The tart case is essentially a short crust pastry, made using flour, icing sugar, butter and egg yolk. Whereas the cream cheese filling is made using cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and whipping cream. Since I have attempted similar type of tarts before, the baking process was pretty straightforward.
First add cubes of unsalted butter to a flour mixture (cake flour, icing sugar, salt) and rub the butter into the flour mixture using fingers till it resembles coarse sand. Add the egg yolk and fold gently till a dough forms. Add up to 1/2 tsp of water if dough is too dry. Turn the dough onto a mat and knead till egg yolk is well-blended. Clingwrap the dough and leave in fridge to rest for at least 1hr.
Once ready, lightly dust the mat with some flour and roll the dough into 2-3mm thickness. Stamp the dough using a 7cm round fluted cutter. Lift the piece of dough from the mat to a tart tin. I find that using a pastry scrapper helps to lift up the dough neatly.
Gently push the dough into the tart tin and mould to the shape of the tin using the finger tips. Pipe the cream cheese filling into the tart casings.
And viola! Almost done, cream cheese tarts ready to be baked.
Cream Cheese Tart
(makes 10 tarts, using 5.5cm top/3cm base tart tin)
(A) Tart case/Short crust pastry
(B) Cream cheese filling
- 100g Cake flour
- 20 Icing sugar
- 1g Fine salt
- 50g Unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 Egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp Water (optional)
- 100g Cream cheese, slightly softened
- 30g Icing sugar
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- 40g Whipping cream
- Sift the cake flour, icing sugar and fine salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the unsalted butter and rub into the flour mixture using finger tips, mix till mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse sand.
- Add egg yolk and fold into mixture using spatula, until mixture comes together into dough. Add up to 1/2 tsp of water if dough is too dry.
- Turn dough onto a non-stick mat and gently knead till egg yolk is well-blended and smooth. Do not over-knead the dough.
- Clingwrap the dough and place in fridge for at least 1 hr.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese filling. Beat cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice using mixer till creamy and smooth.
- Add whipping cream and beat till well-blended.
- Transfer filling into a piping bag and place in fridge till ready to use.
- Once dough is ready to use, preheat oven to 180 degree celsius (top and bottom heat).
- Lightly dust a non-stick mat with some flour. Roll the dough using rolling pin to 2-3mm thickness.
- Stamp the dough using a round fluted cutter (I use 7cm cutter). Repeat till all the dough is used up. (I get 10 pieces of dough).
- Take a piece of cut dough, gently push the dough into a tart tin (I use 5.5cm top/3cm base tart tin).
- Using finger tips, gently mould the dough to the shape of the tart tin. Repeat till all dough pieces used up.
- Using a fork, poke a few holes at the base of each tart. (I forgot to do this step).
- Pipe the cream cheese filling into the tart cases till almost full.
- Gently tap each tart tin to smoothen the surface of the filling. Place all the tart tins onto a large baking tray.
- Place the baking tray at the bottom most rack of the oven. Bake at 180 degree celsius for 23-25 mins. Watch carefully towards the last few mins to make sure the cream cheese filling is not browned.
- After baking is done, open the oven door slightly and let the tarts cool in the oven.
- The tarts are best enjoyed the same day they are baked.
Tadah! The baked Cream Cheese Tarts! I added some homemade strawberry jam to a few of the tarts for fun; alas they looked so ugly!
To test the temperature and timing, I actually baked 2 tarts first while leaving the rest in the fridge. During the baking, the cream cheese filling rose very nicely into a rounded/dome shape, but somewhat deflate very quickly upon removing the tarts from the oven.
Therefore during the second baking, I tried leaving them in the oven to cool down and the results turned out slightly better. But still not the rounded shape that I was hoping for. Hmmm, next time probably I would try varying the baking temperature and time like what I did for the Hong Kong flaky egg tart (baking the tarts at 200 degree celsius for 15 mins and then reduce temperature to 180 for another 10 mins, and cool down in the oven).
Anyways, the tarts turned out totally scrumptious! The shortcrust pastry was "short" and buttery and the cream cheese filling was "sharp" and intense. Certainly a tart for cream cheese lover. Like my kiddo. He had 2 tarts after dinner and wanted a 3rd which I stopped him. And brought 4 pieces to school for breakfast this morning. As for me, I chomped 2 immediately after they were baked and another 2 today :p #fatdieme
Next time I will try baking using my mini mould and vary the temperature/timing to see if results would turn out better. Stay tuned!