Tarte au Sucre – Traditional – Update 1

Today I made some good old “Tarte au sucre”, family tradition style.

Here is the recipe from “Marraine de Quievrain“, collected in person on a piece of paper that was lying around on the day…about 14 years ago (sometime in 1999 I think). I was visiting with my then girlfriend -to become wife – doing a tour of the Belgian family members. She had cooked a few tarts and the house had a great smell. I asked how to make it and she did tell me !

My grandma, my aunty, my mum, my cousins, all make it with variants of “the secret bits”.

It always makes me think of the old days when I was a child and although we had no idea what was to come next for our lives, we knew inside that this was special time to be enjoyed without moderation.

Here is my interpretation of the recipe :

Ingredients : 250g Flour / 125g Butter + more for top / Active Dry Yeast / 3 eggs / White Sugar and/or Cassonade.

  1. Make pastry : 250g of Flour / 125g of soft butter / 2 egg yokes -put it all in a bowl. Prepare some Active dry yeast – a small glass of water (hot from the mains) with 1/2 tablespoon of active dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar to help activate. Mix all above in a bowl. Update 1: It is better if you mix flour and butter first. simply crush the butter between your fingers and make a crumble of butter and flour, then add egg and yeast. Either by hand or using machine. if by hand add milk or flour to get to a ball of paste that is not sticky to the fingers and not too dry to the touch either. This is the tricky part. The weather, the temperature, the flour will make it all change a bit.
  2. Put the prepared mix in a bowl to rise for 1 hour. Protect from cold drafts to help raise. Most modern houses with central heating will just be fine. If you live in a drafty house simply put the bowl in the oven (off).
  3. Roll the pastry slightly thick (6mm). It’s not Pizza, so the pastry will be a bit sticky. Flour the rolling pin. Roll it so that it fits your cooking tin. I usually do one large tart.
  4. Put the sugar on the pastry. It is down to how you like it. Lots or not. I usually simply spread it straight from the bag over the pastry. I prefer to use white sugar together with a little bit of cassonade. I don’t like it if there is too much but there is plenty of recipes on the net for thick sugar coatings. Whisk an egg with a little bit of milk. Put it over the sugar. Spread the liquid over the sugar so that all the sugar is wetted by the mixture. Put a few small bits of butter all over the tart. Maybe 6 X 1/2 teaspoon.
  5. Put into a pre-heated oven at 250 Celsius. Update 1: I find 250 to be too hot. I now use 200-210. (if you make the oven less warm, the tart will raise more which is nice also). Cook until it looks good…
  6. Let it cool. Then eat…or even better wait for the next morning and have it for breakfast. If I make the tart in the morning, there will be none by the evening. If I make it in the evening, we will have some for breakfast the next day !
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