Finally, one from the “revisited” pile–those are recipes I’ve already made before, but am making again for the sake of this project. 5-20: Golden Cheese Tartlettes were one of the appetizers I made for a Valentine’s Day 80’s party I talked about in 1-22: Onion-Potato Diamonds–I thought these little cheese tarts seemed very 1980s.
They’re not kidding about the “fragile” part when it comes to these tartlettes–I originally made these for this project back in July of 2016, but the whole operation went so poorly that I abandoned it and never even posted about it. Now that I’ve bought the proper equipment and ingredients for it, it went much smoother.
I had mentioned in 16-24: French Chocolate Cake that it was one of two desserts that I made for a recent baby shower I attended: 16-39: Apricot Tart was the second dessert. I’ve been meaning to make this thing since near the start of this project, and it only took me a few years to finally get around to it. There’s something about this recipe and procrastination, though–this entry’s been sitting in my writing queue half-finished for over a month.
For the length of time that it took me to make it (and to write about it), I never even got to try it–I ended up leaving this and 16-24: French Chocolate Cake still wrapped up on the table at the party. We’ll just assume that both of them were delicious and everyone ate every last crumb of them.
Here’s a simple dessert that’s easy for a dinner, gift, or even just a snack. 16-9: Raspberry Tart is exactly what it sounds like–pie crust in a tart pan filled with raspberry preserves and topped with bits of dough. Simply Delicious uses a simple drop method for the dough topping, but I think we can do better than that. 🌟
Why did anyone think that amorphous blobs of dough were an acceptable tart topping? ¯_(ツ)_/¯
17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars were the second of my holiday baking batches this year (XMAS 16), and one that I’ve baked in the past, given my rather bold notes. I think I was on a cheesecake kick, and thought these would be easier than making an actual cake. “BAD DO NOT MAKE” doesn’t exactly bode well for a recipe–why make it again?
Here’s why: sometimes it’s important to try again, even when the first experience wasn’t exactly a positive one. The first time I made these lemon bars was my junior year of college, so about 10-12 years ago. I had just moved into my first off-campus apartment with my friend, and we had a full kitchen, something I hadn’t had access to for a few years while living away from home in the dorms.
I remember making these in that kitchen (yes, I dragged these books with me all the way out to Colorado and back) and struggling with this recipe. Out of that frustration (and failure) came the note. I’ve learned a lot since then (culinarily and otherwise), so I think it’s time to figure out if it was the recipe or it was me.
I’m not going to write a long dissertation on the origins of the well-known French dessert, Tarte Tatin–I’ll let Wikipedia handle the background of it. Instead, I’m going to focus on my history with 16-15: Tarte Tatin, evidenced by my mom’s handwriting all over the front & back of the recipe card.
Since she and I already had plans to go to a local farmers’ market for this year’s Labor Day BBQ supplies and apples were plentiful, I decided to bring back an old classic for us to cook together. 🍏
Most versions of Tarte Tatin are somewhat similar–it’s a pretty basic recipe. My mom’s notes claim it’s “easy”, and she stands by it to this day. Her other notes turned out to be helpful as well–the importance of good note-taking.
This recipe, 15-31: Pavlova Meringue Tart had a couple of firsts. It was my first attempt at making a meringue, but it was also my first failure at making a meringue. However, my first successful meringue came out of this experience too, so in the end, it was all good! 👍
Due to lactose intolerance, I substituted the whipped cream for a coconut whipped topping. Half of my berries were bad so this tart had a lot more kiwi than raspberries. 🍧
It’s hard to think of things to write about something you cooked awhile ago–a moment of honesty while I get my gears turning here. 13-2: Onion Tart is a great vegetarian option that satisfies everyone for any meal of the day. It’s not super exciting (which explains my inability to think of anything particularly interesting to say about it), but it’s definitely a pretty good fallback option if you’re in need of an easy, crowd-pleasing, inoffensive, yet impressive recipe.
Simply Delicious notes that this recipe is French and that this version comes from the Alsace region of the country. I found a few other takes on that version scattered around the Internet, but give or take some bacon and Gruyère cheese, they’re all relatively similar to this one. 🍷
Here’s one I’ve wanted to make for a LONG time, but never got to. I had even intended to do a version of 16-18: Lemon Basil Tart when I worked at the restaurant and was doing tarts every week moonlighting as the pastry chef, but the day I intended to make it, we were short on lemons and basil. Now I finally have a chance, and I even have the big tart pan in which to properly make it.
I didn’t even see until now that they mention that basil is related to mint–it makes sense. In this tart, the basil functions a lot like mint, and gives the tart a “fresh” flavor that just lemon wouldn’t provide. It took me a while to get to it, but it was worth it. 🍋🌿