Sunday, June 8, 2008

La Palette's Strawberry Tart

It's always difficult to cook in someone else's kitchen, isn't it? This week I'm visiting my mom in western Pennsylvania, and the woman has one heckuva stocked kitchen...but no food processor and no tart pan. But that would never stop an intrepid Tuesday With Dorie baker, right? First I had to track down the recipe, because I traveled without and the TWD site has wisely chosen NOT to publish recipes anymore. Kudos to LW, the TWD leader, for making the right choice, letting Dorie protect her copyright. There were no hard feelings (Dorie is one gem of a lady.)
I think it's pretty much strawberry season here (long passed in South Florida, where the strawberries were like sugar this year). True enough, my mom has what must have been a lovely quart of strawberries in her fridge...just about to get to the beyond eating stage.

She also keeps the freezer compartment of her fridge at industrial strength temperatures--Absoulte Zero, if I'm not mistaken--so boy did she EVER have frozen butter.

I mixed the pastry by hand (hey, they had to do it that way all the time in the good old days) and pressed it into the shallowest pie dish I could find in her house. (While searching I found the BEST copper oval pan that I think I can use for the next Florida Table photo shoot. Do I dare try to take it back on the plane?).
Back into the Arctic temps for 30 minutes, then bake until golden. Cool completely. And if you dont' have a tart pan? Just pop it out of the pie dish when it's cool. No big deal..
Part of the beauty of this tart is its simplicity. The shell cools, and you top each portion as it's served. This is one of the best ways to showcase the fruit of the season.

Mom didn't have strawberry jam, but she had great raspberry jam and some blackcurrant jam. I mixed the two together, then did as Dorie told: cut a nice slice of crust, spread with jam, top with strawberries...EAT. This qualifies nicely for my penchant for simple desserts. I love shortbread, fresh strawberries are lovely this time of year and the good jam only enhances the flavors. And because it's spread and serve, that shortbread stays beautifully crispy.

Photos will come. I'm out of town without my cable--and at my mom's relatively low-tech house (fixing that soon. She needs a digital camera.).

11 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Using someone else's kitchen is really difficult, I agree. Having a plethora of frozen butter is something I definitely do though. Looking forward to seeing pictures!

Susie Homemaker said...

wish you had pictures - but it sounds good! (plus, now I want to try your pop-overs!)

Rebecca said...

Arrrrgh! It's SO hard to cook in someone else's kitchen. I make notes about what my mom doesn't have, and then I always have gift ideas ready for her. Cutting boards! A chef's knife!

Stephanie said...

We'll be visiting family soon and I don't look forward to using someone else's kitchen...that last time I did I couldn't find anything!

Lori said...

Unless they have a well stocked kitchen it is hard! I had a hard time making pizza at my brothers. I look forward to your pics.

Amy said...

I can't imagine trying some of these recipes in my mom's kitchen. I can't wait to see your pictures!

Heather said...

Can't wait to see your pics! The jam sounds delicious!

Zakia / The Frosted Bake Shop said...

its always weird in someone else's kitchen. look forward to the pics.

Shari said...

You are an intrepid TWD-er!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Elra said...

Babette,
I can totally understand your frustration! I face the worse situation whenever I go visit my mom with her traditional Balinese kitchen, no western kitchen equipment at all. No oven, no mixer, not even a gas cooktop (my mom use one of those portable propane) sometimes it is a complete disaster when you run out of it and doesn't have any spare! Thank goodness that she has refrigerator! Anyway, your strawberry tart looks fabulous!

Jaime said...

wow, i'm so impressed with how you made do in your mom's kitchen! great job!