I would first like to reiterate that pastry really is a motherfucker. Making it is simply kitchen torture. I know the pastry do-gooders in this world will beg to differ with that statement, but they’re specialists, and to be frank, I am not! There was not a single point in this process that I looked down at my creation and thought, hmm this looks good, not once! Even the finished product, due to my incompetence in conducting a smooth roll, looked off-key.
What I will say though, is that the texture was down to a tee- crisp, crumbly, buttery and melt-in-the-mouth heaven and that all made it worthwhile, which means my recipe should be considered valid so don’t write it off as an epic failure just yet. Composing the toppings and filling the shells was the easy part- thank goodness I was able to get to this stage after enduring such intense labour prior to this, which easily lasted at least 6 hours (no exaggeration).
What I will say about tartlets (from my short-lived experience of filling them) is that I never realised how much you can actually squeeze into something so tiny. You really will be astonished and filled with pride at this intense little creation of yours. I don’t have kids, but I’m sure this is what it must feel like to produce your own child, so tiny but filled with all these body parts. A tartlet is just the food version of a baby. Yes call me crazy (maybe the pastry making drove me a little insane that day), but you will definitely feel something if you go through the same emotional and physical experiences I did to create this pastry!
What I planned on doing was to document a specific tart recipe, but I put so much blood and sweat into the pastry that I thought it deserved its own page! Plus, now I can just be lazy and refer back to this when I have to ever discuss pastry again!
I’m not even going to attempt to tackle puff pastry, that’s something that must happen in hell.
Makes 20 tartlet shells
- 250g margarine
- 650g plain flour
- 5-6tbsp water
- Rub the flour and margarine between your fingertips until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
- Slowly add in the water, a few drops at a time and stir with a knife to bind, using hands briefly if necessary.
- Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator before rolling and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Be prepared for your arm workout and laborious day of rolling and lining tins!