Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ginger Cream Tart


This was the first time I ever made a tart, including the crust from scratch, and although it was a bit time consuming it was completely worth it. It's not the healthiest of desserts but I figure I can treat myself once in a while to something as decadent as this tart. The filling almost tastes like cheesecake but isn't as dense and has a slight hint of ginger. The ginger cream filling sits on top of a crust that tastes like a crumbly shortbread cookie, made using flour, sugar, and butter. Then to top it off, fresh raspberries and itty bitty champagne grapes are placed on top, but blueberries or strawberries would work just as well. The recipe for the ginger cream filling is from epicurious.com but I opted to use a different one for the crust.

I thought it'd be helpful to post some tips for making the crust because it would have been useful knowing what to be cautious of when I had prepared the crust myself.
1. Be sure to wait for the crust to cool completely before attempting to remove the bottom piece of the pan. I tried doing this when the crust was still warm and made huge cracks in it.
2. The tart crust is crumbly, as I had mentioned earlier, so be extra gentle when handling it. I learned the hard way and broke a crust right in half (the cracks in it didn't help).
3. Also, I lined the removable bottom of the tart pan with wax paper (parchment paper works too). It's difficult to remove the bottom piece without the wax paper so I recommend taking this additional step if you're planning on bringing the tart to a get together with friends or something of that sort.

Tart Crust
1 ½ sticks of butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups flour
special equipment: a 10 by 1 inch round tart pan with a removable bottom

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. In a bowl cream the butter and sugar together using a fork.
3. In increments of ½ cups, add in the flour and mix. Use your hands if necessary.
4. Transfer dough to a lightly greased tart pan with a removable bottom (lined with wax paper) and distribute evenly.
5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a very light golden color.
Ginger Cream Filling
1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons milk
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup sour cream

1. Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let it sit for 1 minute.
2. Mix the milk, ginger, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of the cream into a saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar melts remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. Whisk the sour cream until there are no lumps.
4. Beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form, then fold in the sour cream.
5. Fold in the ginger milk mixture to the whipped cream and combine well.
6. Pour mixture into the crust. Place berries/fruit on top and chill for 8 hours.



9 comments:

  1. I love the cream filling. That is genius using ginger.

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  2. Great job on your first tart! Looks amazing and delicious!

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  3. Nicely done! It looks delicious and I love the ginger element!

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  4. yummy! I love tarts! I know they aren't the healthiest, but a little indulgence once in a while won't hurt! :)

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  5. Looks so scrumptious! Love the way you decorate it!

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  6. Looks beautiful. How did it taste? Was it a hint of ginger, or strong ginger flavors?

    The choice of using crystallized ginger was interesting. Any thought of using pressed ginger juices or even pieces of real ginger?

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  7. @ Pan ZB: Thanks for your comment! The tart tasted great, kind of like a lighter, less dense cheesecake with a slight hint of ginger. The recipe for the ginger cream filling is actually linked above, which calls for the crystallized ginger. The crystallized ginger is good in this dessert because you get the flavor of ginger without the spiciness. They're nice and chewy and sweet, too. If you like a stronger ginger flavor I think the juice might be a good addition. Personally I think the pieces of fresh ginger might give off too much of a spicy flavor. But if you're a big ginger fan then I would suggest mincing or even grating the ginger before adding it in.

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