Tuesday, December 29, 2009

season's eating's - butter tarts

For several years at Katie’s Thyme for Cooking blog she’s done a Season’s Eating's blog foodie gift exchange. I read about this last year on several blogs I visit and that is how I found Thyme for Cooking. I just love how one finds great blogs through other blog sites. This year I decided to partake in the Season’s Eating's event. Katie’s blog is great as she posts a food recipe everyday and also shares her experiences of living and renovating a home in France.

The concept of the Season’s Eating's food exchange is for you to send to the person that was randomly picked some spice or items that are regional to where you live along with a recipe that they can be used in. When you receive your ‘gifts’ of pleasure you blog about it along with pictures. How fun it that?? The person I sent items from Arizona to lives in Paris, France. I’m not sure if they received them before Christmas but hopefully they received them. I’ll blog about what I sent and to whom when I get word the package has been received.

I received my package from Jerry of Jerry’s Thoughts, Musings, and Rants. Jerry is from Burlington, Ontario Canada and I received from him some yummy maple syrup, pure maple sugar leafs, raincoast crisps, and a homemade jar of Raspberry Chambord Jam.

Jerry included with these tasty items a recipe for butter tarts. I’ve never had butter tarts before but the recipe was very easy. He even gets the mini tart shells at the grocery store in the freezer section. Now that’s my idea of quick and easy. So in my holiday shopping I put tart shells on my list of items to pick up. Now let me first tell you that here in the big metropolitan area that I live in you can pretty much find anything and everything you ever wanted, so frozen tart shells are a no brainer to me. HA, was I in for a surprise. I went to 4-5 stores looking for these tart shells but to no avail, is Chandler, Arizona residents not tart eaters or are they such great bakers that they make their own dough?? I must confess I did buy pre-made ready-to-use pie crusts but in the end decided to go homemade all the way.

Anyway, after futile attempts to find these tart shells I stopped at my local Sur La Table (one of my favorite stores) and purchased 6 cute little tart pans. I found a recipe for an easy tart dough recipe at epicurious.com and away I baked. Dough made and in the refrigerator resting for an hour. As I started rolling out the dough I realized that the rolling pin I have is old, wimpy, and I believe I’m in need of a grown-up rolling pin. One of those that doesn’t spin around a center rod but is a solid tapered wood stick that you spin the dough around to come up with a perfect circle for your pie crust. One like I see all those on the cooking shows use. I managed with my wimpy rolling pin to roll out the lovely dough for the tarts, found a Tupperware container the perfect size to cut the dough with enough clearance for the sides of the tart and proceeded to roll, cut, gently press, and cut off the excess dough from the tart. Note: Jerry said the recipe makes 2 dozen tarts but I spit the recipe in half and made 6 tarts. I don’t know if I filled the shells too full or my tart tins are bigger then the pre-made shells.

I’m not the best baker and did find my nails got in the way as I was gently pressing the dough into the tart pan. A tart or two may have had a nail indentation but the filling covered it up. Whew!!

The filling was super easy to mix together and you just fill up the tart 2/3 full and put in the oven. Jerry mentioned he won’t eat a butter tart without raisins but I didn’t have any and was not going to the store again so I put slivered almonds in some and left the others plan. Since it’s just me at home I decided to only make ½ a recipe as I knew I’d eat all of them and had already consumed enough yummy sweets that I’ve not stepped on the scale for days and that may turn into weeks. Half the recipe made 6 tarts and they came out beautifully, don’t you think? I posted the recipes below.

It’s funny that Jerry had me to send gifts to as I’ve been reading Jerry’s blog for years now, we both frequent the website Slow Travel, and I met Jerry at the Palm Desert GTG in 2007. I tried many a recipe from Jerry’s blog and I appreciate him taking the time to post them.

Thanks Jerry for the wonderful products from Canada and a new favorite of mine, Butter Tarts. Stop by Jerry’s Thoughts, Musings, and Rants, you'll enjoy his postings, pictures, and recipes.

Thank you Katie for taking the time to do Season’s Eating's. Stop by Thyme for Cooking and check out Katie's blog.

Butter Tarts
2 eggs
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of REAL maple syrup
4 Tbl. of butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl; beat until the thickness of cream. Fill each tart 2/3 full. Makes 2 dozen tarts.

Note: Raisins and nuts can be added.

Easy Tart Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter – chilled & cut into ½ inch cubes
1 Tbs. (or more) ice water
2 Tbs. whipping cream – chilled

Blend flour and salt in food processor. Add butter while pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and cream. Process just until moist clumps form adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

(can make dough 2 days ahead and keep in frig.)


katiez said...

Your tarts are lovely - I totally understand the problem of pressing things into molds and leaving nail prints ;-))
All the yummy maple....

Jerry said...

I'm so happy that the package arrived!

You did a great job with the butter tarts - they look amazing.

Happy new year!

Linda @ Ice Tea For Me said...

Katie - thanks for organizing Season's Eating's.

Jerry - the raincoast crisps are SO good and tasty, thanks for adding those to the package.


Wheelchair said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Karma Travel Wheelchair

Keep Posting:)

Wheelchair said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Karma KM 2500 Wheelchair

Keep Posting:)