Friday, June 29, 2007

Tarting It Up at My Block Party

I’m not one to get starstruck. Whenever I happen to see a “celebrity,” I don’t automatically send an email to Gawker Stalker or run for my cell phone camera. As UsWeekly has told me time and time again, Stars, They’re Just Like Us ™.

That being said, how could anyone who is “just like me” pass up this mixed berry tart?!?


Look at it! It’s beautiful! And delicious! So, how, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams, how could you just saunter on by and not give it a second glance? They don’t make tarts like this in your Brokeback Mountain or your Dawson’s Creek (except Katie Holmes. ZING!)

Heath, you seem like a tart-loving man, no offense to Michelle. There were many delectable foods on display at our block party, so I can see how you would be overwhelmed by all of the choices and choose to simply walk on by. But really, was there any choice to be made? THAT TART WAS THE PINNACLE OF ALL TARTS.

Stars are apparently nothing like me, because I would have ran over to the buffet parked in the middle of the street and helped myself to tasty desserts, block residence be damned. That’s just how I roll.

Not only was this resplendent pastry on full display, but the most attractive strawberry-rhubarb pie that I have ever had the fortune to bake was right next to it.


Observe how the egg white brushing makes the crust a beautiful shade of golden-brown! Marvel at how the filling isn’t pushing itself out of the sides! Tremble at the masterful slits and the ingenious pinching! I have to say, I’m mighty proud of myself. I have made many a pie in my time, but none that have actually come out resembling pies. Well played, Krys. Well played.

Both recipes came from the massive and unabridged Baking Illustrated from the good folks of Cooks Illustrated. I think I've said it before, but you really can't go wrong with this book. Well, unless you make croissants. I can't figure them out.

Here's a link for the tart recipe, but you'll need to register (there's a free 14 day trial). I actually did modify this recipe a bit, so I'll post my modifications shortly. The strawberry-rhubarb pie was a result of following the recipe to a T, so unfortunately, I can't post that copyrighted recipe here. (SPOILER ALERT: It uses arrowroot as a thickener.) These desserts may not be good enough for the celebrities in my hood, but they certainly are good enough for me.

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