Sour Cream Soufflé Tarts are made with flaky pâte brisée, a layer of jam, and a light and airy baked cheesecake mixture. It's the perfect blend of a tart and soufflé. These French tarts are sure to be a bit hit at your next party.
Sour cream soufflé tarts, also known as tart au fromage blanc, are a cross between a baked cheesecake and a tart. It's a beautiful and delicate pastry with a flaky, tender crust, a thin layer of jam, and sour cream soufflé filling. Not only are these tarts a delicious afternoon treat with a cup of coffee or tea, but they make the perfect entertaining dessert that will have your guests wanting more.
Why this recipe works
- Uses an easy-to-make buttery, flaky dough.
- Bakes into beautiful souffle tarts.
- It can be made with any flavor jam.
- Pastry dough can be made ahead of time.
Before you begin
Take out the following baking equipment.
Digital kitchen scale
2 small bowls
Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
Large baking sheet pan
3-inch tart pans or rings
Small offset spatula
Allow all of your ingredients to come to room temperature.
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
Understanding Ingredients for Sour Cream Soufflé Tarts
All-purpose flour is used for the pastry dough as it has just the right amount of flour to create a tender crust. Cake flour has a lower protein content and would cause the shells to fall apart, and bread flour contains too much protein and lacks tenderness.
The cornstarch, all-purpose flour, and egg yolks are the thickening agents for the sour cream filling. Using a combination of these three yields the best texture. If only cornstarch were used, then the filling would become too starchy. Using just flour would result in a rubbery texture, and extra egg yolks would give too powerful flavor to the tarts.
Egg whites are whipped with granulated sugar to create a stiff-peaked meringue which is added to the sour cream filling to lighten it and transform it into a souffle.
What is Pâte Brisée
Pâte Brisée is a butter-based flaky dough used for either sweet or savory pies and tarts. It’s made with four simple ingredients: salt, water, butter, and all-purpose flour. It’s an excellent fundamental recipe to refer to often.
How to make Pâte Brisée
Combine salt and water. In a small bowl, mix the salt and water until the salt has dissolved.
Mix butter and flour. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the softened butter and flour at low speed until evenly mixed. Do not overmix the dough because the gluten will be activated, and the tart shells will not be tender.
Add the water. Add the water to the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a round disc. Cover tightly and refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
How to roll out Pâte Brisée
When rolling out any pastry dough, it’s not about strength but rather a smooth and gentle motion. Adding too much pressure to the dough will cause it to stick to your work surface or your rolling pin.
Line your work surface. Place a piece of parchment paper or silpat on your work surface and lightly dust with flour. Lining your surface is not required, but it’s easier to work with if the dough gets sticky.
Roll gently. Begin at the edge nearest to you and gently roll in one direction to the edge furthest from you. Repeat this motion twice.
Rotate. Rotate the dough a quarter turn. Check to see that the dough is not sticking to your surface, otherwise add a bit more flour. You should always be able to slide the dough on your surface.
Repeat rolling. Roll the dough another 3 times and continue the process of rotating and rolling until the desired thickness is achieved.
What is a Soufflé?
A soufflé is a sweet or savory baked dish that has a flavored base mixed with beaten egg whites (meringue). When it's baked, the air bubbles from the meringue expand and cause the soufflé to puff up. Traditionally, a soufflé is baked in a dish, but these are baked straight into the pastry dough.
How to make the perfect soufflé
Use a mixer. Using a mixer will get air into the egg whites steady and fast, which creates a beautiful meringue.
Use room temperature eggs. Allow your eggs to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Room temperature eggs will yield better peaks compared to cold eggs.
Keep all egg yolk out of the meringue. It's so important to ensure the egg yolks do not get into the bowl of the egg whites. Any little bit of yolk will prevent the whites from trapping air and creating the perfect meringue.
Mix the egg whites last. The egg whites and sugar should always be the last step of the process and baked immediately so that the soufflé doesn't deflate.
Tips and takeaways
- When rolling your pastry dough, work briskly so that the dough doesn’t warm and become sticky. If this happens, pop your dough into the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to cool down and then continue the process.
- Once your tart shells are pre-baked and cooled, use a Microplane to shave the shells’ tops to smooth any uneven edges and create a uniform height all around.
- For the chocolate lover, substitute the jam with Nutella.
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