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Kerry Beal

Tart Tampers

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I made 4 dozen little tarts for the eG Confectionery Conference dinner last week. I used the french tart dough described in David Lebovitz's site -here.

I used my little round wooden tart tamper to form the shells - but I'm not really satisfied with the job it does. I went online and noticed there seem to be a variety of tampers available, some wood, some metal, some plastic. Shapes vary from round to 'tart' shaped.

So what should I get to replace my rather disappointing round wooden one - to get the best results when making little tarts?

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I use another tart pan pressed down on the dough in the original works well...but for double crust mini pies, you need 5 inch pans like they have Here You have to be able to crimp.

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The mini tart shell. :hmmm: I committed to making a very large number of mini tarts for a local event. By the time I was done, I hoped I would be committed if I ever volunteered to do that again. :raz: I have a wooden tamper but I usually just give them a quick press with that and fine tune them with my fingers because I'm not happy with the result trying to press them completely with the tamper I have. Some doughs seem to work better if I roll them out and use a round cutter then drop them in the pans. I try to use doughs that don't have too much trouble with shrinking or puffing because lining and weighting all those little buggers is even more time consuming than forming them.

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The mini tart shell. :hmmm: I committed to making a very large number of mini tarts for a local event. By the time I was done, I hoped I would be committed if I ever volunteered to do that again. :raz: I have a wooden tamper but I usually just give them a quick press with that and fine tune them with my fingers because I'm not happy with the result trying to press them completely with the tamper I have. Some doughs seem to work better if I roll them out and use a round cutter then drop them in the pans. I try to use doughs that don't have too much trouble with shrinking or puffing because lining and weighting all those little buggers is even more time consuming than forming them.

Omg, I SO agree!

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The dough I linked to on David Lebovitz's site is excellent in terms of not shrinking or puffing. So at least I don't need to line or weight the tarts.

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I have a glass tamper that was originally intended for chemical laboratory use (for what exactly I'm not sure - probably for packing chems), and I absolutely love it. The extra bonus is that I can freeze it before I start making tarts, which is extra-good because my dough recipe works best when it's maintained cool until baking.

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I have a glass tamper that was originally intended for chemical laboratory use (for what exactly I'm not sure - probably for packing chems), and I absolutely love it. The extra bonus is that I can freeze it before I start making tarts, which is extra-good because my dough recipe works best when it's maintained cool until baking.

Rounded on the end? Maybe a pestle for a mortar and pestle?

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Rounded on the end, but not a pestle (although I do use my large marble pestle for larger tarts). It's basically just a rounded glass rod, fairly thick, that fits perfectly into my mini-tart pan.

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For larger tarts I use a batticarne but for the little ones I use a heavy glass tumbler that has a perfectly flat bottom.

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For larger tarts I use a batticarne but for the little ones I use a heavy glass tumbler that has a perfectly flat bottom.

Batticarne=meat pounder?

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For larger tarts I use a batticarne but for the little ones I use a heavy glass tumbler that has a perfectly flat bottom.

Batticarne=meat pounder?

Yes, this one. It's only been used for pastry. My other meat pounders are a little larger and have longer handles in a different configuration.

This one is Made in Italy and I've had it for at least 25 years - before I moved up here.

It weighs 24 ounces so its own weight helps with the task.

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HPIM4133.JPG

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Kerry, did you ever find a good tamper that you're happy with? Am looking for one, too. I cannot use the tart shell, because I use rings. And cannot use a tumbler because the rings are small, and I don't have a tumbler to fit them, I'd have to buy a set. And then I might as well buy the tamper.

Hubster has a SS tamper that he uses when he makes his espresso, but the surface is ever so slightly convex, and it is very heavy. Not sure if I could use this without squishing the dough. Andiesenji's batticarne looks perfectly level.

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Metal measuring cups (the parallel-sided, flat-bottomed sort) do an excellent job, and you get an array of sizes, too.

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