I love the artistry of a fancy bakery case. I am in awe of a pastry chef. The delicacy of the pastry makes the whole process tricky. Sometimes pie crust turns out, some times it doesn’t and there never seems to be a reason one way or the other. But when it does it seems to be magical. Last weekend was one of those times. My daughters came over to help which always adds to the whole family feel of the kitchen for me. Mario was at the ready with the camera just waiting for us to give him the green light to photograph our masterpieces.
We decided to make a variety, just like our own pastry case. I had been to the farmer’s market the day before and bought some of the loveliest peaches of the season. The fragrance was like perfume! I ate one immediately and the juice just ran down my arm. That is when you know you have a peach the way it was intended. Of course, one tart had to be peach. I though adding blackberries to the peaches would add texture and color. The fruit was so delicious that we didn’t need a lot to dress that up-flaky pastry, perfect fruit and fancy whipped cream all piped on top with my decorator dessert pro. Having the right tools is the key to making the cooking process fun and successful.
We made another tart just filling the baked single crust with Nutella and topped with raspberry sauce. Have you ever tried Nutella??? It is an ingredient that was probably just sent straight down from Heaven already made. Its hazelnut and chocolate and as smooth as silk. It comes in a jar like peanut butter, but make no mistake; this is not ANYTHING like peanut butter. A simple and elegant dessert, just topped (AGAIN) with a rosette of whipped cream and you are pastry chef in your own mind.
Lastly we tried to make a tart that was a little bit healthy. The key to a healthy dessert is it still has to be decadent or really, what’s the point? I have been experimenting with different flours lately so I picked up some Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. This product is fabulous! The recipe on the bag was fantastic; the crust came out flaky with a delicious taste and texture. Sometimes whole wheat flour has this dense and gritty texture that does not translate to dessert but this was an exception. We made an almond cremolata. Using almond milk, a little sugar thickened with egg yolk and a bit of corn starch this made creamy custard with real flavor depth dairy free with very little fat. Topped simply with a couple of spoonfuls of drained blueberries. Delicious and decadent with fiber and protein but don’t tell anyone about that. It will be our little secret.