Shells of paste are made of one sheet each, rolled out in a circular form, and spread over the bottom, sides, and edges of buttered dishes or patty-pans, and baked empty; to be filled, when cool, with stewed fruit, (which for this purpose should be always cold,) or with sweetmeats. They should be made either of fine puff paste, or of the best plain paste, or of sweet paste. They are generally rolled out rather thick, and will require about half an hour to bake. The oven should be rather quick, and of equal heat throughout; if hotter in one part than in another, the paste will draw to one side, and be warped and disfigured. The shells should be baked of a light brown. When cool, they must be taken out of the dishes on which they were baked, and transferred to plates, and filled with the fruit.
Shells of puff paste will rise best if baked on flat patty-pans, or tin plates. When they are cool, pile the sweetmeats on them in a heap.
The thicker and higher the paste rises, and the more it flakes in layers or leaves, the finer it is considered.
Baking paste as empty shells, prevents it from being moist or clammy at the bottom.
Tarts are small shells with fruit in them.