Yes, the ‘collapsed sides system’ was an accident. But it’s great! I know there are probably other ways to get the same result but this method does produce a relatively neat puff pastry shell you can top with lovely yummy stuff. You can see the difference with the very little tart behind there that wasn’t baked in a tart ring.
This was the first prototype, where the border is slightly thicker because the tart ring was a little higher.
The texture and flavour comes out like the pastry layer in a millefeuille, aka puff pastry vanilla slice. If you top with cream and fruit and close your eyes you feel like you’re eating a millefeuille!
Use homemade inverted puff pastry if possible. Good-quality shop-bought all-butter puff pastry should also work (I’ll have to try). Follow my instructions for lining a French tart ring. Trim the sides along the top with a small sharp knife, as shown at the end of the tart ring post in the ‘neater edges’ section. Prick all over with a fork, making sure the holes go through to the bottom. Cover almost completely with fork pricks, also on the sides!
Freeze overnight on the baking tray. This is handy if you want to spend less time making your tart on the day.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F (static, non-convection oven) or 180°C/350°F (fan-assisted, convection oven).
- Bake around 10-12 minutes. The sides should collapse and the middle of the tart will probably puff up, so after the 10-12 minutes prick all around with a fork (but not the collapsed sides) so it flattens a bit.
- Bake another 10 minutes. Prick all over again if necessary.
- Bake a further 5 to 15 minutes (depending on your oven) until the pastry is light golden brown and completely done. The total baking time is around 25 to 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before topping. Note: if some part of the sides is a little uneven you can probably use a fork to prick it down a little.
Tada! A puff pastry tart shell where the sides collapsed very nicely thank you. So I guess this page also deals with the question ‘What do I do if the sides of my puff pastry tarts collapse?’ Um … make the sides even so they’ll collapse evenly (lol), accept it, adapt and shout ‘hurray’! 🙂