SHF # 9: Tantalizing Titilating Tempting Tarts! A Linse

I will NOT do it - I simply refuse to miss this months Sugar High Friday, hosted by Jarrett of Life in Flow, that besides from hosting, also gives us all the couldn't-live-without-it fantabulous food porn watch. The theme is Tantalizing Titillating Tempting Tarts!

Just recently, I got bitten by the tart bug meself, but it had been a while since I'd done a sweet tart - the last one really wasn't a success. While I love a nice fruit tart, that just wasn't what I wanted either. And then I started thinking alternatively: well what if you use shortcrust pastry... and a tart dish - would you? - could you? - would I dare call it a tart then?

I decided yes! That is why my contribution to today's Sugar High Friday had to be none other than a Danish classic ""patisserie cake": a linse. Loosely translated, that would be lentil. Don't ask me why!? What it is, is, as promised, short crust pastry, baked blind, then filled with a creme patisserie, assembled with a lid, baked again. And that's kinda it. It's smooth and vanilla-y, with a nice crunchy contrast from the pastry case. I used to work in a bakery and this was one of my all-time favorite cakes. My best friend J, loved to eat them fridge cold after we'd been out on the town - nothing beats coming home with the munchies after one too many beers, and gobbling down one of these babies!

As for the recipe - well... See, I'd actually found a recipe in one of my favorite Danish cookbooks by Camilla Plum - but... I hadn't read the recipe very thoroughly, and when I started, I realized that there was ingredients in the ingredients list, which was never used in the actual recipe... So I had to wing it! And it turned out okay, but you know - I don't think it actually spot-lighted the linse as it ought to be spot-lighted. Still, I'm gonna give you the directions I followed, if you really feel like trying it, you can always try dabbling it around - at least you'll have a starting of point!

Shortcrust pastry

125 g. butter, fridge cold
170 g. flour
1 egg, beaten
40 g. icing sugar

I used my food processor - combine all of the ingredients, except the egg, in a bowl of a food processor. Process until you have a sandy texture. Leave the machine running, then add the egg a little by little - as always, try and work as fast as possible, as leaving the machine running for too long will result in a more doughy crust, rather than the flaky one you're after. Once the dough has formed, pat it into a flat disc, then leave in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 150 C

When the pastry has rested, roll it out as thin as possible. Remember you need pastry for both bottom and top. Line small tart dishes with the bottom part, and bake blind, about 10 minutes. Take out the beans/rice or whatever you've used for baking blind, then stick them back in the oven for 5 minutes, having cranked up the oven to 175 C. Leave to cool, before filling them with creme patisserie. The top part of the linse is put on top of the creme, then stuck to the bottom pie pressing a fork all along the rim of the tart dish.

My notes: The pastry got a bit too sticky I think, and you have to roll it really thin for it to encase the creme patisserie in the right way - you don't want a big hunk of crust here! I couldn't do that with this pastry, but if you have a favorite sweet pastry recipe, try that!

Creme Patisserie
20 g. corn starch
250 ml cream
250 ml milk
125 vanilla infused sugar
1 vanilla pod
6 egg yolks

Dissolve the cornstarch in a bit of the milk. In a medium pan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and the seed of the vanilla pod. Whisk in milk/corn starch mixture, then the rest of the cream and milk. Bring to the boil, while you keep whisking. Still whisking, let boil for about 5 minutes. It will thicken a bit. When you think it's thick enough (it will thicken additionally upon cooling) take of the heat, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool, giving it a stir every now and then to avoid a skin from forming.

My notes: I think it got just a wee bit grainy. Next time, I'll give it a whirl with my immersion blender, just to smooth it out properly.

I'm afraid I don't know (yet!) how many the recipe will make - it's a work in progress, I just made two to start. But I'd think around 12...

Served the classy way - no, I didn't eat all of them standing in front of the fridge!

Even though I wasn't quite pleased while making them, they still worked very well. In fact, they were better than I remember them from the bakery I used to work at. But that just goes to show - home made is well made, ain't it?;-)

Now, off into the very nice weather we have here today! I'll check out all of your tarty contributions later!


Cathy said…
Zarah, it's beautiful! It sounds so good too, and I love the idea of eating it cold. (We're having great weather here too - the heat broke yesterday.) Enjoy your day!!
Stephanie said…
Mmm...simple and sweet; I like!
Anonymous said…
Wow, it looks wonderful. I'm curious as to how the creme patisserie tastes after it's been baked...I'll have to try this to find out, I suppose. :)
Andrea said…
Really fantastic!
Your last picture should be your first, it looks so nice cut and to be able to see what's inside.
I couldn't wait to scroll down and to see.
Zarah Maria said…
Hi Cathy! Thank you! I sure was enjoying the day too - I was just a bit miffed I hadn't made more linse's so I could bring them with me out!

Stephanie - I like too!:-)

Hi Alice! It still tastes good and is nice and smooth, only goes a little bit thicker - and I think it does go just a tiny bit more grainy, so you'd want to make sure the creme you put in it is not grainy at all. Let me know how it goes if you decide to give the a whirl!

Dreska - Thank you! I was in agony figuring out which picture to start the post with, but decided I liked the rustic look of the first one, so that would have to be it! And it's always good to have something to look forward to too, isn't it?;-)
Jennifer said…
Zarah - I was getting worried when I saw how busy you've been lately, SHF wouldn't be the same without you! And as always you didn't disappoint with these gorgeous tarts...amazing! I'll bet they're delicious too, nothing like a simple vanilla custard tart.

Nic said…
Mmm... I want one, Zarah! And I don't think anyone would fault you if you had eaten them, standing, out of the fridge. Isn't that why a lid is put on in the first place?
Anonymous said…
zarah maria!

omg - the tops of your tartlets are soo looks like eyelet :)
Zarah Maria said…
Jennifer - there's no way I'd miss out on SHF! IMBB might pass me by, but SHF -(hopefully) never!

Nic - LOL! I think you're right... In fact, the next batch I made was eaten out of the fridge...

Sarah - thanks! I was actually really pleased at the way they looked too!
Molly said…
Zarah Maria, these little tarts are drop-dead gorgeous! Very sophisticated, and yet down-home too. Right up my alley, m'dear.

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