1 lb cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
¾ cup cold water
1 ½ teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1) Cut butter and refrigerate while preparing remaining ingredients. Add salt to water and stir to dissolve.
2) Place flour in the bowl of a food processor and add a quarter (4 oz.) of the cold butter. Pulse until butter is absorbed–about ten to twelve 1-second pulses. Add remaining 12 ounces of butter and pulse once or twice to distribute. Add water and pulse a few times, just until dough forms; do not over-process.
3) Flour work surface and scrape dough from bowl. Shape dough into a rough rectangle and place between two pieces of plastic wrap. Press dough with a rolling pin to flatten, then roll out into a roughly 12 x 18 inch rectangle.
4) Working quickly, peel off top sheet of plastic wrap. Using the bottom sheet of plastic wrap to assist you, fold dough into thirds from the long sides to make a 4 x 18-inch rectangle, then roll the dough up into a cylinder from one of the 4-inch ends, like a jelly roll. Press the dough into a square, wrap in plastic and refrigerate one hour, or until firm.
Makes about 2lbs of dough
1 cup granulated sugar
⅔ cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup, plus 6 tablespoons, whole milk, divided
½ cup all-purpose flour
6 egg yolks
Ground cinnamon, for garnish
1) Roll quick puff into an 18-inch square. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight log. Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate until very firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
2) Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 500°. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water and cinnamon stick over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and let sit until ready to use.
3) On a lightly floured surface, trim the ends of the dough to make sure they’re even, then cut the log into thirty ½-inch slices. Place each slice into the cavity of an egg tart mold or muffin tin, with the cut side of the spiral facing up. Use your thumb to press the center of the spiral into the bottom of the pan and continue pressing to evenly flatten the dough against the bottom and sides of the cavity, extending about 1⁄16 inch above the rim of the tart molds or ¾ inch up the sides of the muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate until firm, 10 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, of the milk over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the remaining 5 tablespoons of milk. Continue whisking while adding the hot milk in a slow, steady stream. Discard the cinnamon stick from the sugar syrup and whisk the syrup into the milk mixture in a steady stream. Return to the saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened 10 to 12 minutes.
5) Add the yolks to the mixture and whisk until well combined, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Pour 1½ tablespoons of the warm filling into each pastry shells.
6) Bake until the shells are golden brown and crisp, the custards are set, and the tops are blackened in spots, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Then, remove the molds, transfer the tarts to the wire racks and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve warm.
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