Friday, September 2, 2011

The Things We Do for Tarts

This innocent, lovely looking Nectarine Tart you see here illustrated might better be known as the Tart of Death.

I was tempted to make it by a recipe in Martha's Baking Handbook that called for slicing nectarines very thinly and then winding them into rosettes, which you then stuff into a tart shell.

I read a few websites that advised me, DO NOT MAKE THIS TART UNLESS YOU WANT TO DRIVE YOURSELF INSANE.  Or at the very least, that it's not the easiest in the world to make.  I thought I could pull it off anyway. Instead, I ended up almost slicing off my right pinky.

The crust is simple enough to make, and quite tasty. The problem arises when you start working on the nectarines. In Martha Stewart's world, they naturally allow themselves to be wound up into a rosette. (She even claims the recipe is "easy" to put together in her cookbook.) In the real world, there's nothing to hold these rosettes together, and they spring apart the second you fold them together.

Trying to slice the fruit as thinly as I could, I thought I'd make use of my mandoline slicer. Unfortunately, being a novice at mandolines, I sliced off a piece of my little finger, which didn't stop bleeding all night. After some bandaging, it's healed nicely, but the incident was enough to convince me that I'll never try the Tart of Death ever again. In fact, you'll have to get the damned book if you want to make it because I'm not bothering to post the recipe here.

If you do dare, however, note that the filling to pour on top of the nectarine makes half as much as needed.  You'll want to double it.

Here's another view:

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