A tarty experiment
Last week, or maybe a couple of weeks ago, I saw this post on Rustic Rhubarb Tarts.:
Instantly, I was in love and determined to make them as soon as possible. However, I had no cornmeal, corn flour, rhubarb, vanilla bean, or cream and was pretty much not up for shopping. So, I improvised.
On Sunday, I rummaged through the freezer and found a bag of marionberry blackberries and another of mango chunks from my smoothie phase. I thawed them overnight, then threw them in a pot with half a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of ginger, half a teaspoon of anise, and a sprinkle of cinnamon (and a capful of lemon juice). I’m not sure whether the additions made much difference. I can say that after 30ish minutes of boiling there was something tasty in the pot. I mixed in some cornstarch and stirred quickly for a few minutes more, then turned off the stove and let things cool off.
I’d intended to make a pie dough yesterday evening and finish making the tarts then, but [a butterfly fluttered its wings at my periphery, I turned my head, and was thus distracted].
This morning, I found myself awake at 5:00am, so decided to proceed with the crust. I borrowed the pie crust recipe from the Smitten Kitchen site, but subbed shortening for half of the butter and whole wheat flour for half of the regular. Despite my ambitions, I am not skilled at working with dough, so by the time the dough was made and formed and filled (over-filled, really) with the compote, I did not have time to bake them. Into the freezer they went. (Some of them, hand-shaped, were placed on a cookie sheet; others, shaped by pressing them into the cups of a muffin tin, stayed in their cups and were frozen that way.)
Finally, yesterday, some of the tarts made it into the oven. As pretty much more or less entirely expected, the mango flavor was not apparent. The blackberry flavor was so present that I could barely taste the crust, even. So next time, less filling.
The crust did seem nicely flaky, but next time no whole wheat (just doesn’t seem fitting for this filling–maybe would work better for a nuttier/crunchier filling). Either that or make a cookie dough* (the flavor of which might stand up better against the filling) and turn these into jam cookies. Jam spice cookies. (Jammed spice cookies?)
Even with their flaws, though, I’m pretty fond of these tarts. And they didn’t last long at all. Here’s a pic for posterity:
* Or, it occurred to me later, a proper tart dough, which is made more cookie-like than a regular pie dough by the addition of more sugar and of eggs or egg yolks. So I’ll try this same recipe again, but add 1/4 cup sugar (rather than a tablespoon) and an egg.