restorative baking

Is there anything better than butter & sugar?  My mother said she knew I would have a good week since I was going to spend it baking – although someone baking in the middle of humid summer days should probably have her head examined…

chocolate chip

My uncle is having triple-bypass heart surgery, so I decided he needed a little love from this chocolate master – no Nestle poison for him this time.

 lemon cheesecake

A very cute 3-year-old is having a birthday and her parents asked for the lemon cheesecake that I’ve been making lately – it will make parents and kid(s) alike happy and fat.

ling cookies

Just in case, I made these cookies spelling out the birthday girl’s name…

gooseberry tart

And just for me – my OH bought me gooseberries this week remembering that I was curious about them but had never really eaten them.  I made this gooseberry tart – such an easy summer dessert (especially if you have a food processor), and I love the sweet / tart balance of the gooseberries.  The recipe is from The Tenth Muse; My Life in Food from Judith Jones.

Gooseberry Tart – adapted from Judith Jones

  • 1 sweet Tart Dough (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup gooseberry jam or currant jelly
  • 2 cups gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 2/3 cup sugar (use slightly less)

Roll the dough out into a circle approximately 9 or 10 inches in diameter.  If the dough is very cold before rolling out, let it warm up slighltly at room temperature.  Transfer the dough to an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom, tucking it into the inside rim firmly.  Trim the dough all around, leaving enough on the rim so you can fold it over inward, then crimp it all around.   Paint the bottom of the dough with the gooseberry jam (currant jelly). Arrange the gooseberries on top., and sprinkle the sugar over them.  (Extremely important – put tart pan on baking sheet with rim to catch overflow of fruit juices – unless you like cleaning your oven). Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 45 minutes.

Tart Dough – adapted from Judith Jones

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (only for a sweet tart)
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

Mix the flour, salt, and sugar, if using, in the bowl of a food processor.  Cut the butter into small pieces, drop them through the tube of the processor, and pulse long enough to say “alligator” fifteen times. Pour in the ice water and process long enough to say “alligator” ten times.  Transfer the dough to a work surface, preferably marble, and smear it out in small increments with the heel of your hand, then gather the dough together into a round.  Sprinkle with flour, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate at least 20 minutes or until ready to use. (I didn’t say alligator though she says it’s a fool proof method. And I don’t have a marble work surface.  Someday.)

I’ve managed to give most of this away – except for the gooseberry tart which I’ve eaten almost all of…


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