With six pounds of strawberries in my refrigerator I decided to make a few strawberry tarts a la Julia Child. I planned on making one for my neighbor who had just had a baby and one for a gathering we were attending. So last night I gathered my ingredients to make the crust. I chose the sweet cookie-like crust Child recommends for fruit tarts because it is more tender. But she cautions that it can be more likely to crumble. Hmmmm. I wasn't afraid. "I've made so many tarts I'm a pro!" I thought to myself. I ignored her directions for using my hands to combine the ingredients and went right to the food processor. This worked well. Then, instead, of rolling it out it seemed to work well as a press in crust, saving me the hassle of cleaning up a rolling pin and surface. I baked it as recommended. It seemed pale as I brought it out of the oven but fully cooked. Julia recommends that you remove it from the tart pan right away so I carefully got the rim removed without burning myself. When I tried to remove the bottom, though, it seemed as if the crust had been glue onto the bottom. The only way to remove it was to hack at it. One tart crust down the drain.
So, I tried again, this time using a parchment round to cover the bottom. Plus I cooked it a bit longer to make it a little less crumbly or so I thought. This time the bottom came off perfectly but the sides stuck to the rim leaving me with a rimless crust. Aaargh! At least I can make creme patisserie, right? Wrong. That too was a failure because I scorched the bottom. Some of the burned bits made it into my pastry cream but by that time I didn't care. I covered it, refrigerated it and went to bed.
This morning I pulled out my tried and true tart recipe from Martha Stewart, made it, cooled it and removed it PERFECTLY! I blopped in the pastry cream and then topped it with my beautiful, showy, red strawberries. Finally I painted them with apple jelly to make them glow. Beautiful. It was a hit at the party. I even was asked for the recipe. Now if I can just find that tart crust recipe again . . .