Martha Stewart Moments

A neighbor reminded me today to cook the pie and not the books to avoid getting Martha Stewart style ankle accessories. Good advice.

The recipe for J's birthday fruit tarte tells me to roll the sweet pastry dough to about an eighth of an inch thickness after I've chilled the dough for 20 minutes to make it a little firm and easy to work with. In the 30 seconds from refrigerator to the table, these 20 minutes of refrigeration were negated in the heat and humidity today. I tried, I really did, but I ended up scraping it all back together into a ball and manually pressing it into the pie pan for a more rustic appearance remniscent of my Play-Do years. It is now chilling and letting the the poor mangled gluten rest a little before I line it with aluminum foil and uncooked beans or rice to bake until golden brown. The oven light is not working so I guess I should get the flashlight out of the disaster readiness box so I can peek in from time to time.

While the dough was enjoying its first cool rest I went ahead and made the vanilla custard. With six egg yolks this tarte is not for anyone on a low cholesterol diet. My right arm is a little tired from all the whisking but this part of the tarte can qualify as a success. I even made a glaze by diluting, heating and straining some apricot jam. This will need reheating before brushing on the fruit topping at the last stage of assembly. After I bake and cool the shell, I'll coat the bottom with a little couverature chocolate that I've been hiding from the kids (who would want to use it for banana chocolate fondue upon discovery). This should keep the hopefully golden brown pastry from getting soggy after I fill it with the lovely custard.

Then the kids get to finish the process by trying to hide all the custard with mango cubes, cherries, sliced kiwi fruit, sliced bananas, blueberries, chunks of canned peaches and whatever other fruit we can find and brushing with the reheated apricot glaze for a brilliant sheen. This is the dangerous part, as too many cooks can jostle the pie and dump it on the kitchen floor. I have an emergency caramel roll sponge cake hidden in the back of the fridge for such contingencies.

I've finished the tough parts and have washed all the unnecessary utensils that I will remember to skip using next time and now should probably get started on making dinner as I'll be out teaching tonight.

I had my regular heart ultrasound yesterday and it is still big and strong so there is no trouble with continuing Herceptin.