friday feast: ♥ true love in three acts ♥

“You must always be awaggle with love.” ~ D.H. Lawrence

Nibble on a jam sandwich (dare to disturb the universe).

~ With advance apologies to Tea S. Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Brewing and William Shakespour.

*

1. To tart or not to tart, that is the question.

Reasons for not making fruit tarts:

  • Pesky little tart pans
  • Stirring vanilla cream in nippy kitchen
  • Finicky pastry dough
  • Locate pretty fruit in the dead of winter? Oh, come on.

Reasons for making fruit tarts:

  • Len loves them. Cornelius loves them. I love them. What person in their right mind doesn’t love them?
  • It’s Valentine’s Day.
  • Beloved blog readers might be impressed that an adorable a self-sacrificing writer stood in an icy kitchen for hours some minutes stirring, stirring the vanilla cream and whipping finicky pastry dough into shape after walking flying to Chile to pick fresh berries.
  • Good excuse to buy a new tartlet baking set.
The baking set comes with a 12-well non-stick tartlet pan, a dough cutter and a tamper.
Handsome assistant demonstrates use of tamper.

In the room the women come and go,
Talking of rolling pie dough.

*   *   *

2. How do I love thee? Let me count the teas.

TEA
by Carol Ann Duffy

I like pouring your tea, lifting
the heavy pot, and tipping it up,
so the fragrant liquid streams in your china cup.

Or when you’re away, or at work,
I like to think of your cupped hands as you sip,
as you sip, of the faint half-smile of your lips.

I like the questions — sugar? — milk? —
and the answers I don’t know by heart, yet,
for I see your soul in your eyes, and I forget.

Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam, Earl Grey, Ceylon,
I love tea’s names. Which tea would you like? I say
but it’s any tea for you, please, any time of day,
as the women harvest the slopes
for the sweetest leaves, on Mount Wu-Yi,
and I am your lover, smitten, straining your tea.

~ from Rapture (Faber & Faber, 2013)

*

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the elevenses, highs, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with teaspoons.

*   *   *

3. All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely eaters.

Reasons you must make these fruit tarts:

  • Fear not the finicky pastry crust. Refrigerated pie dough is happy to oblige.
  • My sister Sylvia’s vanilla cream filling is to die for. After using some of the recipe to fill the tartlet shells, we lapped up the rest like crazy kitties.
  • Chile is nice this time of year.
  • The tartlet baking set is fun and easy to use, and the little tartlets are so dang cute.
  • You and whomever you share these tarts with will instantly wax poetic.

*   *   *

FRUIT TARTS IN THREE PART HARMONY

Crust:

Use your favorite pie crust recipe, or purchase refrigerated pie dough. Roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thickness and cut rounds to fit the size of the tart pan(s) you are using. I made Sylvia’s tart shell recipe, pre-baked the shells, then let them cool thoroughly before filling.

Tip: Chilling the dough in the tart pan(s) for at least 30 minutes before baking and using pie weights will inhibit shrinking and keep the dough from puffing up too much while baking.

* Read some of the reviews for more tips if you’re considering the tartlet baking set.

*

Vanilla Cream Filling

(for 8″ pie, 11″ fruit tart, or about two dozen mini-tarts)

½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vanilla

1. Stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a sauce pan.

2. Blend egg yolks and milk together and gradually stir into sugar mixture.

3. Cook over medium heat , stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens.

4.  Boil and stir for one minute.

5. Remove from heat, blend in butter and vanilla.

6. For fruit tart, pour into bowl and cover with waxed paper or parchment.

7. Refrigerate until at room temperature.

8. When ready, spoon into pre-baked tart(let) shells.

Tip: Filling may be made a day ahead.

*

Fruit Topping

Carefully place your choice of fruit(s) atop the cream layer. Brush fruit with a little melted currant jelly or dust with powdered sugar.

Serve at least 3 tartlets to your loved ones, and expect at least three hugs and three kisses in return.

*

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the tarts, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the raspberry with a smile,
To have squeezed the pastry into a ball,
To roll it just for one moment of rapturous consumption?

You betcha.

*   *   *

poetryfriday180The always lovely, ever-so-kind and multi-talented Linda Baie is hosting this week’s Roundup at TeacherDance. Please take her three cups of tea and three fruit tarts and enjoy all the delicious poetry being served up in the blogosphere today.

In the room, the poets come and go
Talking of Hopkins, Cummings and Rimbaud.

Another for the road?
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!

*   *   *

wkendcookingiconThis post is being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts.

 

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Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

87 thoughts on “friday feast: ♥ true love in three acts ♥

    1. Thanks, Jill. China and crockery are my big weaknesses, an obsession that started when I lived in England. Glad you enjoy seeing some of my pieces.:)

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  1. I will never pour tea for my husband without thinking of Carol Ann Duffy’s poem- how lovely and sensuous! The tarts look divine. I noticed the full TBS of vanilla in the cream. No wonder it’s delicious. I usually add more vanilla than most recipes ask for, so I know I’ll love this one. And I love that the tartlet pan comes with a little tamper- perfect! Happy Valentine’s Day, Jama- and thank you for your ever sweet and satisfying posts!

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    1. I had to double check with Sylvia about the vanilla. Yes, a full tablespoon is correct. I actually only used a teaspoon, but will experiment with more vanilla next time.:)

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  2. A Valentine to your readers! Fun and sweet and lovely! The photos alone make me glad I got married on this dayof hearts and tartlets, despite the snow then (and today). You must have a Welsh cupboard full of dishes and teacups and little teapots! I love your new banner and the robin’s egg blue side panels. The same color of the tea-for-one set I got Frank as a present. He is smitten with cream Earl Grey and the ritual of brewing real tea.

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    1. I do love robin’s egg blue and remember my mother having a set of melamine dishes in this color. I’m impressed that Frank enjoys and appreciates the rituals of tea. Len likes to drink it occasionally but doesn’t get excited about all the trappings.

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  3. What a delicious feast, Jama – those tarts look delicious. And I am in love with these lines:
    “and the answers I don’t know by heart, yet,
    for I see your soul in your eyes, and I forget.”

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    1. I found those lines interesting too — revealing perhaps the newness of this love relationship. Married people would know whether their spouses like sugar and milk. “See your soul in your eyes” is definitely romantic!

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  4. I am waiting for those tarts, Jama! Each of those words you slipped into your post made me even hungrier, but that first, D.H. Lawrence wanted to be ‘awaggling’ with love, that will stay with me. I love Carol Ann Duffy’s Tea, such a love wrapped up so beautifully! And of course, thanks for the recipe-yum!

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    1. Help yourself to another tart or two, Linda. “Awaggle” is definitely a fun and new word that I’ll try to incorporate in my everyday speech from now on.:)

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  5. I want tarts. Now. This was such a poetic and lovely post for my morning, though I’ve just had coffee cake and a Grande at Starbucks… not the same.

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  6. Jama, your tarlet pan looks like the one my daughter used yesterday. She made homemade chocolates for her boyfriend (borrowing a Japanese tradition). Any holiday that involves making and sharing sweets gets my vote. Your tartlets look delicious.

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  7. You’ve made me want to run out and buy that cute little tartlet set. Happy Valentine’s Day, and thanks for the delicious post.

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    1. I couldn’t resist the set when I saw it. I’d refused to make tarts all these years because of the hassle of fiddling with those individual little pans. But this non-stick tray makes things so much easier, and you can cut the pastry to fit.

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  8. Hooray for Carol Ann Duffy gracing the American webwaves! and nothing goes better with tea than delicate vanilla-scented fruit tartlets. Your post is so delicious it’s near enough for me to actually eating them. : )

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  9. That little tartlet set makes it look almost easy! It’s the cream filling that would have me in a dither. Stir, stir, stir and don’t let it burn!

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    1. The filling takes a little patience but otherwise it’s not hard. Definitely worth the time invested — I do love puddings in general and would make the recipe to eat by itself.

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  10. Jama, my dear, I promise not to eat all the tarts, but can I just have a tour of your kitchen? All of your wonderful baking bobbles, tools and treasures? And surround myself for a while with your delightful dishes? And can I get a kiss from Mr. Cornelius too? It is Valentine’s Day afterall.

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    1. You’re welcome anytime, though Cornelius says he’s feeling a little shy today about kissing married women. Don’t know what’s gotten into him.:)

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    1. Hope you enjoy them! Note that the amount of vanilla in the filling can be adjusted according to taste. I actually only used a teaspoon and it was enough for me, though I’ll experiment with 2 tsp next time.

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  11. Delightful post, and lovely tarts, but I’m breaking out the brand new ramekins (I’ve never made anything in a ramekin!) for some molten chocolate goodness for Jack and Jackson (who turns 16 tomorrow, so a double celebration). Fingers crossed that they’re as tasty as your tarts (I know they couldn’t possibly be as beautiful!).

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    1. I’ve always wanted ramekins (next on my list)! Swooning over the thought of molten chocolate. J & J will be so happy!! Happy Birthday to Jackson!

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  12. I can always count on your posts putting a smile on my face and a song in my heart. You, Jama, have a gift. Those tarts look delicious. Happy Valentine’s Day you wonderful person.

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    1. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Margie — hope it was lovely and warm and cozy. Can’t believe the snow everyone’s getting this winter. Enjoy the long weekend!

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  13. Now that is one PERFECT way to spend Valentine’s Day. I shared TS Eliot a few days earlier, there’s this beautiful audio clip of him reading The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock. So haunting. In my next lifetime, I would want to have your skills as a kitchen goddess.

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  14. Tart-rific, Jama! You make my mouth water for tarts, and I don’t usually like them! And your advanced apologies to “Tea S. Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Brewing and William Shakespour” are unnecessary. Too funny…<3

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  15. A thoroughly delectable post! I haven’t been baking much lately, and your mini-tarts are an inspiration. And Duffy’s poem is a perfect choice for Valentine’s Day. I love the image of this smitten tea-pourer imagining her lover smiling faintly as he sips his tea. Thanks for sharing, Jama!

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  16. When I read your post title, I was thinking the three acts could have been breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

    The tartlets look yummy, but lazy me will make do with the jam sandwiches!

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  17. Oh, Jama–I think I am going to have to try this recipe today! I *love* this post–so perfect for Valentine’s Day weekend! Thank you for the inspiration!

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  18. If only every tartlet pan could come with such a dashing assistant! Thanks for sharing such a feast of poetry and pictures with your adoring fans.

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    1. The dashing assistant helped as much making the tarts as eating them. He has ulterior motives, but mostly behaves himself most of the time.:)

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    1. Had fun with the new tart pan, and was thinking of using your quiche recipe to make little quiche tartlets. We love Quiche Doraine over here:).

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    1. The tartlet baking set makes things so much easier. I imagine they must have something similar for full size tarts too. People have had good luck with things like little pumpkin pies, etc., which doesn’t require pre-baking the shells. Next on my list.:)

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