Dessert in All Simplicity
Two pretty tarts are offered on each dessert plate, one filled with fruit, one with chestnut filling and chocolate ganache. The pastry shells can be made a day ahead; the tarts can be assembled before dinner.
- Flour - 3/4 plus 1 tablespoon
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Soft unsalted butter - 2-1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons)
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Dash of salt
- Fruit Glaze
- Raspberries - 1/2 cup
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Chestnut Filling
- Chestnut Puree - 2 tablespoons
- Chestnut Spread - 2 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons, softened
- Dark Rum or Kirsch - 2 tablespoons
- Dash of almond extract
- Chocolate Ganache
- Semi-sweet chocolate - 6 ounces, chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/4 cup
- Fruit Filling
- Fresh Raspberries - 1/2 cup (alt. stemmed, halved strawberries)
To make the pastry: On a work surface, mound of the flour and make a well in the center. Place the sugar and butter in the well and work it into the flour until the mixture resembles meal. Add the egg yolks and salt and knead the dough just until the ingredients are well blended and the dough is smooth. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Unwrap the dough. On a floured board, roll out the dough to the thickness of a silver dollar, adding as little flour as possible in the process. Fill eight oval tartelette molds, 4 to 5 inches each, with the pastry. Prick the bottoms of the pastry with a fork and fill each mold with dried beans to hold the pastry down as it cooks. Place the molds on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes, until slightly golden but still soft in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove the dried beans. Unmold the pastry shells and reserve.
To prepare the glaze: Puree the berries with the sugar. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and set aside.
To prepare the filling: Mix the chestnut puree and spread with the butter. Add the rum and almond extract. Set aside.
To prepare the ganache: In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate. Add the butter. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream. Set aside.
To assemble the dessert: Fill four of the pastry shells with chestnut filling, leaving a quarter inch space at the top, and place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and cover the tops with chocolate ganache. Refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving. Brush the inside of the four remaining shells with fruit glaze. Arrange the fresh berries inside the pastry.
To serve: Dust the fruit-filled pastries with confectioner’s sugar. Place one chocolate-chestnut and one fruit pastry on each dessert plate.