Concord Grape Tartlets with Stay Puft Marshmallow Tops

Concord Grape Tartlets with Stay Puft Marshmallow Tops

You can’t have a Ghostbusters themed food shoot without Stay Puft marshmallow something. There aren’t exactly many food references in the movie, with the exception of eggs of course, which you’ll see were used plentifully in the recipes for ginger ice cream and profiteroles.

Concord grapes are in season and available through to the end of October in some markets. Buy them up whenever you see them and freeze them so they’re always on hand to add to flavour and colour to various desserts throughout the fall and winter. Just be sure to seed them before freezing. They also compliment the lime slime nicely and their deep dark purple lends itself well to a Halloween menu.

Concord Grape Tartlets with Stay Puft Marshmallow Tops

Makes 12 Tartlets

For the marshmallow:
10.5g unflavoured powdered gelatine
100ml cold water
125ml white corn syrup
175g granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or ground vanilla powder
1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)
icing sugar, for coating

For the pastry:
400g unbleached all-purpose flour
150g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
210g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
zest from 1/2 lemon
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold milk

For the filling:
690g concord grapes, halved and seeded
75g granulated sugar
35g instant tapioca (we used Kraft Minute Tapioca)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Start by making the Stay Puft marshmallow tops. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and generously coat it in icing sugar. Using the top of a 3 1/2″ brioche tin, outline 12 circles in the sugar so you know how large to pipe the marshmallow tops.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, add 50ml of water and sprinkle the gelatine evenly over the surface and allow to plump as you begin making the syrup. In a small pot combine the corn syrup, sugar, salt, and 50ml of water. Attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pot and cook the mix over medium-high heat until the sugar syrup reaches 240°F (it won’t take long so watch carefully). Turn on the mixer to the lowest speed and slowly pour in the syrup, followed by the ground vanilla powder. Slowly increase the speed of the mixer to its highest speed and whip until the mixture is thick and white and the outside of the stand mixer bowl begins to feel cool to the touch. If using, add the bourbon and whip until fully incorporated.

Fill a piping bag with the marshmallow and pipe rounds onto the prepared sheet, filing the circles just inside the outline as the mix will settle and spread a little bit. Dust the tops of the marshmallows with more icing sugar and leave to dry for 6-8 hours. If you have the time, by all means make the marshmallows a day or two ahead of time and store them coated in icing sugar in an airtight container.

Begin making the tartlets by starting with the pastry. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, butter, and lemon zest. Using your fingers and a light touch, gently squeeze the butter into the flour mixture to form coarse, uneven crumbs. You are done as soon as you are sure there are no bits of the flour mixture left untouched by the butter. Add the egg yolks and milk, and using a fork, work them through until a crumbly dough forms. Divide the dough in two and tightly wrap each portion in plastic wrap, forming the dough into a flattened and compact disc as you go. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl and set aside while you finish up the pastry.

Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to warm up for about 10 minutes or until it’s pliable enough for rolling. Roll the dough out between two large sheets of parchment paper to approximately an 1/8″ thickness. You could also roll out the dough on a well floured surface with a floured rolling pin, if you want to save on parchment. Line six 3 1/2″  brioche tins (or muffin tins if you’re without small brioche tins) with the pastry, pressing it gently to the sides and put the pastry cases in the fridge while you repeat the rolling and lining process for the additional six tins. You could of course skip the dividing stage and roll out everything at once, but unless you’re working on a beautiful and spacious cold slab of marble, you may find the amount cumbersome to work with.

Place a muffin paper-liner inside each shell and fill with pastry weights (we use dry beans). Blind-bake the shells for approximately 20 minutes, pulling them out just as they begin to turn golden around the top edges. Remove the weights and liners and fill the par-baked shells with the grape filling. Return the tartlets to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the filling begins to set and the pastry turns a deep golden brown. Allow the pastries to cool for 10 minutes before unmolding.

When ready to serve, place a marshmallow top on each tartlet and torch the tops using a kitchen blowtorch, being sure to go around the bottom edges in order to help adhere them better to the tarts. You could also do this under a broiler, watching carefully that they don’t burn.