By Brud Holland
Having trained mostly under French chefs at the New England Culinary Institute, good cream, good milk and good butter were three things that were always sought after, mostly because they make up the foundation of so many things that are so dairy delicious. In particular, this crust recipe is flaky, buttery and versatile for both sweet and savory dishes, and is perhaps one that I use the most, whether for quiche or apricot tarts.
Makes 12 2-ounce individual tartlets or enough to fill two 9-inch tart pans
14 ounces Birkett Mills Bessie Unbleached Pastry Flour (about 2-1/2 cups)
2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
6 ounces milk (start by adding about 3/4 of the milk, then add more if the dough is dry)
Put the flour, salt and butter in a large stainless steel bowl. Cut the butter into the flour so it resembles the size of a dime. Add about 3/4 of the milk and begin mixing it with a fork or your fingers until it forms a soft (but not sticky) dough.
Roll the dough on a floured surface. For smaller tarts, roll to about 1/8-inch thick, divide the dough into 12 even rounds and place filling in the center of each. Fold the edges toward the center, leaving a 1-inch opening. For larger tarts, roll slightly thicker and 1 1/2 inches larger than each tart pan. Lay dough in the center of each pan and push dough down and up the sides of the pans. Place filling just to the edge of the dough and bake at 400° until golden brown. 15-18 minutes for tartlets and 25-35 minutes for larger tarts.
Brud Holland is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute and lives in Watkins Glen with his wife Shari and 3 kids. Having been part of the food and wine scene here in the Finger Lakes for 30+ years, he draws on experiences from a wide variety of culinary escapades that include bakery owner, restaurateur, food product developer, teacher, and genuine promoter of all things grown and made in the Finger Lakes.
Photo by Robert Couse-Baker
This recipe is from our dairy-focused Fall 2015 issue, which also featured this Extra Creamy Ricotta recipe.