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1.) In step 5 of the recipe the directions tell us to poke the tart shell with a fork. Why is this necessary?
Answer: When blind baking pastry shells, it is important to prick the dough to allow steam to escape from the pastry while it is baking. Otherwise, the steam will get trapped in the pastry layers and create a dome or bubble in the pastry dough. This dome will prevent you from being able to efficiently add the filling for the tart.
2.) What is blind baking?
Answer: Blind baking is a technique that is used to par-bake pastry crusts before adding in filling. The crust requires a longer baking time than the filling, so it is baked off first and then the filling added in after for further baking, or the crust is baked until it is done and a filling that does not require baking is added once the crust has cooled.
3.) What is a Coulis sauce?
Answer: In this recipe we make a strawberry coulis sauce that is a topping for the tarts. Coulis pronounced (Koo-Lee) is a French sauce that can be either sweet or savory that is made from pureed fruit or vegetables that have been strained to create a sauce.
4.) What is lemon curd?
Answer: Lemon curd has English origins dating back to the 1800s. In the original lemon curd recipe, lemon was used as an acidic agent to curdle cream to create curds that were then strained out from the whey. Over-time the recipe has evolved to include eggs, and butter, and has become more of a velvety smooth sauce; very different from its original recipe. Lemon curd is versatile and delicious.
5.) Step 10 of the recipe tells us to remove our mixing bowl from the mixer after our cream has reached stiff peaks, and to then fold in the lemon curd with a spatula. Why don't we just use the mixer to mix in the lemon curd?
Answer: The lemon curd is folded into the cream by hand to ensure that the cream mixture is not over whipped. By gently folding in the lemon curd the airiness of the cream is preserved without becoming over whipped and the lemon curd is evening distributed into the cream until the mixture is homogenous.