Red Currant Mini Tarts

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About: Your local sugar loving teenager.

My mom grows a lot of fruits in my backyard. They are all starting to produce edible fruit. I do not want this fruit to go to waste. And since right now there is an abundance of red currants, I decided to bake with them. I have been going through a pie phase but did not want to make an entire pie, so I decided to make tarts. Hence, the idea of a currant tart was born.

So I made a currant tart. The first time I tried to add spices, which didn't turn out well, but then I made a plain tart and it was really good and I was like "wow this is good" and my family was like "wow this is good" so I made a lot of currant tarts. I then wrote down the recipe for future reference. I also decided to make this Instructable, because there are not enough currant recipes out there. The internet needed this recipe. So here I am.

This recipe makes two four inch tarts. If you have heart shaped pans, they would be very romantic. I think somebody with those pans should try this because I'm not going to buy them.

Supplies:

What does this even do

Step 1: About Red Currants

There are not enough red currant recipes out there. Hopefully, by educating people, I can fix that.

Red currants are a small, tart berry in the gooseberry family. There are three main varieties of currants, red, white, and black. I only have red in my backyard, so I will focus on those. But black currants are not tart (which makes them just sweet), and white currants are just red currants but without pigmentation and slightly sweeter. Some people describe the flavor of red currants as "woodsy" and that description doesn't seem too inaccurate. (I'm not sure what a "woodsy flavor" is.) I personally have trouble eating them raw, but they're pretty darn good with some sugar. You can also make a really nice jam out of red currants, which I have done before with my family. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin C.

Red currants are native to Europe but have spread to places like North America and Asia. They were banned in the United States in 1911 because they spread a disease that hurt pine trees and the logging companies didn't like that. However, a disease-resistant variety of the plant was created in 1966, and now the legality of currants depends on what state you live in. That is why I, a United Statesian, have red currants growing in my backyard.

Step 2: Ingredients!

Crust

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar 1
  • 16 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick butter (2 oz)
  • 1 tbsp water, add up to ½ teaspoon water if the dough isn’t working well.

Filling:

  • 1 cup currants
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Supplies:

  • Two 4-inch tart pans
  • Mesh strainer
  • Things like bowls and spoons but I'm going to assume you have those because they are pretty common.

Step 3: PREHEAT THE OVEN (I Always Forget This.)

Preheat the oven to 400º F or 205º C.

Step 4: Dry Crust Things!

Add the sugar and salt to the flour. Stir until well combined.

Step 5: There's Nothing Butter Than Butter!

Making the sure butter is rather cold so that it is workable for the next step, chop the butter into small pieces with a knife, and put it in the bowl with the flour, sugar, and salt.

Step 6: Pastry Blend Like Your Life Depends on It.

Using a fork, your hands, or a pastry blender, blend the butter into the flour. There should be half a pea-sized chunks of butter left when you are done.

Step 7: Water You Doing?

Add the water, stirring until you have a soft dough. Add up to ½ teaspoon water if the dough isn’t working well.

Step 8: Is Your Refridgerator Running? Because You Need It.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. This makes the dough more workable because when I didn’t freeze the dough, it was too soft to easily work with.

Step 9: Dough Your Thing.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Place half the dough onto the center of a tart pan, and using your thumbs, move the dough outwards in a circular motion. Continue this until you have the bottom covered, then squish the dough up to the edge of the pan so that you have a solid outer ring. Do the same with the other half of the dough on the other tart pan.

Step 10: Bake Away!

Bake at 400º F or 205º C for 8-12 minutes, until slightly golden brown on the outer edge of the crust.

Step 11: Mash for the Filling!

I generally start the filling while the crust is still cooking because I am impatient. However, this is lowkey a bad idea because the filling cooks at 350º F or 175º C, which is different from the crust. You have to preheat the oven at some point though. I just don't know when.

Mash the currents with a fork until there are no whole berries left. A spoon or potato masher or something might also work, but I used a fork. I did not do a good job. Thankfully, I made up for it in the next step.

Step 12: Juice the Berries!

Pour the mashed berries into a mesh strainer. I like to squish the berries onto the edge of the strainer with a spoon because I never mash them well enough. It’s kind of like in a food mill except smaller and no fancy crank. A food mill would work well for a large batch, actually. I think I'll do that in the future.

But squish all the juice out of the berries until you have a reasonably large amount of red liquid. Once done, remove the strainer from the juice.

Step 13: Sugar Sugar!

Add the sugar to the juice and stir until the sugar is dissipated.

Step 14: Thicken!

Add the corn starch and stir until that is dissipated, making sure to get rid of any lumps. The mixture will become thicker and be tinted to a lighter shade of red.

Step 15: Pour Away

Pour into the cooled crusts, trying not to spill any on the edges because that makes it harder to clean up.

Step 16: Bake!

Bake at 350º F or 175º C for 20 minutes, or until the center is solid when wiggled a tiny bit and dark red.

Step 17: Make Look Fancy!

Garnish with more currants or powdered sugar or whipped cream or something. I used powdered sugar and currants, as that was what I had on hand.

Step 18: Glamour Shots!

I think these tarts turned out really nicely! They look cool, and also are really tasty, as my family ate them within 10 minutes of them being done, every time.

If I were to make them again, I might try finding what spices taste good with currants, as I had trouble this time, and maybe make a bigger batch using the food mill and a bigger pan. Because this tart is good and I want more.

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    2 Discussions

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    attosa

    21 days ago

    I will agree that there are not enough red currant recipes out there because this is the first time I have seen one-- it looks fabulous!