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Baking Calendar #1: French Tarts

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Our first baking calendar! I’ve been obsessing over French tarts for a while now and I’m so happy to finally share this calendar with you.

I think it’s safe to say tarts are the perfect dessert for a texture lover. A crunchy base, covered in a smooth and creamy filling and sometimes topped even further to up the wow factor! But I think the best way for me to convince you is to take you on a tart baking journey this month!

Yes, take out your tart pan and your rolling pin because we will be making so many amazing tarts: from fruit tarts such as apple, lemon, strawberries to my personal favorite: the chocolate tart!

Using The Baking Calendar

To begin, it might be helpful to print the Tart Calendar. I’ve included all the ingredients needed for the month so you can use it as a shopping list.

Baking Calendar #1 French Tarts

You might have noticed that each recipe extends over several days. It does not need to be this way. I am simply offering suggestions in case you don’t have much free time. You can bake everything in one day if you prefer. I’ve written next to the steps what the minimum resting time is (if applicable) and how long you can wait before moving on to the next step. And you can even freeze the dough for up to a month if you don’t manage to finish a recipe in a week.

I would strongly recommend keeping a notebook next to you while baking. Write down for example what oven setting you used, how long you had to bake the tart. Since your oven will probably be different from mine, you might need to adjust the time and temperature a little to get the best results. Experiment if needed and write down all the changes you make.

Take pictures if at all possible. They will help you troubleshoot some issues. But mostly, I’d love for you to be able to look back and see how much progress you have made! And if you are willing to share them, I’d love to see them. You can email them to me at [email protected] or tag me on Instagram @wheelofbaking.

Okay, I hope you are ready! Let’s do this!

WEEK 1: Custard Apple Tart

Day 1

We will learn some basic concepts behind making French tarts. We will know, among other things:

  • What ingredients are used and why.
  • What the two main types of mixing for tart dough are.
  • Why we should refrigerate the dough.
  • How to bake the tart.

Action step:

  1. Read the post How to Make a French Tart: 7 steps explained.

Day 2

We will learn:

  • How to make pâte brisée, a dough that can be used for both savory and sweet tarts and that does not contain any eggs.
  • How to mix tart dough with the sanding technique.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make Pâte Brisée.
  2. Prepare the pâte brisée and refrigerate it for at least an hour but I would recommend chilling it overnight for best results (it will keep for up to 3 days).

Day 3

We will learn:

  • How to line a tart pan.
  • How to partially bake a tart.
  • How to bake a tart with a filling.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to Line a Tart Pan with Pastry.
  2. Line the tart pan with pâte brisée. Refrigerate it, uncovered for an hour.
  3. Read the post How to make French Custard Apple Tart.
  4. Partially bake the tart while preparing the filling. Fill the tart and continue baking until the filling is set.

WEEK 2: Lemon Tart

Day 1

We will learn:

  • How to make pâte sucrée.
  • How to prepare tart dough using the creaming technique.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make Pâte Sucrée.
  2. Prepare the pâte sucrée and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

Day 2

Action steps:

  1. Line the tart pan with the pâte sucrée and refrigerate it for 1 hour. Bake the tart. Once it has cooled down, store it at room temperature in an airtight container.

Day 3

We will learn:

  • How to make lemon curd.
  • How to make it suitable for tarts, to get a clean cut.
  • What can go wrong when making lemon curd, and how to fix it.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make Lemon Curd.
  2. Prepare the lemon curd and fill your tart shell. The amounts in the calendar are for 3 small tartlets and require 1 1/2 eggs. In the post, I doubled those amounts in case you’d rather use whole eggs (3). And you’d like to make a large tart. Select whatever is more convenient for you.

WEEK 3: Strawberry Tart

Day 1

We will learn:

  • How to make pâte sablée.
  • What the difference between pâte sablée and pâte sucrée is.
  • And review the sanding mixing technique.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make Pâte Sablée.
  2. Prepare the pâte sablée and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight (and up to 3 days).

Day 2

Action steps:

  1. Line the tart pan with the pâte sablée and freeze it for 15 minutes (or refrigerate it for 1 hour). Bake the tart. Once it has cooled down, store it at room temperature in an airtight container.

Day 3

We will learn:

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make Pastry Cream.
  2. Prepare the pastry cream and refrigerate it for several hours and up to 2 days.

Day 4

We will learn:

  • How to assemble a strawberry tart.
  • How to prevent a tart crust from becoming soggy.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post Strawberry Tart with Pastry Cream.
  2. Assemble the strawberry tart.

WEEK 4: Chocolate Tart

Day 1

We will learn:

  • How to add chocolate flavor to a pâte sucrée.
  • How to make tartlets.
  • And review the creaming mixing technique.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry.
  2. Prepare the chocolate pastry and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight (and up to 3 days).

Day 2

Action steps:

  1. Line the tart pan with the chocolate shortcrust pastry (pâte sucrée au chocolat) and freeze it for 15 minutes (or refrigerate it for 1 hour). Bake the tart. Once it has cooled down, store it at room temperature in an airtight container.

Day 3

We will learn:

  • How to make chocolate ganache.
  • How to pour the chocolate ganache into the tart shell.
  • How to troubleshoot the chocolate ganache.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make a Chocolate Ganache Tart.
  2. Prepare the chocolate ganache.
  3. Fill your tart shell.

Yay! We did it! 4 French tarts in 4 weeks! I hope you really enjoyed this baking calendar. I’d love to know what your favorite tart was and what you learned this month. And if you have any pictures you’d like to share, I would be so happy to see them! You can tag me on instagram.

I was going to keep next month’s calendar a surprise but I’m not very good at that! I think you’ll be happy to know we will be covering choux pastry! If you think it’s too difficult to make, don’t worry. I’ll be sharing lots of tips and showing you lots (and lots) of my failed attempts. So when it’s your turn to do it, you’ll know exactly what to do!

Until next time!

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