I had the pastry bug today, so I made a rustic tart with plums and strawberries.
First, for the pastry:
* 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
* 1 and 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
* 1 teaspoon of salt
* 3 tablespoons of ice water
As I am always searching, I never use the same pastry recipe twice, or the same method. Today’s method utilized the whisk of my standing mixer and it worked beautifully. The whisk attachment did a wonderful job of turning the flour and butter and salt into perfect little balls, no bigger than petite peas. And with the addition of each tablespoon of iced water, the dough formed quickly and wasn’t too wet or too dry.
I sliced four medium red plums and a cup of strawberries.
After letting the pastry chill for an hour, I baked it blind directly on a baking tray in a 350 degree oven and then sealed the bottom with warmed orange marmalade, as the strawberries tend to make things soggy. After layering the fruit over the sealed pastry base, I dotted the fruit with butter and granulated sugar. With the oven turned up to 375 degrees, the tart baked for thirty minutes.
So despite the fact that I broke the tart when transferring it to the cooling rack (and it’s hard for me to say this, like giving away the ending of a novel you are only a third of the way through) I think I’m getting close. This particular pastry recipe–the method, and something about the tartness of plums and not adding sugar to the dough–took me all the way back to Saville Road, sat at my nana’s ’50s-era dining room table eating a slice of her brambly apple pie on the black and white plastic place mats that she took out for every speck food that was served. I’m probably wrong. Memory playing tricks as it often does.
Either way, it was a good day for pastry.