Things get much cuter when they come in a tiny size, don’t you agree? And most of the time we instinctively protect those cute little things from any harm. (I am referring to cute little living things like babies, puppies, kittens etc here.) However, when it comes to desserts, I think it is another way round. I find desserts extremely cute when they shrink in size and that cuteness just trigger my urge to taste/eat them even more…Not sure if you feel the same way, haha.
I prefer tart over cake and many other sweet baked goods. I like the combination of the crunchy base and the soft filling, which often comes with sweet or slightly sourish flavors from the fruity toppings. So a fruit tart or fruit tartlets is always in my menu if I am planning for occasions such as a tea party. I made tarts in different sizes over the past years and this time I decided to reduce the tart size down to about 3.5 cm in diameter. It is tiny, but it is going to be extremely lovely and cute in a tea party!
Of course, tiny things = extra care. Making 24 mini tartlets definitely took extra effort and time as compared to a huge (29 cm) tart. But I think it is worth it. Mini tartlets in a bite-size are easy to grab and eat, which makes them perfect for a casual tea party. Passionfruit has a unique and refreshing taste which I prefer to use it in desserts or food rather than just eat it alone. If you don’t like passionfruit, replace it with lemon and you’ll get a lemon curd. It’ll work fine in a mini tartlet as well.
Add sugar, flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add them into the flour mixture. Use your hand or a blender, press and mix until the butter and the dry ingredient are well combined, resembling a bowl of damp sands.
Whisk the egg with the cold water. Pour the egg mixture into the buttery flour mixture gradually. Work on the moistened mixture until it can form a soft ball.
Cover the ball with a plastic wrap. Slightly roll the ball with a rolling pin into a flat disc that fills the corners of the plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough from the centre of the disc to the edge until it is about 0.5-1.0 cm in thickness. Use a ring cutter (diameter of 5 cm) to cut out 24 pieces of mini dough sheets. Transfer the sheets to the mini tart tin and carefully press and fit the dough into the tin. Trim off the excessive dough around the edge. Use a fork to prick all over the base. (the photograph here is an example of a larger tart)
Preheat the oven to 195C.
Cut the aluminum foil into suitable size to lay on each of the crust. If you do not have any pie weight, add beans or rice on top of the foil to add some weight to it. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove the foil and the weight. Bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer the crusts to the wire rack to cool.
To make the passionfruit curd
To get 1/2 cup of the passionfruit jiuce, cut 5-6 passionfruits and scoop the content out and transfer to a sieve. Using a spoon, press to squeeze the juice out. Heat the passionfruit juice with the butter in a small saucepan over medium low to medium heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the sugar in a mixing bowl.
When the fruit juice mixture almost comes to boil, turn off the heat. Gradually add the passionfruit juice to the egg mixture with consistent mixing. Adding the juice all in once will cook the egg, leading to scramble egg-like texture.
Return the combine mixture to the stove and slowly cook over low heat. Keep stirring using a wooden spoon during the cooking to prevent the curd stick to the bottom of the saucepan. The curd will get sticky as you cook. Once you can draw a clear line at the back of the spoon, you have reached the correct consistency. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Sieve the curd using a fine sieve. Lay a plastic wrap right on the surface of the curd before storing it in an air-tight container in the fridge.
To assemble the tart
Fill the tart shell with the passionfruit curd with a raspberry on top. You can assemble the tart and keep them in the fridge a few hours or a night before serving.
The crust recipe is originally from "500 tarts and pies" by Rebecca Baugniet. It is enough to make 24 mini tartlets (diameter 4.5 cm), 12 tartlets (diameter 8 cm) and one large tart (diameter 29 cm).
Make sure the butter is cold and hard. Melted or over softened butter will not lead to a damp sand-like mixture, making the dough is too soft and moist to be transferred to the tart tin and hardly hold its shape.
It is fine to chill the dough longer or even overnight. However, the dough needs to be softened at room temperature before you are able to work on it.
The mini tartlets baking trays I used here are made of steel, which has a better heat conductivity. If you are using a large ceramic pie dish with a thicker base, you may try to blind bake (bake with the foil on) for 15 minutes, and bake for the second round for 8-10 minutes.