Tuesday, June 10, 2008
TWD - La Palette Tart
This week’s TWD challenge was chosen by Marie of A Year From Oak Cottage. If you haven’t visited Marie’s blog yet, you should! Marie chose La Palette’s Strawberry Tart. This is a simple tart made with a shortcrust pastry, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries. Strawberries are not in season for another 6 months here in NZ, and I just couldn’t bring myself to buy the imported US ones – it’s not just the food miles (I try to buy locally 99% of the time) but they just don’t taste like fresh strawberries! In the side bar suggestion, Dorie said you could use any stone fruit as an alternative, or pears, apples or quinces. I decided to use the quince I bottled earlier in the year.
Dorie’s advice in relation to the tart crust is to cook it well so that it is lovely and crisp. I didn’t have any need for a big tart, so I made the whole amount of pastry (choosing to make the nut pastry, substituting some of the flour for ground almonds), rolling out enough to line a mini tart tin and freezing the rest for another day. The pastry is lovely and sweet – almost like shortbread. It tastes great raw as well!
I have actually got quince jam that I made last year in the cupboard, but I didn’t want to open yet another jar to keep in the fridge. I did have quince jelly open, but the jelly is not the depth of colour that the bottled quince are, so I didn’t use that to line the base of the tart. In fact none of the jams I had seemed quite right to match with the quince, so in the end I decided to line the tart base with thick yoghurt (I strained it in the fridge overnight) mixed with some quince syrup –yum! This was delicious. You could also use mascarpone in the same way. The quince syrup is a syrup I make by cooking chopped quince (including the cores and skins) with sugar and water until it is thick and sticky and then straining off the syrup. I bottle this and it lasts forever in the fridge.
This tart is delicious! The yoghurt is great with the sweetness of the quince and the tart case is the perfect accompaniment. I had one spoonful of the tart, leaving the rest for my husband, but it was so good that I wanted to eat the whole thing! Sometimes it is the simple things that taste the best!
I am really pleased with my quince version of the tart, but will try it again in summer with strawberries. Go here to see what the other TWDers’ strawberry tarts look like.