I had such high aspirations for this tart. I was going to make two different tarts - one for me to take to work and one for Jack to take to work. I wanted to make the classic version with strawberries and blueberries and then a tropical take with a coconut rum pastry cream and kiwis, papaya, and mango. I hit up the fruit stand and $15 later, I walked away with two pints each of strawberries and blueberries, a mango, a papaya, and four kiwis.
Have I mentioned that I love NYC fruit stands?
Because I think I'm so super good at baking, I decided to double everything up at the same time. I put together two separate pots with the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks whisked together. In one 2-cup measuring cup, I poured in 2 cups of whole milk for the plain tart. In the other, I pour in 1 1/4 cups whole milk and 3/4 cup coconut milk for the tropical tart. Of course, I then realize I don't have a third (and a fourth) heavy bottomed saucepan to boil the milk. So what do I do? I decide to heat the milk up in the microwave.
This is where I should have known it was all going to go downhill. Strike one.
The milk didn't heat up. I remember that I had a third saucepan that I rarely use because liquids take forever to come to a boil, but I had no other option. I poured one of the glasses of milk in and turned on the burner. I didn't think anything of the fact that the milk wasn't boiling due to the non-boiling properties of said pot, until, of course, the kitchen began to smell of burnt eggs. Why did it smell like burnt eggs, you ask? Because I lit the wrong burner and cooked one of my two egg/cornstarch/sugar mixtures.
I cracked open 6 more eggs (leaving me with a total of 18 egg whites to make lots of my crappy, epic fail macarons with) and made more of the mixture.
Finally, I finished my two pastry creams (the second of which - the coconut rum version - I slightly overcooked because I left the heat on medium high as I thickened the pastry cream, but saved before it turned to scrambled eggs. Also, I couldn't taste any coconut or rum when it was finished - strike two and three-quarters), and began to slice my fruits.
First, I took out the kiwis. They felt slightly hard, but I convinced myself it was due to the slightly freezing temperatures in New York City today (seriously, May, what's going on?). Nope. Unripe. Mangoes? Beautifully golden and red on the outside? Unripe. Papaya? Well... I hate papaya. It always looks so delicious and juicy, but really just tastes like feet.
Finally, I baked my first tart shell to a beautiful golden brown. I put that to the side, washed out my tart pan, and pressed in the second dough.
Fifteen minutes later, I looked at the clock timer, which I never set. Great, I thought. A burnt tart dough. Strike three and three quarters. I'm so bad, I'm over-striking out.
I approximated that I put the tart in roughly 12 minutes earlier, so I set the timer for 13 more minutes. 12 minutes later, I worried about the tart that I thought was burning in the oven, so I ran to the oven door and whipped it open, apprehensive that I would be greeted by a dark brown, crumbly mess. Instead, I was greeted by... an empty oven.
I looked around, utterly confused. Did I take the tart out of the oven? I checked the kitchen counter. No tart there. I opened the oven again, thinking I missed it. Empty.
I was seriously stunned. "Jack," I yelled out. "Did you eat my tart shell?"
"What?" he asked, confused?
"Did you take my tart shell out of the oven and eat it?"
"Yes," he answered sarcastically. "Because that's what I do. Eat hot tart shells straight from the oven."
A lightbulb went off. I never put the tart in! I placed it in the freezer to firm up the dough a bit after pressing it into the pan. I laughed to myself. Typical Teanna.
So no tropical fruit tart for me. Nor was this a quick tart by any means. In fact, it took me two hours of frustration and confusion, but all for my own faults. I'm sure that this tart is very quick. And easy. But I can assure you, it's really tasty. A great summer tart to make in a pinch.
Unless you're me, of course.
Check out Cooking with Christine for the recipe and don't forget to check out the rest of TWD for more tarts!