Sunday, April 17, 2016
Hungarian Raisin Walnut Tartlets
I'll have to admit that I wasn't that keen on making these. They sounded a little boring; they looked a little blah; and there were so many of them! But after I decided I'd cut the recipe in thirds, so I only had to make one batch of pie crust, it sounded more doable. Now I almost wish I'd made the whole recipe. They're rich, nutty, scrumptious, and tasty as all get out.
This is a trick I learned from Rose and Woody. The dough mat that's part of Rose's pie equipment is great for rolling out dough, but it's stored tightly rolled up, and it doesn't lie flat. Taping each corner down with duct tape makes the mat easy to use.
The dough tracks make it easy to roll out pastry to 1/8 inch. It's not close to a perfect circle but it doesn't have to be since you'll be cutting out circles that are 4 1/2 inches. More or less. I found a little bowl that was around 4 7/8 inch in diameter. Close enough.
This is JJ's bowl. He's a little possessive about his personal set of fine china (aka Ikea plasticware), but I think he'd agree this was used for a good cause.
Except for all the folderol that goes along with any pastry thing, and, of course, the toasting and skinning of the walnuts, the filling couldn't have been easier. Raisins and chopped walnuts are mixed together.
And bound with a mixture of butter, eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. By the way, if you didn't already have a scale (and I think I'm preaching to the choir here), it would be worth it for those occasions where you want to divide a recipe by a third. Or whatever. Divide 2 1/3 cups of sugar by 3? It gives me a headache. Divide 467 grams? Even I know enough arithmetic to manage that. In fact, my skills peaked at long division. Not so good after that.
As Jim said, it's a good thing Rose tells you the mixture will look curdled. Otherwise, you might think twice before you used this mixture in cooking.
There is also a dire warning about getting the filling to slip between the dough and the pan, or you'll never get the tarts out of the pan.
I filled the tarts to the brim, because I was out of dough and not out of filling and I like things to come out even, so I envisioned a sticky mess accompanied by a lot of swearing.
But no! They came out beautifully, and I didn't have to do the rigamarole with the two cooling racks and the folded towel. All I had to do was loosen them a spatula, and they came right out. In fact, I wasn't even trying to get them out with the spatula (I was planning to do the rigamarole), but they practically begged to be removed from the pan. And I'm certainly not going to ignore a pleading Hungarian tartlet.
I only ate half a tartlet, but Jim ate the rest of mine and one of his own. He said, "I like these a lot." That's high praise from someone whose normal assessments are "not too bad" and "that's different." I may not even have to give these away.