Misc. Baking Skills · Practice · Tarts & Pies

Tart for Dad

Yeah, I can’t go do the cakes yet, but I’ve been thinking about making something special for Thanksgiving this year–making a strawberry-rhubarb tart for Dad.  To also allow my SIL to eat it (wheat allergy), I planned on making it with a wheat-free tart crust, a recipe for which I found here (aside from being FULL of ads, the recipe is pretty straight forward) but I realized that I already put regular wheat flour into the fruit mix.  Sigh.

I did have enough fruit to make a second tart, so two tarts it is.

I already had some organic sugar, which I know my sister in law prefers, but I didn’t have anything that would be considered wheatless and would still work in this recipe.  So I went to the store and got some Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free flour–a tiny bag was $3 on sale, as opposed to the King Arthur Flour brand which was $9 for about the same amount.  But, holy catfish, the store has it in the weirdest spot!  They put it two aisles away from the baking stuff, in the ethnic food aisle.  So here’s all the gluten free stuff next to the Mexican food instead of in the baking aisle with the baking materials.  I’ll have to write a note to the store manager and ask WTAF?!  Who made THAT  decision?!  I’m surprised I found it at all!

Thawing the fruit was proving to be the most challenging.  I had it sitting on the counter for 4 hours and it was still frozen.  I took the “gluten free” batch and put it in a pan on low, which basically cooked it into jam.  I strained off the extra liquid–otherwise I’d have a really juicy pie–and added a bit more flour.

Meanwhile, I mixed up all the ingredients for the crust, chilled it, then rolled it out.  So far, so good!  I tried a trick that I saw on the baking show–rolled out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it was more than 3″ larger than the tin.  Peel off the top parchment, lay the tin base–just the circle, not the sides–in the middle of the dough.  Flip it over completely so the parchment is on top, then the dough, then the circle.  *OR* if that was too confusing, lay the ring down on the counter, cover with parchment, and roll the dough out on top.  You will be able to see the indentation of the edges, so you can see when it’s an inch or so bigger than the bottom.  When it’s big enough, pull the circle out, lay it on the middle of the pastry, and flip it over.

Blind bake…well, that didn’t work out very well, at least for the gluten-free one.  The parchment stuck to the dough.  Maybe I had too many beans in it?  I dunno.  It also seemed rather fragile and thin.  I’m going to have to practice shortcrust pastry a lot more.

I patched the bottom a little, then put the GF strawberry-rhubarb jam into it and baked it for a while.  Couldn’t really tell you how long.  30 minutes, maybe?  It’s edible, but….yeah, she’s not the prettiest belle at the ball.  I’ll bring it and maybe we can put some whipped topping on it.  I’ll pick up some heavy cream at the store on the way over.  Or maybe I can make a meringue (but they only have one oven, so maybe the whipped topping is the way to go.

So now I’m starting to make the regular gluten-tolerant tart.  Regular flour, butter, powdered sugar, salt.  I still didn’t have enough crust to cover the top (I’ll have to double the recipe to make sure I have enough), but I rolled out what was left and squiggled it all over the top.  It looks fun, but not very “pie” like.

Did all the dishes.  Now to let it cool, pack for the trip, clean out the car, and figure out a way to transport these things.  Luckily it’ll only be 4 in the car, not 5–the adult kid needs to work so will be flying solo for the weekend.

Post Script

The pies arrived, and despite having 16 people there to eat, I was only able to get rid of 5 slices out of 16.  Brought them to my in-laws’ house where 5 more people refused to try it.  Brought them home and threw them away, along with two whole loaves of banana bread, and half of the seven veils cake.

Sometimes I wonder what the hell I’m doing?  Making all these lovely things and no one wants to eat it.

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