Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Blatherings & Fresh Fruit Tarts

Not much is up today, and that's a good thing.  After what felt like the shortest week in history, I got to spend a little time with my mom, who drove down to spend the weekend with me.  We had a really great time visiting the local farmer's market and doing some shopping until we were thoroughly exhausted.  I also had a last minute visit from my cousin's wife and month old baby, who needed a place to stay while she was in town for a doctor's appointment.  This is why I'm so thankful for the home that I bought.  Not only do I have a nice place to call home, but I can offer a nice spot to crash for all the people I love! 

Honestly, every day these past two weeks has just blended into the next.  I've mainly worked from home, but have managed to map out a few things for this coming year.  You never really seem to finish all that you had hoped, but I think that I can head back to work feeling like I did what I could.  On the flip side, I know my reading has been crap this summer!  I really don't know what caused this major slump, but I'm not worrying about it.  During most summer breaks I can get through 20 to 30 books, but I probably only got through half that much.  Oh well. 

So, let me share a little something naughty I've been messing with this summer--fruit tarts.  Yes, fruit tarts.  I've had this silly tart pan for over four years and never once made a tart.  Well, after seeing some really pretty tarts in Paris back in June, I knew I had to get it out and give it a go.

After searching out a bunch of different recipes, I finally settled on Paula Dean's "Fresh Fruit Tart" recipe, that I had to really tweak to get the way I liked it.  The crust was perfect, but the filling and glaze needed some work, in my humble opinion.  I followed her recipe exactly for a weekend barbecue here at my house.  My family was really nice about it, and it did taste yummy, but there were things I'd definitely change.
*The crust--perfection.  It's a bit thick, and I wanted it cooked more than she directed.  I ended up cooking it almost twice the time she had listed.  My advice, just keep your eye on it until it's as brown as you like it.

*The filling seemed too flat.  Since it's a chilled cream cheese filling, we like it to have a little more zing, so we replaced the vanilla with lemon juice and a pinch of salt.  Trust me.  It was so much better!

*The glaze needed a lot of work.  First of all, you waste a lot of it.  She even says in the recipe that you won't use all of the lime glaze.  That's an understatement.  Most of it goes to waste.  Also, it's a bit too tart for my taste.  No wonder she suggests whipped cream on top!  You have to add something to cut through that mouth-puckering sour taste to get to the rest of the tart.  After a bit of research, I found a nice glaze that is basically 1/2 Cup of Orange Marmalade, heated gently in a pan with a couple tablespoons of water over medium heat until it melts.  You then use that to glaze the fruit.  That was exactly right.

You don't have to do it my way, but I have to say that the second tart turned out much better.  Now maybe I can try a more traditional French tart?  I'll aim for that in another Weekend Cooking!  I suppose that I'm also going to have to do a bit more exercise to offset the tart baking?  Have a great weekend! 

For more weekend cooking, go to Beth Fish Reads.  You'll find all sorts of great food-related posts and recipes!


  1. That's pretty ambitious! French apple tarts were absolute favorite thing to eat as a kid.

  2. Yea, I need to master all sorts of tarts now. ;) Although, my waistline might not endure that!