Saturday, June 10, 2006

Another Experiment and a Better-Than-Expected Result

Jam & Cream Tarts and Cherry Tarts

When I finished baking thumbprint cookies with mom’s burnt jam the other day, another idea popped up in my mind. The idea was using the jam for tarts. But if I put the jam alone in cookie tart shells, isn't it almost the same as the thumbprint cookies which were not bad but not really a great success? So I thought about combining the jam with pastry cream.

Luckily, I have a good pastry cream recipe that one of the readers (she called herself "a fellow baker") gave me in her comment to my post about a year ago. I made the pastry cream over and over to try it with various kinds of fruits or jam, and I liked it every time. Most of the time I used heavy cream to make the half-and-half called for in the recipe, but this time I used vegetable whipping cream to make it lighter. Since mom’s jam had a little strong taste and slight bitterness, I thought rich cream might be overwhelming.

These American cherries were bought for a back-up plan. If the test batch of the jam & cream tart would taste terrible, I was going to give up on the idea right away and make cherry & cream tarts with the rest of the pastry cream and tart shells.

Unfortunately the cherries were not sweet… with not much cherry flavor, either. (Maybe not quite ripe yet?? It was hard to tell when they were on the shelf in the package.)

So I made one test sample of each of the jam & cream version and cherry & cream version, and tasted both. And you know what?! They were both GOOD!! :D

So I made more of both kinds of tarts

The pastry cream made the taste of mom’s jam a lot milder and gave a different kind of sweetness to it, so the slight bitterness from the jam became a pleasant aftertaste. Honestly, the tart would have been rather bland without the bitterness.The cream also supplemented sweetness for the cherries and made them taste a lot better.
* Note that now I have chervil leaves to garnish my desserts. ;) Yep, they are from my balcony garden.

BTW, the shells are store-bought cookie tart shells.
(No wonder they look good.)

My conclusion: Pastry cream is a savior! :D



Anonymous said...

The tarts are soooo pretty, Obachan! :-)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Nice tartlets! They look so fresh...

MinaG said...

Those look scrumptious!

reshma said...

Delightful tart-art!

obachan said...

Thanks. I'm happy about the way they turned out.

Thank you. I love making tarts.

Thanks. They were. :)

Oh, I'm flattered. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, those look so gorgeous.

obachan said...

Thank you, crystal! In the past I didn’t feel like making pastry cream too often, because I didn’t know what to do with the leftover egg whites. But now I have a couple of good angel food cake recipes, and also I heard that egg whites freeze well. So there’s nothing to be afraid of any more! I’m going to enjoy tarts with pastry cream more often :D

rae said...

obachan, those tarts looks absolutely beautiful!

obachan said...

Thank you. I wish I could bake tart shells like those store-bought ones. Maybe someday...

Thanks! :D