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sweet tart dough - need help

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sweet tart dough - need help

Debbie | Nov 11, 2003 01:19 AM

I am just having the darndest time with the dough for a pecan tart, and I'd really like to make it for Thanksgiving if I can get it right before then. I'm using Christopher Kimball's recipe for food processor tart pastry from The Dessert Bible (p. 249 for the dough, which has equal amounts of Crisco and butter, plus 1/4 cup of sugar and an egg). I'm also using his recipe for the filling (p. 260).

The filling is great and really easy, no problems there. But the crust, oh the crust. It's easy to put together. But I can't get it rolled out without major cracking, enough to make it impossible to get into the tart pan without it totally falling apart and needing major patching. I should say that I'm pie dough impaired. Having come from a family of cookie, cake and brownie bakers, I never had the opportunity to learn pie dough. I haven't made that many pies before this, although I have made a few. This is my first shot at a tart, though. I'm having more problems rolling this than I had with pie dough, probably because it's stickier due to the egg and sugar.

So the first time, I rested it for two hours in the fridge, then took it out for 20 minutes, then rolled, exactly per Kimball's directions. It totally fell apart and was a giant mess. The second time, I rolled it right away without a rest in the fridge. It was slightly easier the second time but still had major crackage. Both times it went back into the fridge (after I finally got it into the tart pan) for a minimum 2 hour rest and then straight from the fridge into the oven.

Then the pre-baking: for the pecan tart recipe, Kimball says to pre-bake the dough only 6 minutes without a foil cover or pie weights. So I did this, then added the filling as directed. The result was a crust that was not cooked or browned enough although it released easily from the tart pan. The second time, I doubled the pre-baking time to 12 minutes but still baked it bare. The crust tasted a lot better and looked much better color-wise, but it didn't release from the sides of the tart pan and large hunks stuck to the pan. It tasted great though.

I should mention that it has to bake about 15 minutes more once the filling goes in, at 375 degrees. I'm using an oven thermometer so I know I'm getting the temp pretty accurate.

Any tart bakers out there? Does anyone have any ideas? Any reasonably foolproof sweet tart dough recipes and tips for getting it rolled out and into the pan without it totally falling apart? If I were to truly blind bake it with benefit of foil and pie weights, and knowing it needs another 15 minutes with the filling, how long would I bake it with the foil and then how long after I remove the foil, and at what temp? Any help is really appreciated.

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