Put the Tart Before the Course

Put the tart before the course. I highly recommend it. That way dessert is ready to go even before the dishes are done and not to mention tart components always need time to meld together, flavours serenading each other in the dark mystery that lies behind closed refrigerator doors.

Recently I spent a morning of the laid off life to prep a tart for the evening’s dinner with the chap. I had a mess of strawberries in the fridge because they’d been on sale for $1.50!! and I failed to eat most of them. Whoops. It seemed clear I was to incorporate them into dessert, so I tried my hand at Ina Garten’s Strawberry Tart.
While Ina has arguably one of my favorite crust recipes, this was not a new contender. The flavour was bland, run of the mill pie crust, almost shortbread-ish in density, and not enough salt to keep things interesting. I never use my mini tart pans, so at least I got to try that.
All of my favorite appliances hanging out together like a bad ass biker gang.


Prelude to a tart.


My sous chef demanded a belly rub pre dough roll. Don’t worry, I washed my hands.


So I introduced him to a new friend, Bandit, so I could continue baking.


And we are ready to bake! Thanks Bandit!


Next step was making the vanilla Bourbon pastry cream. A handful of egg yolks, cream, butter, a little vanilla, and what was supposed to be cognac…but I only had Bourbon so I threw some of that in although it could have used more. The flavour was delicate, but tasty enough. Perhaps cognac really should have been used to step up the profile just a bit more.
Fresh manicure game stirs the cream incessantly for 15 minutes! Tired!


Tart assembly is a dollop of the chilled cream in the baked tart shells. Topped with strawberries, an apricot glaze, and chopped pistachios. These little guys looked pretty, but for me the taste was lacking. Next tart I’ll turn back to a Lebovitz recipe.



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