Even the Queen of Hearts would love these tarts

February 10, 1993|By Copley News Service

Ever since the Queen of Hearts made some tarts, these single crust pies have won the eye-appeal award hands down. Tarts are lower in calories than double-crust pies and they're a baker's delight because they're so easy to make.

Put together flour and shortening for a single crust, chill it and fill it. That's a tart. Without a lid, tarts show off their filling, look mouthwatering good either warm or right out of the fridge.

Walnut tart Serves 10.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced

1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water


2 cups heavy cream

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups walnut pieces

2 teaspoons vanilla

For pastry, combine flour and salt in bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse sand. Sprinkle cold water a little at a time over mixture and toss with fork. It should be just moist enough to hold together. Pat dough into flat circle, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll pastry out on lightly floured board into 11-inch circle (or a size to fit your tart pan with overlap). Wrap pastry around rolling pin and transfer it to 9-inch tart pan, preferably one with removable bottom. Press into and up sides, fill with beans or pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove beans or weights and bake for 5 or 6 more minutes to brown.

For filling: While tart is baking, combine cream and sugar in saucepan and simmer, stirring for 30 to 40 minutes. Mixture should be golden brown. Beat eggs in small bowl. Add some of cream mixture to heat them, mixing as you do, and then stir in all cream. Add walnuts and vanilla.

Turn into baked pie shell and bake for 20 minutes or until cream mixture sets. Cool on rack 15 minutes. Carefully push bottom up and away from sides and serve warm or at room temperature.

Banana tart Serves 6.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 or 2 tablespoons ice water


1 cup skim milk

3 egg whites

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 banana, sliced

2 kiwi fruit peeled and sliced

For pastry, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter and sprinkle with enough water to moisten. Shape dough into flat circle and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

For filling, heat milk in top of double boiler until scalding. Beat egg whites and sugar together and add salt. Beat a little hot milk into egg whites to warm them and whisk in all milk. Return milk/egg mixture to pan and cook, stirring, over simmering water until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and cool to room temperature.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 8-inch tart pan with non-stick spray. Roll out pastry a couple of inches bigger than tart pan. Roll pastry over rolling pin and transfer it to pan. Press edges against pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool.

Spoon custard into cooled pastry and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove to wire rack, cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Just before serving arrange bananas and kiwi slices in circles on top. Serve cold.

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