Monday, July 13, 2015

Raspberry Lemon Tart and Things

There was a birthday (and a raspberry lemon tart) - which merits a little discussion - because I don't know how to act my age. In fact - I am confounded by my age when I look in the mirror - wondering who this person - in her sixth decade - is? I was good with 40. Fifty was a breeze - although I colored my hair more often. But this sixty stuff - really has me evaluating. And it's not like I turned sixty yesterday. No - it happened a while ago. Of course - wasn't 1990 a while ago?

And rather than churn out another blog entry - I have thought for months where it is going. I've been very sporadic - because I want to veer in another direction (mostly Italian, simpler than ever - because at sixty there is a sense of mortality that didn't come with other decades).

And also sporadic because of this:

This is the tenth draft. In my heyday of posting a few times a week, I noticed that I wasn't writing plays. If you're a playwright - not writing plays is frowned up. June 30th I did finished my 10th draft of And the Universe Didn't Blink (now titled Bound by Stardust). It's been a bridesmaid in every contest it's been entered in - but never the bride and so I begin again. And if you know of a theatre that would like a peak at a play that contains physics, magical realism, the Russian explorer Otto Schmidt, grief and how to hang a mirror on a star to view the past - please send them my way. 

But you're probably here for the tart. The easy raspberry-lemon tart - because if there's one thing I have succumbed to at age 60 - is ease. I will save the time-consuming, detailed stuff for the plays. I found it here. It really is summery-sweet: easy, light, easy, fruity, easy...

Raspberry Lemon Tart - serves 6-8 depending if people want a credit-card slice or something more meaningful

1 sheet puff pastry - thawed but still cold
1 egg for egg wash (and some flour for rolling)
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of cream (I used milk)
1/3 cup lemon curd (homemade or store bought)
1 pint raspberries (I used more because my backyard raspberries are on steroids)
1/4 cup raspberry jam, warmed (I omitted because I didn't have it)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees f.
With a little flour dusting, roll into rectangle (they suggested a 10 x 11 rectangle - mine was taller and leaner - because I wish I was taller and leaner)
Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush the edges with a little water. Fold over each side to create a "lip" on all the edges. Pierce all over with a fork. Gently brush all with your egg wash (a beaten egg mixed with a tablespoon of water).
Bake for 15-20 minutes (mine was getting brown at 15 minutes).
With the back of a spoon, gently press down any bubbles in the middle that puffed. Cool on wire rack.

(Can be made ahead. When cool, wrap carefully in plastic and refrigerate.)

Take out a medium sized bowl. By hand or with electric beaters, beat cheese with sugar until sugar is incorporated. Beat in the milk or cream. Fold in the lemon curd.

(Can be made ahead. Wrap bowl in plastic and refrigerate.)

Pour lemon curd mixture into the middle of prepared tart. Spread evenly to the edges. Place the berries on top. Brush with warmed jam. Sprinkle powdered sugar over all.

I assembled this one hour before serving. It is best not to assemble this too early. Swap out the raspberries for strawberries or blueberries. Use cream cheese instead of mascarpone. Try a raspberry curd instead of the lemon curd. This is a good recipe for playtime.

Another frustration of being 60 is this weight thing. So we often low-carb it during the week (and we won't discuss how high my weight is compared to last summer... shhh ... I said we won't discuss it) ...

But this is a nifty, low-carb treat that I thought I'd share.

Cucumbers topped with chive cream cheese and smoked salmon. 

And apropos of absolutely nothing because I am not writing a play but having fun with blogging, below is a not-so-still-life of Pino and zucchini. The fur-feline loves zucchini! Who knew?

Have a great week, all! 


Ciao Chow Linda said...

Claudia- this is a perennial problem if you are a blogger and have other interests, like writing. Sadly, my "serious" writing takes a back seat to my blogging, but I keep telling myself (rationalizing) "There's a time and a place for everything." Like you, I am seeing the years flying by now that I too, am in my sixth decade, but still find it hard to keep from the blog. It just nourishes me in so many ways. Still, you have given me pause....
Good luck with your play. It deserves to be front and center, like a bride! And like your tart - beautiful and delicious.

Gina Stanley said...

Just wanted to wish you the happiest birthday ever! It's easy for me to remember yours since you and my brother share the same special day. I'm confidant one day your play will be starring in the bridal role. My 50's are coming way too fast, please make it stop. Enjoying everyday, that's the loftiest of my ambitions.

Chiara said...

I have three cucumbers in the fridge, now I know how can I taste them, thank you Claudia !

Kitchen Riffs said...

I hear you about the 6th decade thing. Particularly the weight issue -- so easy to put on, so hard to take off. And this tart isn't going to make that any easier! Looks great, though -- thanks so much.

Angie's Recipes said...

Happy belated Birthday, Claudia! Your Pino eats zucchini? LOL..I am going to test it with my cats too. The raspberry lemon tart looks terrific! I love those low carb cucumber bites too.

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

I am delighted for your visit and love this recipe so happy to see your post since April missed you bunches! love this one! have a wonderful rest of your summer!

Velva said...

Happy, Happy belated sixth decade birthday wishes. No doubt you have a wonderful life story to tell. Damn the weight thing...I feel you. Just moved into my 5th decade and it was "wow, this is not a dress rehearsal" conversation I had with myself.

You are awesome! You take your calling (playwright) seriously and passionately. I have enjoyed following your journey over the years.


Beth said...

Your dessert looks wonderful, and I think the play sounds great too! Alas, I am all too familiar with multiple drafts. I don't even count the number of drafts any more.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Happy birthday Claudia. It's not easy hitting those "O" years, but I'm one ahead of you and not sure if they get easier or harder. I sure know about the mortality thing, but as an older and wiser friend said once, "whatcha gonna do?" Make a gorgeous tart for starters and yours is truly gorgeous with the flaky crust and pretty fruit. I really enjoyed your instructions as I'm a little nervous about pastry and rolling it out to look nice. We eat low-carb quite a bit and cucumbers and salmon are a great combination for low-carb. I find I need more energy now for projects, so keep up the good work on play writing. It's good for your soul and it keeps your brain stimulated.