Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How To Make Blueberry Fig Tarts in 16 Easy Steps.

(Or: On Baking with Two Five-Year-Olds and a Puppy)
Step 1: Steal figs from your neighbor's yard:

Step 2: Go try to buy a lemon from Tod's Tasties, because you can't bear to get in the car on your day off:

(Tip: if you are accompanied by two adorable children and a puppy, they might just give you the lemon)

Steps 3-6:
Make the dough. I used a recipe from a cookbook my bank teller gave me, Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters:
Whisk together:
1 egg
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Combine in Food Processor:
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup cold butter

process until mealy; add liquid and process just until mixture comes together. Knead, wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Step 7:
Take an arty picture of your ingredients:

Steps 8-10:
Make the filling:

I used my tried-and-true filling method:
4 cups fresh fruit (in this case it was contraband figs and some blueberries that had been in my fridge for a little too long)
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one lemon

juice of one lemon
generous pinch of salt
Stir together and let sit.

Step 11:
Now back to your dough.
Cut your dough into 6 even sections, and roll each one out, on a floured surface, into a square shape of even thickness.

Step 12:
Place a good sized dollop of filling in the center of your rolled out dough.

Step 13:
Fold and press the edges of your dough to seal in the filling.

Step 14:
Egg Wash.
Gently beat one egg in a bowl and coat the dough with a pastry brush dipped in the beaten egg. Now, say, for example, that you own a Cake Shop and all your home baking utensils have absconded to said Cake Shop, and so you can't find a pastry brush? Well, fear not, dear reader, you can just as easily use one of your 5-year-old son's watercolor paintbrushes. Its totally clean, I promise.

Step 15:
Bake tarts at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Ignore that black stuff on the bottom of the pan- its not burnt, its "caramelized."

Step 16:
Eat the tarts, and enjoy one of the last true days of summer.

ps. It's hot.