Friday, July 27, 2007

Sweeter Success

Thanks to Caden, who helped me cook last night, we have had some improvement in the cooking department. We had delicious homemade waffles with strawberries and Greek yogurt for dinner before the Spencer's left for caregroup. (Travis missed the party since he was at school.) Then, after dinner, Caden helped me stir the lime curd we are making for Hayley's baby shower. Then, he helped me roll the tart crust into balls before pressing them into mini muffin tins with my nifty little tool from Pampered Chef. I think I prefer this method of mini tarts instead of the tart pans that I am used to using. Although they aren't quite as nice, the prep time is so much less.

Lime Curd
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 T. fresh lime zest
4 T. unsalted butter
Whisk sugar and eggs together until lighter in color and the sugar has
begun to dissolve. Mix in lime juice and zest. Cook over medium heat, while whisking constantly, until butter is incorporated. Continue cooking until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate until mixture is set. Can be made up to 1 week ahead.

This is the recipe I have used since I began cooking seriously at thirteen. It comes from the Williams Sonoma cookbook series, this one from the "Pies and Tarts" book. It is very crumbly, so shape the dough by pressing in wax paper or parchment. This recipe is easy using a food processor.

Pastry Crust
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, chopped
2-4 T ice cold water
In a food processor bowl fitted with a blade, mix flour, salt and sugar together until combined. Add butter. Pulse in short bursts until mixture resembles oatmeal size peices. Add water one tablespoon at a time until, pulsing 2-5 times in between tablespoons, until mixture is moist enough to hold together. The dough will be crumbly. Dump mixture onto parchment paper or wax paper and press together into a thick disc. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate until firm, no less than 1 hour.
Prebake crusts at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

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