(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
:: Syria - Harisset Et-tine (fig paste / fig squash)
arabic gum (mastic)
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
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.
:: Georgia - Khachapuri filling
500 grams Suluguni Cheese (or mozzarella)
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.
:: Iran - Ranguinak
500g Wheat flour
250g Vegetable oil (butter)
125g Sugar powder
500g Black and soft dates
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.
:: Azerbaijan - Creamy Filling with Dried Apricots and
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
To prepare the cream that my students and me made is
very easy. You need:
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
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
:: Greece - Shiamishi Cream Filling
1 glass of fine semolina
5 glasses of water
1 glass of sugar
½ tablespoon mastic gum ground with 1 tablespoonful of
1 spoonful of anthonero (essence of citrus blossoms) or rodonero
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.
:: Turkey - Sweet Börek With Sunflower & Pumpkin
Seeds, Tahin and Pekmez - An Experimental Sweet Dish
Tahin (crushed sesame seed mash)
Pekmez (grape syrup)