Press-In Shortbread Tart Crust.  It's brilliant, and the perfect amount for a 9-inch tart pan. It similar to St. Cheryl's, but a bit richer.  It has a single egg yolk, regular sugar, butter and salt.  Martha assembled it by hand, which I file under "Life Is Too Short", so I used the food processor - if you don't have one, I highly recommend one, I have had this Cuisinart for over 20 years.  I also reduced by half the amount of salt, because I thought it was too salty.

So here goes.

PRE-HEAT YOUR OVEN TO 375*F

In your food-processor bowl, with the blade attachment inserted, add:

1 cup AP Flour
4 Tbls. Butter, cut into 4 or 5 pats
3 Tbls Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt (I used kosher salt)

Pulse the processor about 10 times or so, until it resembles coarse crumbs.



Add through the food-tube:

1 large egg yolk

Pulse about 5 times until the yolk is completely incorporated.



Dump the mixture into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and press the crumbs into the pan and up the sides of the pan.



Note that I put it on an aluminum pizza pan, those removable bottoms can be tricky and this ensures that you don't make a mess (voice of experience, again).

Place in the freezer, and freeze for at least 20 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and bake in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, turning the pan after about 10 minutes, remove when the crust is slightly browned - do not over cook.




Allow to cool.


Then comes the fun part.  You can fill this with anything your heart desires.  Make a chocolate ganache with some chocolate chips and a bit of heavy cream, top with fruit.  Make some pastry cream and top with fruit. If you don't feel like cooking anymore, soften 8 oz. of cream cheese and sweeten with some confectioners sugar, top with fruit....you get the idea.

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