What is the difference between a tart and a pie?

Tarts and pies are quite similar. Though unlike a pie, tarts are served outside of the containers they were baked in. Tarts are usually baked in straight-sided rather than slope-sided pans, often with fluted edges . Before serving, tarts are separated from their baking pans, which are formed with removable bottoms so that the tarts hold together when they are removed (AS EASY AS PIE). Tarts usually hold the same fillings as pies such as fruit fillings but can also hold custards and are traditionally open faced.

Last night was my first time time baking tarts and I must admit, it was not an easy task. When making tarts, especially tarts of 3-4 inches, you must be very delicate with the dough. It is important not to overwork the dough in tarts, otherwise you will be left with a hard, non-flaky crust. Another key step to know in the preparation process is to cool the dough before molding it into the tart pans AND to freeze the dough for several minutes (until hardened) before baking. The dough needs to be chilled so that it holds together while baking and after it is removed from it’s pan. Pie and tart crust making certainly is an art but can be achieved through practice… a lot of practice!

Below are a few pictures of different tarts I made last night. Hopefully the recipients of these tarts will appreciate all my hard work! I made them as a birthday treat for two of my friends. The tarts consist of a fruit base (made by boiling down berries and turbinado sugar) and topped with additional marinated fruit. Hopefully they are as delicious as they sound. I’ll keep you posted!

MINI MIXED FRUIT TARTS

Ingredients

1 Hartley Confections Pie Crust (refrigerated for 30-45 minutes)

3 cups of your favorite seasonal fruit, diced

1/2 cup of diced strawberries and/or blueberries (or your fruit preserve of choice)

1 pt rasberries and or blackberries

1/3 cup of turbinado sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Dice your fruit of choice and marinate with turbinado sugar to taste. The fruit may need to be separated depended on its natural sweetness (i.e. marinate strawberries and blueberries separately). Let the fruit sit for about 10 minutes so that some of the sugar can be absorbed.

3. Roll out refrigerated crust and cut out circles with a 3-4 inch biscuit cutter, depending on what size tart pan you are using. If you are using a 2.5 inch pan use a 3 inch biscuit cutter, and so on. Mold cut circles to tart pans and freeze until hardened.

4. While dough is in the freezer, mash your marinated raspberries and blackberries and place in a small pot over low heat. Boil the fruit (together or separately depending on taste) until most of the liquid has dissolved. The fruit mixture should look similar to preserves.

5. Let the fruit mixture cool until room temperature or cold. You may put your fruit mixture in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the cooling process.

6. Once the mixture has cooled and the dough has hardened you may place enough fruit mixture (or preserves) to cover the bottom of your mini tart. Then you can place the diced fruit pieces on the fruit mixture. Feel free to mix and match the fruits as the flavors will meld together when baked.

7. Bake the tarts for approximately 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of your tart. When the crust is browned and hardened and the fruit has released its juices, the tart will be ready.

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The Rustic Galette

Galette is a general term used in French to designate different types of round and flat crusty cakes. It’s also a great substitute for a pie when you are pressed for time or want to cut out some carbs. And MY galettes are a delicious and healthy alternative. I like to use whole wheat flour and bran for my crust and substitute raw Turbinado sugar instead of white sugar.

Turbinado sugar, also known as “sugar in the raw” is a steamed cane sugar which is similar in appearance to brown sugar though it is a bit paler. Turbinado sugar is a healthier alternative to white, refined sugar. It is lower in calories since it tends to hold more moisture. Turbinado sugar isn’t processed as much as white sugar, so it is naturally healthier for your body (www.associatedcontent.com). Turbinado sugar can be substituted for both white and brown sugar in most recipes.

But back to the galettes… My favorite galettes to bake are peach & strawberry. It’s great to use seasonal fruit as it is easy to find and fairly affordable. The best fruit in season right now and also great for galettes are peaches, strawberries, plums, nectarines, and rhubarb. These fruits are also great to mix and match as their flavors meld together after they are baked. Below you will find some pictures of the last galette I baked.

Ingredients

1 Hartley Confections Pie Crust (refrigerated)

3 semi-firm peaches, sliced

1/2 cup of slices strawberries

1/3 cup of turbinado sugar

1 tbsp turbinado sugar

1 egg white

1 tbsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Slice peaches 1/2 inch thick and strawberries. Place sliced peaches and strawberries in large bowl and cover with sugar. Gently mix sugar and fruit with your hands so that the fruit is evenly covered with sugar. Let the fruit sit for about 10 minutes so that some of the sugar can be absorbed.

3. Remove refrigerated pie crust and roll it out into a ten inch circle. Gently place the peach slices 1 inch from the border of the pie crust. You should have enough peaches to make two circles. Please reference the photos for placement. Then place the leftover strawberries in the middle of the peaches.

4. Once fruit is in place, carefully begin folding over the outer edge of the crust piece by piece. The outer crust of the pie should have many folds giving it a “rustic” appearance.

5. Mix egg white with milk and brush the outer crust with the mixture. Then finish the galette by sprinkling 1 tbsp of turbinado sugar over the crust. You may also sprinkle the top of the fruit mixture.

6. Bake the galette in the center rack of the oven for 20-30 minutes until the crust is firm and slightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes an serve warm. You can also dust the top with confectioners sugar before serving.