The cheese tart recipe originated in Hokkaido, Japan, and was created to showcase the cheesy taste of Hokkaido dairy products. The tart shell was buttery and the cheese filling was firm on the outside and sticky in the middle.
How does the Cheese tart recipe ensure that the pastry is crispy?
Everything should be cold: The butter, milk and eggs in these pies should all be refrigerated beforehand and kept as cold as possible when making the pastry. This ensures that the butter doesn’t melt into the dough. The little pockets of butter are what cause the flakes when baking.
Cool the dough before baking: This is an important step as it keeps the crust from shrinking too much. If the crust shrinks too much, the cheese filling will not have enough volume and the balance between the tart shell and filling will be lost.
Also, to ensure that cheese tarts have a smooth, cheesy, and creamy texture, it’s important to follow these tips:
- Melt the cheese well: Cheese is what causes the filling to clump together. Make sure all the cheeses are incorporated into each other and make sure the filling is smooth.
- Thickening: It is important to continue cooking the cheese mixture on the double boiler. This creates a creamy texture. Continue stirring until slightly thickened.
- Cool: Make sure to cool the filling before placing it in the shells. Once the cheese filling has cooled, it is easier to pour it into the tart shell, allowing you to fill the tart.
How long should I test if I want a firmer cheese tart?
If you like the cheese pie to have a firmer centre, bake for another 3 minutes, or until the pie no longer jiggles. Make sure you keep an eye on your pies as they are baked on high heat. If you find that the pie is starting to brown too quickly, turn off the oven and leave the cheese pie in there until the filling is the texture you want.
Cheese tart recipe – Hokkaido Cheese Tart
Egg tart crust
- 120 grams of plain flour (1 cup)
- 25 grams white sugar (2 tablespoons)
- 70 g unsalted butter (¼ cup 2 tsp)
- 1 egg yolk
- 150 g cream cheese (5.3 oz)
- 50 g smooth ricotta or mascarpone cheese (3.5 oz)
- 40 g parmesan cheese (0.9 oz)
- 30 grams butter (2 tablespoons)
- 100 g milk (⅓ cup 1 tablespoon)
- 60 g powdered sugar (½ cup 2 tablespoons)
- 7 grams cornstarch/corn flour (1 tablespoon)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Egg tart crust
- Grease and dust your molds
- Put the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl and knead with your fingertips until the dough is like sand
- Add egg yolks and knead into a smooth dough
- If too wet add a little flour, if too dry add a little milk
- Divide the dough into 9 and line your pie tin
- Butt the bottom of the tart shell with a fork, then place the lined tart shell in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Bake the tart shells for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown
- Remove from oven and press down any air bubbles with a spoon
- Combine cream cheese, ricotta/mascarpone, parmesan, milk and butter in a large heatproof bowl
- Melt cheese over a double boiler and stir until smooth
- Add eggs, vanilla extract, cornstarch and sugar and continue to beat the mixture for 10 minutes or until thickened
- Remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour until chilled.
- Preheat oven to 230C/455F
- Remove from refrigerator and fill a piping bag with cheese mixture
- Pour cheese mixture into blind baked tart shells
- Bake for 6-7 minutes, or until smooth (you can also use a blowtorch)