Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unsmart Tart

Lyle made dinner Sunday night. From Daniel Boulud's cookbook, short ribs over whipped potatoes, parsnips and carrots (separate not all blended together). Those short ribs took three days to cook. Marinate for one day. Cook one day. Cool, then reheat the serving day. For dessert he had started a lemon custard tart with raspberries, also from the same cookbook) but it didn’t finish on time. Luckily one of the guests brought a chocolate cream pie from a bakery as they didn't know Lyle would be whipping up something special. It was very nice of them and it saved the meal.

Not to be cruel, but it was no made from scratch lemon raspberry tart.

A little bit after the guests left, the tart was cooled enough, set enough and FINALLY ready. We each had a taste. Just a taste though because we were both stuffed from dinner. We both agreed that that tart was going to be a scrumptious delight with a little cup of coffee for breakfast !

(stay with me, I’m getting there)

The next morning, Lyle was up first and I heard all sorts of commotion and the words, “COOPER!!! BAD DOG!!! BAD DOG!!! GET IN THAT BATHROOM RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!” Accompanied by all sorts of grumbling, growling and barking from Cooper. (very bad dogs get separated from the pack into the bathroom... mostly for their own protection.)

Turns out, Lyle had removed the tart from the fridge, set it well back on the counter to allow it to come to room temperature and stepped away for a moment to pee. Cooper swept in and gobbled up more than half of the tart from up on the counter.

Madness ensued.

By the time I was up and in the kitchen, there was tart on the floor, tart in the pan and Lyle was cutting the dog slobber pieces off of what remained in the pan to salvage what was left (yeah, it was THAT good).

Lyle let Cooper out before he left for work. Cooper was much chastised for the rest of the day. But I still was pissed about not getting any of the damn tart. So I made another one. One to replace what Cooper ate. I am a modest success in the kitchen (I ruined the whipped potatoes last night) this endeavor was stressful.

The recipe is from Daneil Boulod & Dorie Greenspan. First stop is the amazingly flaky buttery tart crust. Lyle made the recipe for his tart and lucky for me, it makes a double batch. There was still half in the fridge just waiting for our catastrophe! The dough is hard to work with when it gets warm. All of Southern California is warm during the day. I had to prepare everything, pull out the dough and work as fast as humanly possible. In the end, it started to break up and I was whirling about like a madman to get it back into the fridge for safekeeping.

Then the crust gets half baked.

Then it's time for the filling.

Creamy Lemon and Raspberry Tart
Adapted from The Cafe Boulud Cookbook

The filling
2 medium lemons
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks (I added an extra egg)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream (I added an extra half cup of cream)
2 cups raspberries (I also used blackberries)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F.

  1. Finely grate the zest of both lemons; set aside. With a small knife, cut off the top and bottom of each lemon and then carefully cut away the cottony white pith and a tiny bit of flesh from each lemon—the juicy sections of lemon should now be completely exposed. Lay the lemons on their sides and cut each lemon crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; remove the seeds.
  2. Place the lemon slices, eggs, yolks and sugar in the container of a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the reserved zest and the cream. Give the bowl a good rap against the kitchen counter to debubble it—if there are bubbles in the cream now, there will be bubbles in your tart later. (It's not tragic, but neither is it attractive.)
  3. Scatter the berries (are you kidding me? I placed mine very carefully in a perfect pattern!) over the bottom of the crust and pour over the filling (I used a ladle so as to not disturb the berry placement). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is set in the center. Transfer the tart to a rack and cool to room temperature.

Cut the tart into 8 wedges and serve as is with some lightly sweetened whipped cream, raspberry coulis or even a spoonful of berry marmalade.

I was on pins and needles wondering if I could pull all this off without having to call Lyle and tell him my plans. In the end I forgot I was cooking the damn thing and instead of 35-40 minutes I pulled it out at about 50 minutes. It was fine (whew!)
It has blackberries, red raspberries and white raspberries in a circular pattern.
I am so artistic!

And that, my dears, is what holds my marriage together... Fixing the most heinous problems that the dogs create as a surprise on his return from a long day at the office. No, I did not wear the French maid outfit.


Rachel said...

You rock! That's great and I hope Cooper feels really, really, REALLY guilty.

jason said...


But I think a tart of two is what holds most marriages together.

The T-Dude said...

Damn that looks good.

As a reward, you've been tagged. Swing on by The T-Dude to see your task.

dit said...

Sounds as if Cooper knows what is good. lol

That looks delicious! I love to cook and have others over to enjoy also.

I'll have to add this one to my list. Thank you for adding a link.

Hope all is well with you. I've just been extra busy lately.

"Just David!" said...

That all sounds fabulous and I'm going to try that rib recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Michael Guy said...

What a fabulous tart!

And that pie thang looks pretty good, too.

(you rock, btw)

Christopher said...

I think I'ma attempt the tart over the weekend...thanks for sharing!