Coffee Tarts

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Dark, rich, and not overly sweet. Bite through a crisp, buttery pastry shell to a coffee and semisweet chocolate custard topped with whipped cream that is flavored with coffee cream liqueur. Delicious served with a cup of strong black coffee.
Makes: 12 muffin-size pies
Prep: 40 minutes

Cook: 27–33 minutes
a little butter, for greasing
2/3 quantity all butter pie dough (see page 9) or 1 lb/450 g prepared sweet all butter pie dough, chilled
a little all-purpose flour, for dusting
1 cup lowfat milk
4 oz/115 g semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tsp instant coffee powder or granules
2 tbsp superfine sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
scant 1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp coffee cream liqueur
1½ tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tsp boiling water
white chocolate curls, to decorate
a dusting of unsweetened cocoa, sifted, to decorate

Step 1

Lightly grease a 12-section muffin pan. Roll the pie dough out thinly on a lightly floured surface. Using a plain cookie cutter, stamp out 12 circles each 4 inches/10 cm in diameter. Press these gently into the prepared pan, rerolling the trimmings as needed. Prick the bottom of each with a fork, then chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

Step 2

Line the pastry shells with squares of crumpled parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans (see page 6). Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake the pastry shells for an additional 2–3 minutes, or until the bottom of the pastry is crisp. Turn the oven down to 325°F/160°C. Meanwhile, bring the milk just to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the chocolate, coffee, and superfine sugar and let stand, off the heat, until the chocolate has melted.

Step 3

Beat the eggs and yolks in a mixing bowl, then gradually whisk in the warm milk mixture until smooth. Pour the custard into the pastry shells.

Step 4

Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, or until just set. Let stand to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen with a round-blade knife and transfer to a wire rack. Whip the cream in a bowl until it forms soft swirls. Add the sugar, then whisk in the liqueur and coffee until thick. Spoon over the pies, then decorate with white chocolate curls and a dusting of cocoa.

Step 5

Adapted from "Mini Pies: Gorgeous Little Pies and Tartlets," published by Parragon Books.

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