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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fruit Tart - homemade pâte sucrée & crème patisserie

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for linhlinh's birthday i was asked to make her fave: fruit tart. lucky me, my friend Jen of Savory Simple had just blogged about these tarts and being as how i couldn't join her in culinary school, i've been learning and living vicariously thru her.

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shall we say i stressed like a mofo all week over the dough? i don't have all the tools, i don't know what the hell i'm doing, what.am.i.doing?

in the end, it worked out. i used my fingers and worked quickly. i used my new handy dandy digital food scale. i won't post the recipes here but my notes are as follows:

1. i scaled back on the sugar. for example, if the recipe called for 4oz of sugar, i used 3oz instead.

2. for the crème patisserie i used 1 cup of cream and 1 cup lactaid skim milk. i'm a rebel.

3. for the pâte sucrée, in addition to the zest, i also minced up some candied orange peels. every once in awhile, a bite would have the peel in it and it would add such a surprising freshness.

4. i ix-nayed the vanilla extract. i swear, this product is the bane of my existence. i never seem to have it on hand, i'm always out of it!

5. for the apricot glaze, i simmered a few tablespoons of apricot jam and a tablespoon of water. let it simmer and thin out a bit, strain thru a fine-mesh sieve.

6. i ended up with enough dough to make about 9 4" tart shells and 4 really small ones PLUS i made a big ass one in my 10" tart pan but it shrank so much that i couldn't use it. had i not effed up there, i would've ended up with way more mini tarts. the bake time was closer to 8-10 minutes and for the really small ones, 5-6 minutes.

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verdict: they came out well. nuria helped with slicing up the fruit and placing them artfully in the tart shells. thank goodness too cus i completed two and wanted to bang my head against the wall. the crust came out flaky, not hard, the crème was a bit soft, the tarts had travelled over an hour in a warm car... carrying the box of tarts to dinner i received compliments from strangers, which seriously, made me giggle like a fangirl. {dork} and. i've been asked to make this again for Chinese New Year. i think i'd like to make a chocolate cream.

today's song: The Swell Season, One More Word

i first heard this song while watching the hauntingly beautiful Israeli movie Strangers. have you seen it? it's breathtaking. and most of all, heartbreaking.