A few weeks ago I mentioned my aunt had introduced me to a rebel pastry shell, a brown butter tart crust whose unorthodox assembly has earned it genius marks. It’s about as no-fuss as it gets as far as pastry making goes and tastes as light and flaky as the best.
I have made this shell several times since discovering the method, once filled with lemon cream and bruléed Swiss meringue (see below), and most recently with a lemony, sweetened mascarpone topped with fresh berries. This is the only pastry crust I will make all summer long in my hot kitchen, on my unforgiving countertops, with my warm, clammy hands. Sayonara rolling pin, see you in the fall.
Have a wonderful weekend, Everyone.
PS: A few ideas for Mother’s Day.
This is it: Place butter, vegetable oil, water, sugar, and salt in a bowl; place in hot oven for 15 minutes; mix with flour.
After the mixture has cooled, press it into tart pan:
Love this Vermont Creamery mascarpone:
Source: Paule Caillat
Tart shell: Food52
Lemon cream variation: Fill with lemon curd then sift confectioners’ sugar over top or top with Swiss meringue, then torch if desired.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 ounces flour
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 pound mascarpone (about 2 cups)
- ¼ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- strawberries, stemmed and halved or quartered
- blueberries or raspberries would be nice, too
- Heat the oven to 410° F. In a Pyrex type oven-safe bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, salt, and sugar. Place in the hot oven for approximately 15 minutes, until the mixture is boiling and the butter starts browning. Remove from oven, add flour quickly, until it forms a ball.
- Once the dough is cool enough to touch, press it in to the tart mold evenly with your fingertips. Pierce the bottom with a fork, line the sides with the back of the fork to form ridges. Bake at 410° F (210° C) for 15 minutes or until the crust is light brown and shows fine cracks. Remove carefully from oven. It is ready for filling. Note: David Lebovitz recommends a brilliant patching technique for any cracks — just reserve a small knob of dough to spackle into any cracks after baking while it’s still warm. (No need to bake again.)
- Meanwhile, make filling: Whisk together mascarpone, confectioners sugar, lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until smooth.
- When tart shell has completely cooled, spread mascarpone filling over top. Top with fresh berries. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
You can use English muffin rings to make mini tarts:
This is the Swiss meringue recipe from the Slanted Door cookbook: