Welcome to another edition of DPPL's favorite literary-quarantining-baking series!
This week: we bake the Queen of Hearts' infamous Fruit Tarts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
AND we invite YOU to bake along with us.
“Herald, read the accusation!” said the King.
On this the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and then unrolled the parchment scroll, and read as follows:—
“The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
All on a summer day:
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
And took them quite away!”
“Consider your verdict,” the King said to the jury.
“Not yet, not yet!” the Rabbit hastily interrupted. “There’s a great deal to come before that!”
“Call the first witness,” said the King; and the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and called out, “First witness!”
-Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Chapter 10; Who Stole the Tarts?
During her adventures in Wonderland, Alice rarely stops eating.
Or thinking about eating. Or drinking mysterious potions (twice!).
Alice doesn’t get to eat the Queen of Hearts’ tarts, but she does attend the trial in which the King and Queen attempt to determine who stole the tarts.
Like Alice, I wanted to eat some tarts.
I used this recipe from The Joy of Baking and borrowed a set of miniature tart pans from a friend.
The recipe looked daunting, but the instructions are very detailed and the video is helpful.
I made the pastry cream (or “creme pat” for fans of the Great British Baking Show) a day ahead of time, and the crust dough goes together very quickly.
The tarts were eaten even more quickly.
-I chose blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and peaches for my fruits, and found that the tarts were greatly improved by squeezing some lemon juice on top. Adding something tart like kiwi to the mix might help.
-I don’t own a stand mixer and so used a handheld electric mixer for the dough. This worked very well in the early stages and I finished bringing the mixture together by hand with a rubber spatula.
-Instead of sifting the flour and cornstarch for the pastry cream, I mixed them together and knocked the lumps out with a fork. This was totally adequate.
-I wound up with extra pie crust and pastry cream but didn’t feel like making more small tarts, so I turned the spare dough into pie crust cookies! To make those, I rolled out the dough and cut it into shapes with a knife, then baked them until golden and brushed them with more apricot jam. I ate them with the leftover pastry cream as a dipping sauce, and I do not regret it.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of The Great DPPL Bake-Along.
Check back in two weeks for another delicious installment!