Don't go Breaking my Tart
Like many of you, in our busy vegetarian kitchen, we often have to be flexible about what we eat, when we eat it, and when we celebrate. Here's a little something we whipped up before Valentine's Day and are posting much later! But loves knows no bounds, right?
This little pudding tart is an easy and fun treat to make any old day, for anyone you love, including yourself! And, for all those heartbreakers out there, you can have fun cutting into it too. No formal recipe here, it's basically a velvety pudding filling on a pie crust that you loosely form into a heart, draped in a glossy chocolate frosting. Here's the how to, with necessary ingredients in orange:
1. Make a heart-shaped tart! You can use any homemade pie crust recipe or a store-bought pie crust. (Okay, I said no recipe, but a simple crust recipe that I always use is below.) Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and place it on a greased baking sheet. Use a knife to cut the dough into a large heart shape, then use your hands to press and fold the edges up to create a slight external wall -- this is important so that the filling does not flow over later. Bake as directed or at 400° for 50-60 minutes, until lightly browned. Meanwhile, move to step 2.
2. Make a pudding pie filling. Use your favorite pudding mix and prepare it according to the pie-filling directions. We used butterscotch pudding mix. Refrigerate as directed. (Note, you could swap in fresh fruit, custard, or any other pie filling here. For fun, we even added a a thin layer of whipped coconut cream before the pudding!)
3. Fill that tart. Once the pie crust is baked and cooled and the pudding mix is set, fill the tart with the pudding and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Put it back in the refrigerator until the pudding is cold and firm.
4. Make the chocolate frosting. Don't make this ahead of time because the frosting will dry out. Once the tart is filled, firm, and ready to frost, mix 1.5 cups powdered sugar and 0.25 cup unsweetened cocoa in a bowl. Stir in about 3 tablespoons of water until a glossy ganache-like icing forms. You want a consistency that you can just drizzle right out of the bowl -- you may need to add a little more water, one tablespoon at a time, to get the right consistency.
5. Frost your heart out! Pour the chocolate frosting over the pudding filling as quickly and evenly as possible. It should flow nicely over the tart and the edges of the crust with a little help and strategic pouring. You may want to use the back of a spoon to level the frosting out, but take care not to dig into the pudding. Once the tart is covered, put it back in the refrigerator to set.
Simple pie crust recipe (makes 1 crust):
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of vegetable shortening or butter
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 small egg (or beat 1 medium egg and use half, saving the remainder for a morning scramble)
1/2 teaspoon of any kind of vinegar
Using a fork or pastry cutter, combine the flour, shortening, and salt together into fine crumbs. Add the egg, vinegar, and 1 - 2 tablespoons of cold water (one spoonful at a time) to the flour, and, with a fork, gently moisten the mixture. (You want the liquids to be evenly distributed, but you do not want to overwork the dough, or else the crust won’t be flaky.) Gather the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough; it should have a light marbleized appearance.