Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Arts and Tarts

Every time someone in my family visits my brother in France, the first question we ask is, "Did you get a tart?" They are the best treat, and we all crave them here in the States! Martha Stewart featured this recipe in her July issue and I thought it looked like it might be close to our favorites!
The strawberry one looked rustic and authentic. It was super easy, too! The recipe makes two tarts.

Strawberry Tarts

8 oz. butter, softened
1 c. plus 2 T. confectioners' sugar
2 large egg yolks, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 pints (six cups) strawberries, hulled
3 c. strawberry preserves

1. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add yolks, and beat until just incorporated. Add flour and salt, and beat until just incorporated. Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
2. Roll out each disk into an 11-in round on a lightly floured surface. Fit each round into the bottoms and up the sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan. Prick the bottoms of dough with a fork, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush crusts with egg wash. Bake, pressing down crusts if they start to bubble until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely, and remove from pans.
4. Trim strawberries to about the same height. Heat preserves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until loose. Strain through a fine sieve. you will have about 1 c. solids. Spread 1/2 c. solids over bottom of each tart. Arrange strawberries in a single layer over the top, placing cut sides down. Brush strawberries with just enough warm glaze to make berries shiny. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.
*Can decorate the top with blueberries or other berries too!

This one seems sort of patriotic... I think everyone liked the blueberries. It was gone first!
I think we've found our copy-cat recipe! I'm going to try it out on my brother's family when they are here next week! They can be the judges...except they get to go back to France in a month and have all the real ones they want!
Now for the art: I always aspire to come up with awesome art projects for the kids, but somehow always end up with just crayons and coloring books. Today I discovered we have way to0 many crayons, so I googled "melted crayon projects". I found this cool site and away we went!

Ripping off the paper...

Lining them up in the pan...

Heated in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Then cooled slightly and cut with cookie cutters.

I had the kids draw backgrounds for the crayon shapes while they cooled.

Look closely and you'll see a yellow snowman, a brown house, a yellow brick road, rain clouds, and maybe even some pink bubble gum. McClain took to draw his background and was so concerned that he included all of his ideas. It was comical!

Carson is our quick jottin' artist. A few lines, zig-zags, and curly-q's and he was ready to go!

Cloe's little field was green with grass for the butterflies, brown with dirt for the flowers, and had a super happy little sunshine!

The three happy amigos!

Nothing beats a sweet little hand holding it's newest creation!


une autre mère said...

I LOVE that craft idea! We will definitely be doing that at our house soon! Do you think they would work as magnets?

Thanks for the idea! We're always struggling around here too to find a craft that little ones can actually do themselves!

peter marie said...

WAY cool!! I think we'll be trying that this week....

Another really fun melted crayon project:

take crayons and use a hand held pencil sharpener to make little shavings of all diff colors. Take a sheet of wax paper and fold in half, unfold it and put all the shavings on one side. Fold the paper back over and fold up the other 3 sides to keep the wax from melting out. Take a sheet of white paper, place on top, take your iron on medium heat and gently run over the paper until it's all melted. Then cut out cute shapes, put on a string and hang in the windows! It's super cute. You've probably totally done this before, haven't you. You probably were reading this whole thing thinking, Duh, Abby, everyone knows this one! :)