Friday, 27 April 2012

#MonthlyMiettes - April Round-Up - Tarts

Tarts

Welcome to month two of Monthly Miettes! Rather than choosing a specific recipe for April, I decided to open it up with a theme, where everyone was free to choose the Miette tart of their heart.

Our choices were between the Chocolate Truffle Tart, Lime Meringue Tart, Lemon Tart, Pastry Cream & Fresh Fruit Tart, Banana Cream Tart, and Pecan Tart. All of the recipes use a Pâte Sucrée tart shell, with the exception of the Lime Meringue Tart, which features a homemade graham cracker crust. So many beautiful tarts, so little time. Maybe we'll have a 'Tarts - Take 2' later this year, so we can showcase some of the others?

Once again, I couldn't ask to be in finer company, and am thrilled to showcase 5 wonderful submissions for April.


1. Athena (Athena Plichta Photography) chose the recipe for Tartlets with Pastry Cream and Fresh Fruit, and once again, dazzled us with her beautiful photography.


2. Deb (East of Eden Cooking) chose to make what she calls Luscious Lemon Tarts and had high praise for the recipe. Luscious, indeed! I love how sunny that lemon curd is.



3. Jasmine (Cook That Book), like me, couldn't resist the allure of the Lime Meringue Tart. Jasmine ran into some issues with the recipe for the graham cracker crust, so if you're considering making it, be sure to read about her experience! Her tarts turned out beautifully, nonetheless.



I'm excited to report that we have two NEW participants, as well!

4. Jing, who has actually been working her way through Miette by herself for about 5 months now, and documenting her experiences in her adorable blog Me-ette. I know who I'll be going to for advice! Jing decided to join us and re-make the Banana Cream Tart.


5. Lyle, one of the chefs I work with most at the day job, participated belatedly last month, as well. As he says, he 'planted the seed' to get his wife on board for this project and to start a blog with him, looking for a creative outlet outside of the every day rush of life and work. He was successful in his seed planting (high-five!), so they created Creative Gourmet Inc., which carries the namesake of their catering company. Lyle and and Laura made both the Lemon Tart and the Chocolate Truffle Tart for this challenge. Ambitious! Be sure to scroll down to see their submission for the Tomboy Cake, too!



Lime Meringue Tarts

Despite my undying love for all things lemon, I just could't resist the thought of all that lime juice and lime zest in this recipe (one of the world's most wonderful smells!). I've had plenty a lemon meringue pie in my day, but I've never tried a lime-flavoured one, so I opted to try something new. I decided to switch things up a little, however, and rather than making the graham cracker crust that Miette uses for this tart, I thought I'd make the Pâte Sucrée for the base, instead. 

The recipe for the tart shell yielded enough dough for two tarts; as did the recipe for the boiled icing, which was destined to top them. The curd only yielded enough for one tart, however, so I decided to double the batch. That's a lot of lime squeezing, let me tell you! While the notes say the recipes work for 7-inch tart pans (or tartlet pans), I used two, 8-inch pans and there was more than enough to fill them. 

I was able to offload the second tart onto a cousin who lives nearby us. After her recent and so very happy 'announcement', I figured she could use a few extra calories! And at the terrifying rate that F. and I went through the first tart, it was probably for the best.

It's always amazing to me that a shaggy mess of flour and butter (among a few other things) can actually come together into a dough. Every time I make a tart/pie/quiche dough of any kind, I'm convinced it's flopped. Every single time. And then, it melts together, becoming this cohesive and wonderful ball of pastry magic.





And then there were two.



Tart + Curd

Tart + Curd + Boiled Icing


I could have rolled the crust a little thinner, and baked it another minute longer, but I was still pleased as punch with it.



Now, I should mention something rather odd: Aside from the fact that I squeezed and grated the limes myself, and aside from the fact that you could see the pleasant, green flecks in the curd, it was actually a little hard to tell that this was supposed to be lime-flavoured. My suspicions were confirmed when my first taste-tester, F. (naturally!), expressed his utter surprise to learn that it was lime. It actually tasted more like lemon. Why? It's honestly a complete mystery to me. The lime was really quite subtle.

And why did he get to taste the tart before I could tell him what it was? The bugger had a piece while it was still chilling in the fridge, and before I could get home from an event I was attending that evening. Suppose I can't blame the guy; it was just sitting there, looking all pretty and delicious!

This tart - while still challenging and requiring much of the day devoted to its assembly - was so much more approachable than that Tomboy Cake. I know Athena felt the same way, saying that the tarts were a cakewalk in comparison. Punny!

I will definitely, absolutely, without a doubt be making these tarts again.





Want to bake along with us? 

May's challenge is Buttermilk Panna Cotta on page 181. I thought this could be slightly on the lighter side and perfect for spring! Feel free to test this recipe as it is, or switch things up with new flavours or twists to make it your own. 

Because it makes 12-14 servings, it's a fine excuse to invite some friends over, like Jasmine did for her Tomboy Cake.

The rules are simple!

1) Buy Miette. It will be the prettiest, daintiest addition to your kitchen/bookshelf.
2) Bake the challenge of the month and post about it on your blog/website by the 25th. Our challenge for May is Buttermilk Panna Cotta - as it is, or switch it up! Due May 25th, 2012.
3) Dip in to your panna cotta for breakfast (as often or as seldom as you wish, but at least once!), photograph it, and enjoy this little morning ritual to the fullest.
4) Link back to the original post please and thanks! (And if you're tweeting about it, use #monthlymiettes.)

Leave me a comment below if you would like to participate and/or if your post is up!

Happy baking! 

19 comments:

  1. Love that we ended up making the same tarts! Funny how the lime flavour didn't really shine...mine was mouth puckeringly lime-y. Course, I ended up stewing my lime cream for an hour ;) I would definitely try the graham cracker crust as despite my challenges it tasted incredible and paired with the lime and boiled icing it was delicious. So much fun! Can't wait for next month :)

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    1. Between this and our beef stew, there's been a lot of experimentation with stewing times and flavour lately! ;) Really starting to wonder if my limes just weren't good quality or at their peak. Will definitely try the graham cracker crust soon - it looks wonderful - and kudos to you for taking the plunge with it! Thanks for joining me again this month! xo

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  2. Ok, my bad! While I was erm-ing and um-ing over which tart to bake, the darn month went and slipped me by! What I want to know, Aimee, is how was the boiled icing compared to a regular one? Was is different? That was the one thing that intrigued me and that I'm curious about.
    Hopefully, I'll get my act together for May! xx

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    1. Haha. Happens to the best of us, trust me! Hope you can join us next time, Lin! xo

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  3. Me again! I meant how did the boiled icing compare to a regular meringue? xx

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    1. This is what I was curious about, too! It wasn't like classic meringue, of course, but actually very much like the 'meringue' I grew up with on lemon meringue pies. I'm not sure if they're the same in Europe, and it's hard to describe, but it's just an airy, fluffy, soft icing that that melts in your mouth a bit... does that make any sense? In any case, it was lovely... and home-style around here! :)

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  4. Your lime tart looks absolutely gorgeous and perfect... the last 3 photos kill me. You and Jasmine have scared, yet at the same time, convinced me to bake this next! p.s. It also never ceases to amaze me when pastry dough comes together from a shaggy mess.

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    1. Thanks, Athena! They really were divine. I didn't have any scares with mine, it just took me quite a while to assemble. All worth it though!

      And I'm glad I'm not the only one... :)

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  5. Gosh, reading yours and Jasmine's posts makes me think that this monthly miette business is like the most challenging food blog event out there:) a full day of assembly?:) these days, i am happy when i can cook/bake something in 20min or less! but then I look at those finished tarts...and i get all lime-green with envy....

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    1. LOL! Oh, Elena. Hurry up and move into my neighbourhood, would ya?

      I'm sure it didn't take others as long as it takes me... I just need time and space in the kitchen to muddle my way through a recipe :) If I rush, it *will* flop!

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  6. Just found you via Food Bloggers of Canada newsletter. Lovely blog! I am thinking I might join the monthly miette - sounds challenging.

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    1. Hey there! So glad you found me! :) Please do join us - the more the merrier!

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  7. Elegant Lime Tarts! Perfect for Monthly Miettes. After making the lemon curd I knew I would want to make the lime. Can't wait to give it a try.
    Great round up, thanks for hosting!

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    1. And thank you for joining me again this month! I'm so glad you enjoyed the lemon tart recipe so much. Can't wait to give it a try, too :) You'll have to let us know what you think of the lime tarts!

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  8. Hello! What a cute looking book. You just want to pick it up and flip through. This is my first time here and I like what I see so far! Yay!

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    1. Hi Rana! I'm sorry it took me so long to see this. I'm so glad you stopped by and liked what you saw! :)

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  9. My panna cotta post just went live. Thanks Aimee! xx

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  10. Hi Aimee,
    Creamy, dreamy Buttermilk Panna Cotta is posted for May Monthly Miettes at http://www.eastofedencooking.com.

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  11. My post is up! Thanks Aimee :) http://bit.ly/LxDbsL

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