Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pine Nut Crust

Dough and pastry type recipes have been my downfall so far during this adventure. There was the macaroons, then the quiche, and the quiche again. Needless to say, I was hoping not to repeat the past here. It seemed like this was going to be significantly easier than the others were, and it made my day when I read this sentence:
There may be some cracks in the crust; they will not affect the finished tart.
Fantastic. There will be no lemon sabayon coating the inside of my oven pretending to be quiche batter.

The ingredients are pretty simple. There are pine nuts, sugar, flour, butter, egg, and vanilla. I initially wasn't too sure about the pine nuts, and therefore the whole crust. Not to give everything away so early, but the crust didn't really taste of pine nuts too much, and it certainly was not overpowering.

This crust is started in your handy food processor, and it's very quick. Add the pine nuts to the processor and blend it for a few seconds to roughly chop the nuts. Then add in the sugar and the flour and process until it's completely combined and homogeneous. Now I have a food processor that I would say is at least as big as the average home food processor.

It holds 7 cups, and I needed every little bit of that for this crust. My guess is that it wouldn't be a disaster if you didn't have a processor that was large enough. The same general result can probably be obtained by sifting the flour and then mixing it by hand with the sugar and nuts until it's all well combined before proceeding. You really do need to make sure at least the nuts are processed though, otherwise I imagine the dough would not have a very good texture.

I transferred the dough into the bowl of my mixed, and added the butter, egg, and vanilla. That all got mixed together for a few minutes. For some reason I was expecting the dough to come together in a ball, but it turns out that wasn't meant to be. Here's what it looked like when it was nice and mixed:

Now the recipe says you can mix it by hand, but I would not recommend that. You're arm would either be excruciatingly tired or the ingredients wouldn't really mix too well together. So unless your name is Rocky, stick with the mixer.

This recipe makes enough crust for three tarts. You might respond to that the same way that I did:
Hey Keller, how about just divide everything by three and make just one crust. What am I going to do with three crusts?
To which T. Keller would calmly reply:
You know, I was about to go ahead and do that, but I got tired. Running some of the best restaurants in the world is tough work. That, and it's kind of tough to divide an egg into three parts, so that's just the way it's going to have to be.
So I ended up with three crusts. All three were wrapped. Two went into the freezer for future use, and one got to spend 10 minutes in the fridge before it's date with the oven.

You probably remember that my current excuse reason for not succeeding with the quiche crust is that I don't have the right pan. That's happened for a number of the recipes so far, but this time I actually have a tart pan!

After the 10 minutes had passed, I took the dough and pressed it into a buttered and floured tart pan and trimmed off the excess dough. In to the 350 degree oven it went for about 20 minutes, during which I rotated it once about half way through. Out of the oven it came, and voila:

It's a fairly successful tart crust. And you can tell it's mine because you can still see my fingerprints in there somewhere. You'll have to wait for the lemon tart post for full results, but it was very good. A little on the thick side, which was my fault, but very good none the less.


Eileen said...

Can't wait to see your lemon tart post! ^^

mike said...

Thanks, just a couple of more days...

ClaireWalter said...

I happened to have bought a load of pine nuts. If I don't devote them to pesto, I will try dividing by three and making ONE crust.

Claire @