Thursday, June 16, 2005

SHF: Summer-y Left-Over Tart

I'm feeling a little run down and unimaginative these days... Let's see how (un)imaginative I can be with this month's Sugar High Friday, hosted by Life in Flow, a fellow biologist with an interest in the culinary arts...

Today, I'm attempting to make a tart with all the left over goods around the kitchen. I have a mango that is as ripe as the Papa Bear (gracefully aged) and oranges rescued after one of its fellow residents in the bag succumbed to a serious case of mold. I also have a jar of soy bean jam from Kyoto begging to be finished off... I think a jello-y orange-mango terrine (like at Payard) would be nice in a soy jam-sesame crust for a summer-themed tart...

I found out that tarts and pies are different only by the pans used. I don't have a tart pan. And I don't want to buy a tart pan. So... I am going to use Trader Joe's Creme Brulee container, which will give me a straight edge crust (ha! a crust that doesn't drink or do drugs!) instead of a slanted crust, which should qualify this creation as a tart.

OK, so the crust. I like the sweet tart crust we used to use at the bakery at Weaver Street Market in NC, so I found a basic sweet tart crust recipe here and will be modifying as such:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 cup sesame
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/8 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup soy bean jam (estimated, I just added the water into the jar...)
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup water

1. Mix flour, sesame, and salt
2. Cut in butter
3. Mix jam, yolk, and water, slowly add to flour mixture
4. Roll out and freeze, ~ 1hr
5. Fit dough into mold
6. Bake, 400F 10 min

1. Slice mangos and layer on top of baked shells, brush on honey
2. Layer on top of baked shell
3. Bake 400F 10 min

1. Squeeze 1/2 cup worth of orange juice
2. Add 1/2 tbs of gelatin and let stand 10 min
3. Boil, cool to egg white consistency, and pour over mangos
4. Cool pie -oh, I mean, tart - in the frige overnight.

Serve tart with fresh mint:


This turned out so well and very much like the Payard terrine that I went back to take another picture. The mango-orange combination and the consisitency was right on target.


The mint really added a herb-y freshness. The sesame in the crust made an equally bold statement, which I enjoyed very much. I think from now on, I will add sesame to all my pie crusts with sesame-compatible innards. I didn't taste the soy jam much, but there wasn't a whole lot left in the jar.

Over all, a pretty decent spur of the moment creation, esp. considering I started it last night at 10:30 PM... but not good enough to drag me out of this unimaginative, tired feeling... I'm usually a very positive spirit, but lately, I can't seem to shake that feeling of 'blah'.

What I really need is a good weekend. I had a rough week, including news of my proposal getting rejected from funding - it was a REALLY good idea, so I am sad about it. Luckily, my boss thinks it's a good enough idea to find alternate funding sources for it, but it still makes me blah. Coming back to CA from the East Coast always makes me a little bit homesick for the familiarity for where I grew up - the East Coast is so very different from CA and I miss the landscape, the architecture, the people, the attitude... and most of all, my friends. I'm just feeling blah these days - which upon reflection is really for no major reason. I think I just need a good, fun weekend.

Anyone have any great ideas for a blow-out fun weekend to beat the blues?


Sam said...

Well, my definition of tart and pie is different to theirs.
I managed to make my tart in a 'pie dish' and it was perfectly decent.
I think of a pie as having a pastry 'lid' whilst a tart is open. But that's just me.

your tart looks mighty juicy and pretty with the mint, whatever it was called.

Uchipu said...

For a really fun weekend ... go catch oysters? go clamming? crabbing?

Actually, I want to give you an assignment.

Apparently, this thing called "Fish Tacos" are big in CA. Please go find the best Fish Tacos and report back.

Jennifer said...

Great job with the 'left-overs' what a wonderful combination of flavours!

I agree with the tart/pie thing being simply different pans - how else would you get Apple Crumble pies and lattice topped pies?

Thanks for joining in on SHF!

Anonymous said...

hi alice! lovely lovely...and the shot of it on the fork is so cool...did you blur the background out yourself?

Alice said...

Sam & Jennifer,

Anne and I were discussing this some more, since the little tartlets have slanted edges... This is tricky, since there are many open-faced pies as well... Hmmmmm.

Uchi pu-

Ah, the fish tacos. Those are more of the Southern CA specialty... I had the best one in San Diego near Scripps and I've also been dreaming about it since. I tried three different fish tacos here - one at a high end hipster one - and it just wasn't blog-worthy... I might just have to make one myself!


I use a short shutter speed and a larger apeture to keep the depth of field shallow for that blurred background effect!