Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Queen of Tarts

It is a widely accepted fact ...well among my circle of friends ...that I am the queen of tarts. Now before you swerve onto the wrong track of thought let me assure you it is due to my tendency to bake a tart for any and all occasions and NOT because of anything tarty in my dress or relationships. I love to make tarts. They're easy, versatile, and they always make a big impression. My favorite and a hugely popular tart with most of my family is a fruit tart that I actually adapted from a recipe of my maternal grandmother's. It's so delicious! Of course we do have a lone fruit hater but that's another story...

You start with a pre baked tart shell, preferably a sweet shortcrust. My favorite one is from the book Festive Tarts by Sylvia Thompson. (This is a fantastic tart book that I highly recommend and although it's out of print you can find used copies really cheap.)But I digress...
Cut up enough fruit to fill your tart; peaches, berries, plums, all of one kind or a mix ...whatever you think is yummy. Mix together 1 cup sugar with 3 cups OJ and 4 tablespoons cornstarch in a saucepan. Heat this stirring constantly until it thickens. Put about 1/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the tart. Now place in the fruit in a pretty pattern or all mixed up, it doesn't matter. Then carefully cover all the fruit with the rest of the OJ sauce. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but not more than 4 or 5 because you don't want it to get soggy...though it'll still taste good! One little trick; if you're using fruit that might brown, like peaches, toss them with the OJ first and then drain them and proceed. It also gives the OJ a great peachy taste... This works well for freezing peaches too!

And why all the talk of tarts? Well I had been planning on making a Queen of Hearts doll and when I mentioned this to my darling hubby he said, "Like the card?" and I replied, "No, like the one who made tarts." Now my husband had a childhood seriously deprived of children's literature so he said, "Huh? Why would a queen make tarts? Couldn't she get the cook to do that?" Well that got me thinking...Why indeed? It had to have been out of love! (She was the queen of hearts!) Love of the King? Love for the little heirs? Or maybe, like moi, she just loved to cook!
And so here is the finished queen ready to hit the kitchen and cook up some tarts. Please note that as well as an apron, she carries two of my favorite tart books....


  1. Fairiesnest, I love your doll, and your've actually inspired me to try your recipe too...and that's saying a lot because I'm not famous for my cooking, but every once in a while I surprise everybody, including me! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I love this Doll and your blog. Thank you for posting the about the tarts. I want to try now!

  3. WOW! She's faboo! I love the little books she's holding, and she has a great face. Now I feel inspired to go make a tart - though I'll have to bring it into work because it would be dangerous to keep a whole tart in my house unprotected(they're fat free right?).

  4. That's why it's best to make tarts for parties!

  5. How cute is that little tart of a queen?! Her cookbooks are my favorite part, though her dress comes in a close second.
    As Susan's mother would say, "You're so talented - you should do that for a living!"
    Hey - its what she says!

  6. wow!!!! she is wonderful!!!!
    really fantastic!