Desserts Pies + Tarts

rustic tarts with my sister

Part One: Kindred
 [Celia and Rosalind, like sisters]
 “I was too young that time to value her,
But now I know her. If she be a traitor,
Why, so am I. We still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learned, played, eat together,
And wheresoe’er we went, like Juno’s swans,
Still we went coupled and inseparable.”

-William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Part Two: Lamentations
 If I had listened more. If I had not left you out. If I had let you use the video camera, once. If I had trusted you more. If I hadn’t spied on you, constantly. If I hadn’t started a fist fight in Grandma’s bedroom. If I hadn’t always tried to make you laugh. If I hadn’t been such a tattle tale. If I had known when to hug, and when to walk away. If I had let you figure things out on your own. If I hadn’t tried to make you me. If I had just let go.
Part Three: Communion [or, walking to the Sea]
My sister is a moon: illuminated lighthouse.
A sparkle in the deep night.
My sister is a story: a well-formed theme.
A page turner.
My sister is a sea: tossing the deepest deep
into a hidden whisper
a whisper I have finally begun to hear.
Rustic Summer Tarts

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

I didn’t change much. This is one of my most favorite summer desserts! The tart dough is made with a technique called frisage, and it guarantees a wonderful, flaky crust. If you’ve never used it before, I’ve included a link to a video tutorial to help you. I made this particular tart with plums and cherries, and a whole wheat flour/all-purpose flour mixture, but I have to admit I prefer it with just all purpose flour. It’s good both ways, however. And check your fruit for tartness/sweetness, and add sugar accordingly.
3/4 cup all purpose flour* [see note]
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
3-6 tbsp ice water
1 pound stone fruit [peaches, plums, apricots] pitted and sliced into 1/2 inch thick wedges
1 cup berries or cherries, pitted if needed
3-5 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Process the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs, and the butter is the size of small peas. Add the water through the feed tube 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough holds together when pinched [about 10 pulses].
to fraisage the dough:
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a rectangular shaped pile. Use the heel of your hand to smear the dough against the work surface. Continue to smear until all the dough has been worked. Gather into a pile again, and repeat. Flatten dough into a 6 inch disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about an hour.
Roll the dough into a 12 inch circle [or 6 small circles, about 6 inches wide] on a  piece of parchment paper, and refrigerate  for 20 minutes.
Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and heat to 375.
fruit filling
Toss the fruit and sugar together. Mound the fruit in the center of your rolled dough, leaving a 2 inch border [or 1 inch border for tartlets]. Fold the outermost dough over the fruit, pleating it as you go [about every 2-3 inches]. Brush the dough with water and sprinkle with an additional 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake until tart is deep golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 1 hour [less for tartlets – about 35-45 minutes]. Rotate baking sheet halfway through baking.
Cool the tart on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then use the parchment to transfer tart to a wire rack. Cool about 25 minutes. Serve.
  • Reply
    Jen @ Savory Simple
    Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I really love this! The photos are so sweet and the recipe sounds lovely.

  • Reply
    Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    You two really do look so much alike. It’s wonderful that you’re so close. This is such a lovely post. Rustic tarts are some of my favorites to make–the pinched dough catches all of those sticky, sweet juices. They’re the perfect thing for making and sharing with another person. And fraisage is probably one of the most fun techniques in baking. It’s like playing! Well, except when your kitchen is outrageously hot…:).

  • Reply
    london bakes
    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

    This is another beautiful post (I feel like I say that every time but it’s true). What I think it does perfectly is to capture the sibling relationship which can often be so complex but so simple at the same time.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you Kathryn! It is complex and simple, isn’t it. Sort of like life, ha.

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    This is stunning! Awesome job!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    As an adult, I’ve learned to appreciate my sister in so many ways. I’m so glad that our relationship now is not what it was like 20 years. Cheers to sisters!! Lovely photos and sounds like another delicious recipe.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks Melody. I’m glad our relationship has evolved, too. So much better. Cheers!

  • Reply
    Heidi @foodiecrush
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I love the quotes you inserted, so inspiring and heart felt. Sisterly bonds are so special, but often taken for granted. You’ve inspired me to call mine. Thank you. XOXO gorgeous as always.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks, Heidi. It’s hard not to take them for granted! Working on it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Melissa // the faux martha
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I love, love, love this Sarah. Reminds me of my sister.

  • Reply
    la domestique
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I have a little sister (2 years younger) and I just came back from a rare visit with her. This post is so beautiful, so moving, so true.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Thank you. My sister is 2 years younger, too. And older sisters! We’ve got some stuff to work on. 🙂

  • Reply
    Shanna |
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    So lovely. The understated way you talk about your sibling relationship, using poetry and in three parts, next to photos, communicates so well.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Shanna. I tend to be dramatic, so getting things understated was a bit difficult. 😉 But it usually works better.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    So lovely, poetry choices are perfect.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    You and your sister are beautiful.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 8:22 am

    What gorgeous pictures! Some of my best moments with my brother have been spent in the kitchen of our parents’ house in Tuscany – cooking, chopping, gossiping and putting the world to rights.

    I adore the colour photo of cherries on the board too. So pretty.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you. We have only just begun to bake and cook together. I love it.

  • Reply
    Helene @ French Foodie Baby
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:54 am

    Love the poetry, so soulful, I don’t have a sibling I grew up with, and this makes me think what a gift it must be to have one. I also love the contrast between the black and white and color photography, very creative. And those tarts look pretty good too 🙂

  • Reply
    Dana @ Minimalist Baker
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:12 am

    You girls are like twins! Beautiful, brown-haired twins!

    Gorgeous recipe and photos. Loved the cherry pitting pictures : )

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you Dana! People often comment that we look like twins. We insist we are identical cousins, ha.

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