Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Cinnamon Tartlets (Small Tarts Have Big Hearts! Mini Pie Revolution Event #2)

Posted by bakinghistory on February 12, 2008

These plain little tarts hide a tender almond meringue heart scented with cinnamon
For Valentine’s day, in the second blog event hosted by Karyn and Ann, as my contribution I chose these little tarts from a vintage cookbook published in Chicago in 1907.
While reading the recipe I could tell they should be pretty good, but once I made them I realized I had underestimated the results.
Even if their plain appearance might not catch too much attention at first, they actually hide a surprisingly delicate meringue heart in their tender pastry shell.
From the original recipes by Paul Richards
In: “Paul Richard’s Book of Breads, Cakes, Pastries, Ices and Sweetmeats, 1907—USA
Short paste for tarts
2 cups (227 g) flour
1/3 cup (75 g) butter, cold
2-1/2 tbsp (30 g) sugar
1 yolk
1-3 tbsp (15-45 ml) milk (or as needed)
Cinnamon filling
1/3 cup egg white (whites from 2 extra-large eggs)
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
scant 1/2 cup (2 oz., 60 g) whole almonds, blanched
1-1/2 tsp (3 g) ground cinnamon
extra sugar to decorate ( I used Demerara but any kind will do)
Prepare the almonds: Place the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast the almonds in the oven (preheated at 350F°—180°C) for about 10 minutes, or until just lightly colored. Let the almonds cool completely.
Make the short paste: Put the flour in the food processor with the butter (diced) and pulse until the flour resembles wet sand. Add the sugar and pulse briefly to mix it in. Add the yolks and process briefly, then, with the machine running, add milk. Start with 1 tbsp of milk and add a little more at a time, pulsing, until the crumbly dough just holds together. Be careful not to add too much milk or the dough will be wet and sticky.
Wrap the dough in wax paper and let it rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes.
Roll the paste on a floured board to a scant 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness and line bottom and sides of tartlet molds. I have used heart-shaped tartlet pans that are as big as min-muffin cups.
Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C)
Make the filling: Grind the almonds with 2 tbsp of sugar (taken from the total) and the cinnamon until they are fine and powdery. It is important that the almonds are cool when you grind them or they will become pasty and oily.
Beat the egg whites at high speed until soft, glossy peaks form, then add the remaining sugar 1 tsp at a time. The meringue should be stiff but not overbeaten and dry. Gently fold in the almond-cinnamon mixture, being careful not to deflate the meringue.
Assemble the tartlets: Fill each pastry shell to the rim with the meringue mixture, sprinkle a little sugar over the filling. Bake in a slow oven until puffed and golden (about 30-35 minutes, depending on the size of your mini pans). Cool the mini tarts on racks.
P.S. I scaled down the original recipes–the short paste recipe called for 3 lb of flour, and you might have a little more dough than filling, depending also on the type of tart pans you have.

4 Responses to “Cinnamon Tartlets (Small Tarts Have Big Hearts! Mini Pie Revolution Event #2)”

  1. Simona said

    I love the meringue + almond filling! I’ll try to make these tartlets.

  2. bakinghistory said

    Ciao Simona: we liked them so much, they did last only long enough to take the picture🙂

  3. Ann said

    These look adorable and the recipe sounds fabulous. Thanks so much for participating again!

  4. bakinghistory said

    @ Ann: Thank you! This was a great blog event and I look forward to the next one in the Mini Pie Revolution!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: