Two Times Tart Recipes

Pastry Shell  

(for approximately 18 half-tarts) 
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening
2-3 tablespoons iced water

Mix salt and flour together in a bowl. Cut in shortening and mix well. Sprinkle in ice water a small bit at a time. Mixing until all the dough is moistened. Add more ice water if necessary.
Roll out dough as thin as possible and fit into the tart shells.

- For fillings that require baking: fill the tart shells and bake from 10 – 15 min at the temperature required for the filling.
- For fillings that do not require baking: prick dough at the bottom and sides with a fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes.


:: Syria - Harisset Et-tine (fig paste / fig squash)
recipe from Mr. Samir Tahhan and Georges Husni, Aleppo, Syria

dried figs
arabic gum (mastic)
ground cinnamon
ground cloves
anis seeds
bleached walnuts
pine kernels

1) Soften dried figs in some water
2) Add ground Arabic gum (mastic), ground cinnamon and cloves (if the cloves are whole, they are to be removed before filling the pastry)
3) Roast some fennel and anis seeds, ground them and add them to the paste. 
4) Mix well
5) Roast some bleached wallnuts and bleached pine kernels, ground them but not too fine and add them to the paste. 
6) Mix well. The filling is ready. It is not to be baked.

:: Khachapuri filling
recipe from Nikusha Chkhaidze, Tbilisi, Georgia

500 grams Suluguni Cheese (or mozzarella)
2 eggs
1 tbsp butter

1) scramble eggs well
2) add melted butter and cheese and mix
3) place into the shells

:: Iraq - Date Filling
8 ounces pitted dates, cut into small pieces
2 table spoons unsalted butter
1 table spoon milk    
Place dates, butter and milk in top of double boiler; set over simmering water. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is soft and doughy. Let cool. Form into small balls.

:: Ranguinak
recipe from Maryam Niazadeh and Amirali Ghasemi, Tehran, Iran

500g Wheat flour
250g Vegetable oil (butter)
125g Sugar powder
500g Black and soft dates
125g Walnut
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Cardamon
2 tbsp Chopped Pistachio

We let the vegetable oil to get hot in a pan. We add the wheat flour, shorten the heat, stirring all the time until the wheat flour turns to yellow or light brown. We put away the pan until it gets a little cold. Then we add the sugar powder, grinded cinnamon and cardamom to the mixture, stirring it to bled it well. We take out the seeds of the dates and fill them up with a piece of walnut. We fill the cups with a layer of the flour mixture then a few dates and at last another layer of flour mixture. We decorate the top with chopped pistachio.

:: Creamy Filling with Dried Apricots and Walnuts
recipe from Farida Buyuran, Azerbaijan/USA

1 cup cottage cheese (225 g)
½ cup heavy whipping cream (120 ml)
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup dried apricots (about 8-10), coarsely chopped
½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped (just enough to feel some crunch when eating)
1/5 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
powder of 1 cardamom pod seeds
2 saffron threads, powdered using a mortar and pestle and dissolved in ½ teaspoons of hot water

1) In a mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, whipping cream and sugar. Beat using an electric mixer until stiff.
2) Add chopped apricots, walnuts, vanilla, cardamom powder and saffron water. Mix well with a spoon.
3) Fill the tart shells with the filling, and garnish with chopped walnuts on top.

:: Bulgaria - Comenius tart filling
recipe from Marco Ranieri, Yambul, Bulgaria

To prepare the cream that my students and me made is very easy. You need:
four eggs
250 grams of Italian cheese “Mascarpone” (a triple-cream cheese, 50% fat)
250 grams of Bulgarian cream “Smetana” (a heavy variety of sour cream or crème fraîche, 20-40% fat)
about 100 grams of sugar
a small bar of black chocolate

1) Put in a bowl the four yolks and the sugar and mix them until you have a smooth mixture
2) Put the Mascarpone and the Smetana in another bowl and mix them until you have a homogeneous mixture
3) Put the cheese mixture in the bowl with the mixture you have prepared at point 1) and mix again until you have an homogeneous cream
4) Beat the egg whites until stiff
5) Put the egg whites in the mixture you have prepared at point 3) and mix again until you have an homogeneous cream|
6) Add some very small pieces of chocolate and mix again

:: Shiamishi Cream Filling
recipe from Ivy Liacopoulou, Athens, Greece

1 glass of fine semolina
5 glasses of water
1 glass of sugar
½ tablespoon mastic gum ground with 1 tablespoonful of sugar

1 spoonful of anthonero (essence of citrus blossoms) or rodonero (rosewater) Put 5 glasses of water in a sauce pan (not boiling) and add the semolina, the sugar, the ground mastic, the rosewater and stir until cream is ready and thick. Empty the cream in a glass (pyrex) pan and let it to cool down for 3-4 hours.

:: Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds, Tahin and Pekmez - An Experimental Sweet Dish
recipe from Pinar Soley, Istanbul. Turkey

Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Tahin (crushed sesame seed mash)
Pekmez (grape syrup)


© Julie Upmeyer 2016