Shortbread ... Done Three Ways (Biscuits / Fruit Mince Tarts / Lemon Curd Tarts)
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Biscuits, fruit mince tarts, and tart cases



Many years ago I asked a chef how he managed to keep the pastry on his fruit mince tarts nice and crisp ... “Simple” he said “use shortbread for your pastry!!” So I went straight home and tried it … and they were perfect.

When rolling out the dough use two sheets of baking paper instead of extra flour that will make the dough dry. Re-roll leftover dough until it is all used up, either with making more biscuits, fruit mince tarts, or tart cases. If you have a bread mat put the baking paper onto it, as that grips the paper and stops it slipping around as you try and roll out the dough. The thickness of your dough will depend on whether you are making biscuits or tart cases, and that also depends on the size of your tarts tins ... the smaller the tart (as in mini), the thinner the dough is what I aim for so using a thin spatula to lift the dough into your fingers definitely helps.

The biscuits and tart cases keep well in a sealed container for at least a month in the pantry so can be made well in advance (in fact I am confident they will keep longer … but they have never lasted that long for me to really know!).

The fruit mince tarts keep well in the fridge for up to two weeks, and they also freeze well if you wish to make them in advance. Remove from the freezer a couple of days before you wish to consume them and put into the fridge to defrost slowly. Then bring to room temperature on the day you wish to serve them. They can be refreshed in the oven if you wish but I don’t always do that … they are fine just as they are.

RECIPE UPDATE: for chocolate shortbread replace 40g flour with 40g Dutch cocoa powder.

I have also made biscuits by rolling into a ball a tablespoon measure of dough in my hands, then using a fork to imprint the top of the ball in a criss-cross fashion ... dip the fork into a little water first to stop it sticking ... baking time is the same as for chocolate shortbread ... you should get 36 biscuits using the tablespoon measure amount.
Ingredients
  • 120g golden caster sugar
  • 120g cornflour
  • 320g white spelt flour, or plain flour
  • 250g butter, room temperature, cubed
  • 1 to 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional / and to taste)
Instructions
METHOD FOR SHORTBREAD
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees (fan forced) and lightly grease two baking trays with butter
  2. Place all the ingredients into TM bowl and mix 10 seconds/speed 6
  3. Stir mix around, and repeat 10 seconds/speed 6
  4. Mix may appear dry and crumbly but will come blend well when pressed together
  5. Place half the mix onto a piece of baking paper and knead lightly into a flattened round
  6. Cover dough with a second piece of baking paper and roll to approximately 5mm thickness (thickness will depend on what you are using the dough for ... 5mm to 6mm is perfect for biscuits, 4mm perfect for tart cases, etc.)
  7. Remove top layer and using cutter of choice cut the dough into shapes
  8. With a thin spatula lift each shape off baking paper and place onto baking tray
  9. Gather leftover dough and add to it the remainder of the dough from the TM bowl
  10. Press together and repeat process of rolling out dough and cutting into shapes
  11. Final leftover dough can be bought together again and re-rolled so that you don’t waste any
  12. You should get 40 yummy biscuits from this mix
  13. Bake for 20 minutes, turn tray around to ensure even cooking, and bake for a further 15 minutes or until light golden brown (if making chocolate shortbread bake for 20 minutes, turn tray around and continue for another 20 minutes; do this also if making shortbread using a tablespoon measure rolled into balls and a fork imprint on top in a criss-cross fashion)
  14. Remove from oven and allow to cool on tray for 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely
  15. When cool dust with icing sugar and store in a sealed container (optional but nice for gift giving)
METHOD FOR 24 MINI FRUIT MINCE TARTS
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees fan forced
  2. Follow the process above for making the dough and rolling out, but roll the dough thinner depending on what size tins you decide to use ... less is best
  3. Before making the dough, get your tart trays out (you will need 2 x 12 mini tart trays) and cut little strips of baking paper to use under your pastry to help with removing the baked tarts from the tins
  4. Cut your base circles out of the dough ... it will be quite delicate as it is thin so use a thin spatula to lift it into your fingers and place a strip of the baking paper under it, then place both into your baking tin (there is no need to grease the tin as there is enough butter in it to allow the pastry to release once baked)
  5. As you place the dough into the tin, smooth out any cracks with your fingers, or add a little dollop of extra dough and smooth it in
  6. Continue until all the bases are in the trays
  7. Fill tart cases with fruit mince ensuring you don’t overfill otherwise some filling may spill out as they cook
  8. Re-roll the dough and cut out 24 stars or other shape of choice to go on top of the tarts
  9. Fill tart bases with fruit mince and place star on top
  10. Bake at 150 degrees (fan forced) for 20 minutes, turn tray around and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. While the tarts are baking, re-roll leftover dough and make some biscuits for the family to enjoy … they can go into the oven when the tarts come out
  12. Remove tarts from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before lifting them out of the tart trays by pulling on both ends of each baking paper strip
  13. Cool completely before storing in sealed container in the fridge
METHOD FOR 24 X 6CM (BASE MEASUREMENT WITH REMOVABLE BASE) TART CASES
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees fan forced
  2. Follow the process above for making the dough and rolling out, but consider the thickness of the dough based on the size tins you are using ... if using 6cm tins then I would use 4mm thickness of dough
  3. There is no need to grease your tins before using as there is enough butter in the dough to allow the cases to release easily
  4. Place the dough into the tart cases ensuring that you press the dough lightly into the corners to give you a nice even base
  5. Baking is the same as for the biscuits: so bake for 20 minutes, turn tray around to ensure even cooking, and bake for a further 15 minutes or until light golden brown
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the tins before removing
  7. Cases can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry until ready to use
  8. If using lemon curd to fill cases, then fill on the day of serving and place in the fridge until ready to use … once filled they will “hold” for up to two days but will slightly soften over this time
  9. If using jam to fill cases, then these can be filled well ahead of time as they “hold” for a few days in a sealed container in the fridge
Recipe by The Passionate Pantry at https://www.thepassionatepantry.com.au/shortbread-done-three-ways-biscuits-fruit-mince-tarts-lemon-curd-tarts/