Tart - Old Time Sisters to Pie!

Tarts are old time sisters to pie, with a very unique demarcation between the two. While pies are usually covered with pastry, tarts are kept open with their insides frothed with a creamy, suhary base. Think of tarts as edible bowls, bowls to which you can keep adding your favourite baking bases and have them too. Coming to the historical origins of tarts, they come in many different versions, most of which are believed to be feminine creations. According to one source, tarts were baked for the first time by two French spinsters who ran a hotel in the 1880s. The French pay homage to the sisters linguistically by calling tarts, “Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin”, literally meaning two unmarried women named Tatin. However, in this French version, Tarts made by the women still did not achieve commercial fame until a famous, renowned hotel known as Maxim put the recipe on their menu and made their seasoned chefs bake them.

While the French like their tarts with fruits, the Italians tend to be traditional with their tarts. Tarts are considered to be the oldest desserts of Italian pastries. It has roots in mythological anecdotes – one with a sweet mermaid called Partenope who received tarts as a gift from the Gods for her melodious songs. Thus, tarts, are the perfect gifts for your loved ones, very ideal on celebratory occasions and timeless in its way of showing gratitude. 

Here are the following versions of Tarts you must know to up your tart game. We make your life easier by giving you a plethora of options so you will always know what you want!

Frangipane

Heavily laden in naturally occurring, aromatic bases, Frangipane is quite essentially known for its fragrance. Frangipane is a naturally occurring plant that offers the unique perfume of Frangipane flavour. Some also accord the name after the famous Italian Marquis Muzio Frangipani aka Cesare Frangipane. Frangipane as a tart is richly flavoured with almond custard, sweet in taste. Originally designated as a custard tart flavoured by almonds or pistachios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods.

Lemon Tart

Originally a French dessert, lemon tart is known for its pastry shell with a lemon flavoured filling. It is a classic timeless dessert which capitalises on the lemon compatibility in dessert, baking recipes. Similar to a lemon pie, it is made of shortcrust pastry with a lemon custard filling. Lemon tarts were widely baked and consumed in Europe since ages because of the economical ingredients that go into making them. The custard is usually made from eggs, sugar, butter or cream and lemon juice all of which were widely available since the 12th century. 

Bakewell Tart

Another almond flavoured tart, this one is a classic British dessert loved by all, for all occasions. The Bakewell tart recipes roots from a very homely, grandma made recipe using homemade pastry, richly laden in butter and topped with raspberry jam. It goes excellently well with cream or custard and is enjoyed the best when warm. Bakewell tarts also use frangipane as one of its bases so if you want the best of both the jam (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry you name it!) world and also of almond based aromatic flavour, bakewell is your thing.

Egg Tart

An eastern recipe, specifically a Chinese one, egg tarts are a linear variation of the regular English custard tarts. The English influence came from the only Chinese port town accessible to European foreign traders – Guangzhou. This unique Cantonese dessert recipe was widely sold and consumed in the Chinese market around the 20th century and it is quite a rage among the sweet tooth-ers across the world.The Cantonese egg tart has two distinct variations of its own – one introduced to Hongkong from guangzhou and the other from a Portuguese colony renowned for its pastries, Macau.

Apple Almond Tart

With a close resemblance to the recipe of Apple pies borrowed from the ancient monasteries, Apple tarts was a variation rooted in the classic fruit flavour of apples. Like lemons, apples have their own sweet way (quite literally :P) with desserts and they go well as toppings, filling, custard base and what not. For apple tarts, you can have your filling or the cream base or both made with apple.

Fruit Tart

Fruit tarts quite simply are a break from the traditional pies and tarts that use meat as their fillings. Fruit tarts as the name suggests use fruits as its primary flavours and are unique in its taste. The seasonal fruits, especially mango and strawberry are the most ideal and loved fruits to make tarts. An early tart was the Italian crostata, dating to at least the mid-15th century. It has been described as a “rustic free-form version of an open fruit tart”.

Custard Tart

Closely resembling egg tarts, custard tarts were believed to be served during the coronation banquet of Henry IV in 1399. Mediaeval recipes generally included a shortcrust and puff pastry case filled with a mixture of cream, milk, or broth, with eggs, sweeteners such as sugar or honey, and sometimes spices. Recipes existed as early as the fourteenth century that would still be recognisable as custard tarts today.

Lemon Curd Tart

The tart is known for its smooth creamy curd filling that is paired with a crispy sugary crust. The tangy flavour is achieved through lemon zest or juice and is a favourite for anyone who delights some lime flavour in their desserts.

Portugese Tart

A Portuguese special, the dessert is known for its distinctive caramelised topping resembling the famous creme brulee. Believed to be a culinary invention by monks at Jeronimos Monastery in London. Some also believe these tarts have been in existence since the coronation of Henry IV.

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