Tag Archives: jam

A Sweetheart for Me and a Simple Jam Tart for You

<img alt="Simple Jam Tart"/>

Simple Jam Tart

I looked over at my husband a few evenings ago as we sat in our usual places after dinner in front of the television — he in his chair, ever present laptop casting a blue white glow on his handsome mug, and I pressed into a corner of the sofa, pillows wedged beneath me, iPad screen black and lacking my attention.  I’m not sure what urged me to bring it up, but I told him to not worry about Valentine’s Day, to not bother with running to the store for a card or flowers — that I didn’t need a day created to sell cards to remind me he loves me.  And then I had to confess I’d forgotten I had already purchased a card for him last week and watched him fake a pout and I laughed over the whole thing.  We’ve celebrated “us” quite a bit in the last couple of months and I’m currently planning our trip to Paris and Germany for later this spring, so Valentine’s Day seems to have been lost in the shuffle.

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Mixed Berry Bakewell Tart

Bakewell Tart 3 It’s becoming very apparent that I’m a complete failure at this business of working and trying to keep a food blog. I’m surprised, actually, because for years and years I managed to work a ridiculous number of hours and still have time to occasionally pretend that I might be Martha — sans the income, of course.  I’ve figured out that because I used to have so little time to do anything, I took quite a few shortcuts, or completely gave up what I enjoyed.

A few nights ago, I was yet again trying to explain to my very patient husband what the problem is;  I find solace in quiet activities that are often solitary in nature and often have a tangible product.  They’re things that keep my hands and mind busy and are often of a creative nature that can also be considered practical. Of course writing here packs several of those interests all into one nice product, so it makes sense that I’d enjoy it.  Unfortunately, for me it’s not very practical.

Therein lies the rub.

This would be the enormous excuse for why I’m just now getting around to posting The June Daring Bakers’ Challenge, hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart….er….pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

Making a Bakewell Tart isn’t all that difficult if you’ve had lots of practice making pie crust.  It’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee and a good book enjoyed on a sunny morning patio, or near a fireplace on a chilly day.  In fact, making a Bakewell Tart isn’t all that time consuming, either.  No, it’s more the time needed (and enjoyed) to read the forum at the Daring Kitchen to see what creative ideas others are using to make the experience more challenging, or to sit at my Mac on reveal day, clicking from one blog to the next, enjoying the stories and photos that accompany each baker’s experience.  I seem not able to manage both.

So here I sit well past June 27th, just now showing my tart.  It’s the first day of the July 4th weekend and the start of our family vacation time.  The sky is cloud free for the first time in more than a week and blue as blue can be.  It figures.

I’m sure there’s a lesson in this somewhere, so perhaps I’ll take my book out on the porch, stretch my legs and turn my face to the sun to doze a bit and wonder what I can do to avoid giving up something I truly enjoy yet again.

In the meantime, here’s my delicious Mixed Berry Bakewell Tart.

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Thumbprint Cookies with Jam

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Everyone sing along:  On the Fifth Day of Cookies, my oven gave to me….another batch of yucky looking discs.

Wait.  I'm not blaming this one on my oven.  In fact, I'll never blame anything on it. 

They taste great, as long as you don't mind biting into something that looks like a fried egg with a pink center.  Light, slightly crisp at the edges, and oh so buttery.  And then there's that little taste of jam.  Nice.

But I'm not loving the recipe:  Aunt Sis's Strawberry Tart Cookies, Gourmet's favorite from 1993.  Sorry Aunt Sis.  Honestly.

Ugly little cookies...
 

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Strawberry Jam Bread Pudding

Here’s what I’ve learned during my brioche a tete saga:  1)  I can actually make a cooking plan and stick to it when a party or special occasion isn’t involved; 2)  I can make it completely through the second step; and 3) by the time the third step rolls around, the brioche is still in the fridge, wrapped sloppily in plastic, and waiting for, well, step three.

That would be now.

Did you know this brioche recipe can actually hold up after several days, and still manage to make it into a recipe?  Actually, it all worked out well, because I’d been wanting a bread pudding, and since I am sort of a traditionalist (winter comfort food, cinnamon, raisins…) when it comes to that particular type of comfort food, the idea of making one in the summer with fruit was quite novel.

I know.  I’m the ONLY one.

Others have already thought of interesting ways to add fruit to bread pudding, like peaches and raspberries, or lemon and blueberries, and yes, even fruit cocktail.  Like I said.  Interesting.

But I wanted something very simple with ingredients I had in the fridge.

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