First Time for Everything

Okay, I might be full of blarney on the “first time for everything” but in truth, the last time I made a pie crust was probably 10 or so years ago.  My mom, who is an amazing baker, taught me how to make a buttery, flakey crust.  It was perfect.  She is seriously a kick-arse crust baker.  That was then, this is now.

I am the clumsiest baker there is (something I kinda take a bit of pride in).  And in trying to create this crust, I had no idea what to do other than to line the unbaked crust with weights (in my case, uncooked beans) and bake until it became a beautiful, slightly golden brown.

When I first turned the crust batter onto the cold counter top, I began to roll it with a floured rolling pin.  I quickly realized I mis-judged something, namely the liquid to flour ratio.  Chunks of butter clumped together while powdery clouds of flour settled on the stone. It was not a pretty picture.

Ohhhh, the fictional idea of a beautifully rolled pie crust that can be evenly laid into the tart pan.  Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Instead, I clumsily tossed the ingredients together and casually added more chilled water as I saw fit (which was totally wrong).  Turns out, I needed to add an extra four to five tablespoons of chilled water. Only then was I able to roll the crust and fit it into place.

In the end, my friends loved the tart.  According to them they loved the flavors of the filling and enjoyed the texture of the crust (which I think was being rather generous).  Regardless, it was a lovely recipe to try.

Cherry Tomato Tart (recipe care of Ali Rosen)

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INGREDIENTS:  1/2 (14.1 oz) pkg, refrigerated piecrust, 2 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 large onion (chopped), 3 garlic cloves (chopped), 1 1/4 oz parmesan cheese (shredded & divided), 3 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, 1 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, 1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:  Bake the piecrust for about 20 minutes.  In the meantime, heat up the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat while melting the butter.  Add the chopped onion and garlic and stir often until onion becomes golden brown.  Layer the onion mixture into the prepared tart pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with half of the parmesan cheese (I may have used a touch more). Line the entire tart pan with the cherry tomatoes, taking care to cover as much surface area as possible.  Sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan cheese, thyme, and salt.  Bake for 30 minutes and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

Okay, first, I don’t use a refrigerated pie crust.  Instead I do this (recipe care of genius kitchen.com)…

INGREDIENTS:  2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted), 1 teaspoon salt, 23cup butter or 23 cup shortening, 5 -7 tablespoons cold water

DIRECTIONS:  Put flour into a mixing bowl with the butter.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour.  Add salt and water.  Mix until dough is formed.  Roll out on flat surface.  Bake at 375 degrees until brown.  Prick crust prior to baking for non filled baked pies.

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