Tiny tarts filled with caramel and dry fruits and nuts.A pretty bite size dessert for caramel lovers and chocolate haters :)
As a child entering a fancy bakery was like going to a fairy tale land.The smell and sight literally engulfed my senses.The place is always lit up as if gems were on display.. slices of cake,pies and breads in moulded glass display cases with not even a bit of opaqueness obstructing the view.Oh ! u know the slanted ones, have you ever tried leaning on them ! Never can you without falling :) Has happened to me so many times heee hee...Mom would lend a hand and give a stern look from the corner of the eye and mutter under her breath..where are ur eyes!!
My parents never put any restriction on intake of sugary stuff or limited or even stopped me from buying anything as long as I ate my meal properly infact mom would stand comfortably to a corner like a chaperon while I ordered anything that caught my eye .You must be thinking what a spoilt kid I was.. he hee... true I was!!!
Don't you think those occasional pamperings did become sweet memories :)
In that sense history repeats:) as I find myself doing exactly the same with my kid too anytime I am at the same place. I would stand there surprised to find that she picks up similar ones I used to like as a kid needless to say tart tops the list.I cannot help but smile and she asks me "Mom why are you smiling?" When I tell her that it is my favorite too she gives me a same pinch :))
How I have wished I could eat the shell of the tart first and filling in the end now as she relishes the tarts she asks me the same question :))
O.K so we call it dry fruit tarts, I have seen it in most bakeries in Kerala but it is not a traditional one I am pretty sure it is a gift from the maritime invaders.:)
For the tart shell I used the regular short bread recipe. For getting exact shape mini tart tins can be used but I don't have them nor intend to buy :)
For the tartlet shell: ( Yields 12 tartlets )
All purpose flour- I cup
Butter- 1/2 stick ( When soft cut into tiny bits and freeze it till kneading)
Granulated sugar- 2 tbsp
Baking powder- a small pinch
Salt - a pinch
Ice cold water- 1-2 tbsp
First mix all the dry ingredients well then bring out the butter mix it until it resembles wet sand ,knead the whole thing into a dough adding very little of cold water at a time until everything is combined only.Freeze it for half hour.(Do it fast as the dough begins to stick.If it becomes unmanageable stick it back into freezer for 10 minutes then continue)
Bring out the dough and make it into 12 equal portions keep only 3 -4 pieces outside at a time put the rest in the freezer as u work .
Grease the mini tart pans or line the cup cake pan with liner and spread each portion of dough inside as seen in pic.Press the sides well to get the marks.
Once all are done prick with a fork on the bottom and sides so it won't puff up.
Preheat oven and bake at 350 °F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust becomes hard shell.Not brown.
Remove from cup cake tin and allow it to cool down.But keep in the liners to catch any drippings later.
For the caramel filling:
Granulated sugar-1/2 cup- 3/4 cup
Unsalted butter- 1/2 stick(at room temp)
Whole milk- 1/2 to 3/4 cup (depending on thickness u want )
Whole cashew- 1/2 cup (Raw)
Golden raisins- 1/2 cup (Raw) (Or a mix of raisins)
Heat a thick bottom pan and add the sugar let it melt on its own (no water added)on a very slow flame when it is completely melted do not stir in between .Switch off flame and butter (be careful of spluttering) then add whole milk.Stir well heat it and let it thicken( without burning)to the consistency you want then switch off flame and put the dry fruits & nuts in the caramel and mix well.Note it should not be runny as it makes the tart soggy but thick yet falling consistency( See pic).
When slightly cool scoop spoonfuls into the tart shells.
Do not stack but store it in single layer in a closed container when cool.
- The tart dough tends to stick badly so work with it really really fast I mean even the heat of the hand is enough to make it sticky.
- Do not burn the caramel even a speck or it will taste burnt and bitter.Remember you can always switch off flame in between while the sugar is melting and restart it when it slightly cools.
- Use a sturdy cup cake liner for even finish on the tartlets.
Hope you like my version of tartlets, is this ur favorite too then I can't wait to hear from you.