Small tarts are good tarts, because you can have more of them.
The Knave of Hearts (who stole some tarts) was onto a good thing.
Here are a couple of small tarts from a recipe that was originally intended for one large tart.
There is a feature in issue 62 of Donna Hay magazine on tartes tatin (or is it tarte tatins?) and how to make them. These are upside-down tarts made with puff pastry. You can use any fruit you fancy, as long as you cook the fruits in caramel, which produces a sticky, gooey, hard-to-scrape-off sauce when the tarts are inverted.
Rather than the usual apple tarte tatin, I used Williams pears, which have a firm, juicy and sweet flesh. They go beautifully with the sweet caramel that has the added distinct flavour of maple syrup. There was quite a bit of cleanup with these tarts - pastry cutter, saucepan for the caramel, scraping off of the hardened caramel from the muffin pan, scraping the dripping caramel off my chin - but these tarts were so good that you have to make more so that you can eat more. Super yum!
Pear and Maple Tartes Tatin
makes approx 6
2-3 firm ripe pears, like Williams or Packham
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed
1. Peel, core and chop the pears into 2.5cm/1" pieces.
2. For the caramel: Place the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the mixture boils, do not stir any further. Cook until the colour changes to a golden brown (10-15 minutes) - be careful, it changes quickly. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and golden syrup until combined.
3. Pour the caramel into 6 standard-sized muffin tins. Place the pear pieces on top of the caramel.
4. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Use a circle-shaped cookie cutter to cut puff pastry to fit the tops of the muffin holes. Place pastry on top of the pears, tucking the pastry into the holes to enclose the pears. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
5. Use a large spoon to carefully remove the tarts from the pan and place onto plates. Serve with cream or ice cream, if you like.
recipe adapted from donna hay
Williams pears were used here, but other pears, like knobbly Packhams, would also be good. Williams pears are better, though, because they ripen more quickly, in 1-2 days.
Cut circles of puff pastry to fit over the pears.
The pear pieces lie in the maple caramel sauce.
After the tarts are cooked, run a knife around the muffin holes and use a spoon to get the tarts out.
The dripping caramel gets everywhere, but it is easy to
lick clean up (use hot/boiling water to dissolve it)