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There are many varieties of tart pastry, most of which have a fruit filling. The pastry shell of a tart can be sweet or savory, and can be homemade or store bought. The fillings for a tart pastry are almost limitless and can include citrus fruits, berries, or even savory ingredients like eggs.
Some of the various types of tart pastry include those prepared with a pre-made tart shell. A frozen tart shell pastry may be found in the frozen foods section of a supermarket. Homemade tart pastry is prepared by using fresh food items, rather than pre-packaged.
Some tarts are miniature and generally served as a snack sized or single serving. Typically round, they are made using a miniature aluminum tart pastry pans. These are popular pastries to pack in school lunchboxes or when traveling.
Some of the more popular types of tart pastry are those with real fruit filling. Lemon is a common fruit used for tart pastries. Cherry is another fruit that may be used for baking a tart. Although fresh fruit is typically the ingredient many bakers will use for their tart pastries, some homemade tarts may be made with a canned pie filling. Cherry or blueberry pie filling are two common ingredients.
Many tart pastries generally will have a pungent flavor. It is believed this is how the name of tart originated. While this is typically the rule, some types of tart pastry are sweet.
A common dessert popular in Hawaii is a pineapple tart pastry. As this state is known for growing an abundance of pineapple, it's not uncommon to find desserts prepared with this fruit. In addition, coconut tart pastry also is popular in the state.
Mixed fruit tart pastries are made with two or more fruits. Most commonly, mixed berries are blended together or the pastry shell is filled with slices of berry. After the pastry is finished, it may be garnished with a slice of fresh fruit on top of the shell, and capped off with homemade toppings such as preserves or whipped cream.
Apple tart pastries may be made with fresh apple slices and cinnamon. In addition to the apples, raisins and nutmeg can be added. For extra plump raisins in the tart, they can be soaked in a shallow pan of rum for several hours.
Another type of tart pastry is one made using molasses and brown sugar. Eggs and butter are other ingredients required to make this variety of pastry. Because this is a sweet dessert, often it is served with a topping of whipped cream. To make the pastry or crust, the dough is kneaded carefully, by hand or with a rolling pin. Butter tart and egg tart pastries are other sweet varieties.