Creativity is not my strong suit. I mean, sure, I can generate a new idea every once in a while. But I don’t work that way naturally (or easily). This is why I’m not going to be a famous novelist, even though I love books more than almost anything. I could surprise myself, I suppose. *hopes and wishes*
Conversely, I’m great with a prescription, an assignment, an analysis, and a recipe. I do love a good recipe. All the instructions are right there, and the only thing that matters is to follow the steps. Of course sometimes things go off track, you forget to set a timer, or the yeast won’t rise. BUT! If everything works like it should and you follow the directions, you’ll get something pretty edible, and mostly awesome, at the end.
Now, pair that with new bakeware, and life gets really fun. My roommates and friends are lucky, lucky people. They’ve been eating well these past couple of weeks, including this latest example: fruit tartlets.
Lemon Cream Cheese Fruit Tarlets
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening (I used butter)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (I left it out because I used salted butter)
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup lemon curd
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups assorted berries or sliced fruit
1/3 cup apple jelly, melted (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 475˚F. In medium bowl, cut shortening into flour and salt, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (I actually just make sure the butter is REALLY cold, and then dice it into tiny pieces with a cold, sharp knife – then I stir it with flour). Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork, until moistened and dough begins to hold together. Gather dough into a ball.
On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 10-inch circle. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter (or the mouth of a regular drinking glass), cut dough into circles. Prepare pan by coating with extra shortening and a sprinkling of flour on top of that. Press circles into tartlet pan (or a mini cupcake pan). Reroll remaining pastry dough if needed. Prick pastry thoroughly with a fork to prevent puffing.
Bake 5 to 7 minutes, until golden; cool. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, lemon curd and sour cream; blend well. Spoon 1 tablespoon filling in bottom of each tartlet. Top each with fruit. Brush fruit with melted apple jelly (optional). Makes 12 tartlets.
Recommended for: a cool summer treat, making life look harder and more elegant than it actually is, and – as always – impressing the heck out of whoever it is that needs impressing. Or to cover up for a not-so-great entrée. But, you know. Stuff happens. *grin*