Having lived in England until I was seven, I treasure memories of toad in the hole, bangers'n'mash, lemon curd, clotted cream, sherbert fountains, liquorice allsorts, Cadbury Flakes, mince tarts, lemon tarts, strawberry tarts, and so on. Fast-forward to the present day, and you have a 22-year-old who, at the slightest wink of opportunity, puts everything and anything into a crisp, flaky shell of golden pastry. Into TARTS.
A recent dumpster-diving success left us with some perfectly ripe, somewhat squashed peaches and apricots. While we gorged ourselves on the accompanying melon, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, 50+ pounds of bread, etc., I sought to preserve some of the lovely, sun-colored stone fruit by roughly chopping the flesh and freezing it in cubes (with the juice and a little bit of water). Having rediscovered some of these cubes, I made some sweet nuggets of delectableness. TARTS!
I use the Joy of Cooking vegetable oil crust recipe, but since these are tart-sweet, I left out the salt. The fruit still has a biting quality, which melded perfectly with the neutrally crisp crusts. The recipe is incredibly simple; for 12 tarts:
• preheat oven to 425º F.
• mix 1/3 cup plus 1 T vegetable oil and 1/4 cup cold soymilk (vanilla would probably be nice) (until creamy)
• pour this over 1 1/3 cups flour
• stir with fork until blended
Once you have the dough, pull off balls about 1" in diameter, smash them between your palms, and press these into the hollows in a greased muffin pan (only coming about a half to 3/4" up the sides). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until gorgeous.
Heat the cubes in the microwave, smashing occasionally with fork, until quite warm. Spoon into the baked crusts. Absorb.
Best flavors so far:
• Orange with dandelion jelly (amazing)
• Fresh strawberry-raspberry-blueberry
• Fresh cherry with strawberry sauce
• Dandelion jelly with huckleberries
• Dandelion jelly with heirloom tomato (so good)