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Cook the Book Fridays – August Recipes


Happy Cook the Book Friday Tuesday! My daughter is back to school, so I hope to be back to more regular blogging, at least for now. The next few months will be pretty hectic for my family, so my blogging may be sporadic for the rest of the year. I’m OK with that, but I hope to keep up with my Cook the Book Fridays cooking. We do have to eat after all!

The last couple of weeks I have struggled to get it together enough to make consistently decent meals. I blame the change in our after school schedule. Last week was particularly bad. I have always been a meal planner (I usually plan a week at a time), but last week I just didn’t plan well. I failed to fully appreciate just how little time I would have to cook on Wednesdays now, so I resorted to a box of tomato soup. Also, two of my planned meals relied on cherry tomatoes from the garden, but the tomatoes did not cooperate, so I had to wait until I had enough. Hence this late post for the the Cherry Tomato Crostini.

Before we talk about the crostini, let’s discuss the first CtBF recipe for August:

Apricot Crumble Tart


Apricot Crumble Tart is a wonderful recipe! I loved the technique for making the pastry dough; it was more like making a cookie dough than pastry. And the crumble topping is fantastic! I have a fondness for crumble toppings, and this one may be the best I have ever had.

Rather than making a giant tart, I used my 6″ springform pan. I used half the pastry dough and froze the rest. I cut the filling and crumble topping parts of the recipe in half. It worked out perfectly!

That photo up there of my apricot tart looks delicious, doesn’t it? Well, it wasn’t. My apricots were not very good, and they were super tart, ruining the rest of the dessert. My Mom had good luck making the tart with peaches, so I took the extra pastry dough out of the freezer and remade the tart with peaches. Much better!


I may just make this with peaches from now on.

Cherry Tomato Crostini with Homemade Herbed Goat Cheese


Cherry Tomato Crostini with Homemade Herbed Goat Cheese it a great way to celebrate the best of summer tomatoes.

The cherry tomatoes were roasted simply with olive oil, garlic, herbs (I used rosemary and thyme), salt, and pepper. I allowed them to sit for most of the day to concentrate the flavors.

The homemade herbed goat cheese was fun to make! I found a wonderful, semi-locally made, whole goat yogurt that was thick and creamy. After draining it for 24 hours to thicken it even further, I mixed in herbs (chives, thyme, and basil), minced shallot, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt. The result was delicious!

The combination of flavors here is fantastic. The sweet, rich tomatoes, against the piquant goat cheese was delicious. I was very impressed by the homemade goat cheese. It was good on it’s own, and I even scrambled a couple of tablespoons with eggs to make a tasty breakfast.

All in all, August was a delicious month! September looks like it will be pretty good too. If you would like to join in the fun, check out the September recipes: September Schedule.



Filed under Cooking

Bouchon Bakery Challenge: Apricot Flan Tart

Blueberry Flan Tartlette

I am finally getting around to writing about August’s Bouchon Bakery Challenge here in early September.  The recipe I chose was Apricot Flan Tart, which can be found on page 141 of the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook.

Astute readers will notice that the pictures don’t quite look like an Apricot Flan Tart.  Instead, they look more like Blueberry Flan Tartlettes.  It turns out apricots are not longer available in August (I had never really paid attention before), so I decided to try blueberries instead.  Also, the tart as written is very large, so I cut the recipe in half and made three smaller tarts.

English Muffin Rings

English Muffin Rings

The recipe has you use a cake ring instead of a tart pan.  I don’t own any cake rings, but I found that my English muffin rings were the right height when I stacked them up one on top of the other.  It was a little tricky getting the Pâte Brisée dough into the rings, but otherwise they worked well.

Pâte Brisée in the rings

Pâte Brisée in the rings

The Pâte Brisée used an interesting technique that I had never seen before.  To start, half the flour is placed in the bowl of a stand mixer.  The butter is added a bit at a time, and then thoroughly blended in.  Next, the rest of the flour is added and mixed just until combined.  Finally, a bit of ice water is added and mixed until incorporated.  The result was a very smooth dough that was easy to work with and had a very nice texture when baked.

I loved the custard filling, and it tasted great with the Pâte Brisée and blueberries.  The custard makes use of Bird’s custard powder, which I found at World Market.  Vanilla bean seeds are added for extra flavor.

Blueberry Flan Tart

These little tarts were delicious!  We all loved them.  My husband liked that they were not too sweet, and we both felt like the blueberries tasted better than apricots would with the custard filling.  I would like to try the full-size tart some time.

Recipe Notes

  • By cutting the recipe in half and making three small tarts instead of one large tart, I had to play around with the baking times.  For the crust, I baked it a total of 10 – 20 minutes less than the time recommended for the larger tart.  The filled tart was baked for 1 hour 10 minutes, rather than the suggested 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes.  I felt like I overcooked the custard filling a bit, so next time I would bake it for only 1 hour (if I were making small tarts again).


Altitude Adjustments

No adjustments were needed for this recipe.

Next Month

We’re making progress!  There are only 3 chapters left that I have not made something from.  We’ll tackle something from the Cookies chapter in September:  TKOs (page 40).  I will share my results with you near September 24th (hopefully!).

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Filed under Cooking