TWD: when the pig went to prom


***All pictures are a little screwy.  I dropped my camera on Christmas morning and, until it gets repaired, I am using our mac to take these pictures.

Normally, I don’t crack under pressure.  I can speak in front of large groups and generally perform better on tests than my intelligence would suggest.  But this week?  Crackedy crack cracked.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I really don’t think Dorie is going to read my blog.  We are up to about 8000 TWD’ers. I am a weekly baker and I can’t even begin to read everyone’s blog.   But still, since Ms Greenspan herself chose the recipe, the French Pear Tart, I wanted it to be a smashing success.

Shall we recount my errors one by freaking one?  Yes, let’s.

1)       BLANCHED almonds: For the love of Mike, you should start with the correct ingredients.  If you read this blog, you know I am not so much a fan of nuts.  When you don’t care for something you don’t pay attention to its particulars.  I completely bypassed the word blanched in front of the almonds.  I frankly wouldn’t have known what it meant if I had read it.  We already had a ginormous jar of dry roasted almonds – looked good to me.  I whirled those babies in the food processor into a lovely crumb.  A very dark speckly crumb.  I probably would have spent all day Tuesday wondering why mine looked so different from everyone else’s.  But, I checked out Nick Malgieri’s ” A Baker’s Tour” yesterday and read about blanched almonds while my cream was chilling.  D’oh.  When my mom first saw the tart she asked if it was made with peanut butter.  Not the reaction I was looking for.


Is it more ominous in black and white?  It’s backwards cuz of the computer…

2)       Sliced pears are not pear halves.  You would think that, after having earned two post secondary degrees, I would be able to read.  You would be wrong.  When you start with pear slices you can’t do the fancy crosswise cut and design.  I think I took the “spokes” direction to a new level.  (and hell, yes, I went with the canned.  When a shortcut is given the stamp of approval, I am there.)


3)       I made half the recipe.  I still used a food processor for the cream which was a mistake.  There wasn’t enough to get mixed well.  My blade kept missing the cream which just created more work for me.  I stuck it in the fridge for awhile and this is what I got.  I had to let it sit on my warm stove to soften before I could spread it.


4)       I dutifully made my tart dough in the morning and popped it in the freezer.  Love that tart dough.   The most extraordinary french lemon cream tart was the very first TWD recipe I made (my official blog came the next week with the disastrous marshmallows, but we won’t go there).  Good thing it had ample freezing time as I, of course, forgot the foil covering.


BUT, and here is the good news, the tart was awesome!  Despite my tenacious attempts to ruin it (or at least take rustic to a new level), the tart prevailed.  I can handle almond flavor when there are not huge chunks of almond in my way.  I would absolutely make this again and may try it with cherries next summer.

So, big thanks to Dorie for choosing a recipe even an idiot could conquer and for the book in general.

Next week: Savory corn and pepper muffins, which sound awesome to me!

PS  There was a lot of discussion on the P & Q as to pan size, etc.  I halved the recipe and baked it in a 6 inch springform.  I thought the amount of dough and cream worked perfectly.  I prebaked for 10 minutes and baked again for approx. 35-38 minutes ( I lost track).


25 responses to “TWD: when the pig went to prom

  1. I know by now to finish whatever I am in the middle of drinking before clicking on your link, because your titles alone slay me week after week. I think the pig cleaned up nicely! I used unblanched almonds for my first tart — but I knew I was doing it — I started to blanch them myself and then said “screw that! Brown flecks add character!” And I think the pear slices worked out perfectly on your tart! I bought pear halves but messed it up anyway. I do loves me a recipe that can withstand my efforts to ruin it, and this is definitely one of them! Yours looks great — so glad that you enjoyed it!

  2. This recipe is strong, but my antifreeze flavoring pretty much killed it. Although to me it just tasted boozy, to my husband and daughter it was chemical-y. I think your tart looks lovely, and I know it was fabulous.

    I’ve used unblanched almonds plenty of times. You can buy them blanched, and even preground sometimes. I can’t see myself ever blanching almonds in my kitchen.

    Sorry about your camera, although the computer pictures have a certain (reverse) charm! I’ve dropped many a camera in my day and finally started buying cameras from a shop that sold an extended warranty that included damage from dropping!

  3. I have the exact same jar of almonds in my fridge (David eats them). You and I have more in common than I thought, because recipes with nuts in them make us nervous!

    All said, though, this was good, but I won’t go out of my way to make it again.

    BTW – love the mac photos,very impressive!

  4. Its perfect! I love the pear slices. Great job. 🙂

  5. Im glad you liked the taste. I thought it was a great tart!

  6. Good post, and your tart looks so good!

  7. I totally freaked out this morning before making this tart- it was like taking a math test (cringe, hate math) with the teacher standing directly over your desk. But this tart is fool proof. I guess Dorie was really looking out for us on this one.

  8. Ooh. I’m sorry about your camera! Hopefully you can get it repaired soon. This tart was very yummy. I liked it!

  9. You know, I htink it looks really tasty and nice. I loved reading about the adventures…each week it is such fun to hear everyone’s discoveries, etc. in the kitchen. Makes me want to try anything feeling that I have all this great company cooking along and everyone has things go how they least expected them to go.

  10. I’m sorry you had such problems with the recipe but I have to say this post made me laugh so hard! Your tart ended up pretty nice from what I can see, thank goodness you didn’t giving up! 🙂

  11. Ominous Almonds!!! FUNNY!! No matter your problems, the tart still looks great. Brown specks add character.

  12. Now, just think — if it had all gone perfectly it would have been a boring story. This is so much better! And, as for the almonds, I used unblanched by choice. It doesn’t matter in the end. Dorie may come around, and I’m sure she will only have kind things to say about your tart.

  13. Your tart looks fabulous! I wish my “mistakes” turned out half this well! I like the cherry idea and am even thinking about apricot (also very French).

  14. Nice! Score one more for Dorie’s indestructible recipes! I almost fanned my pear slices out (because the instructions baffled me) and I still think it’s a lovely tart design. Yours looks great.

  15. It did taste fabulous, didn’t it?

  16. Glad it turned out! This one was pretty tasty.

  17. I agree with Judy, I just realized mine were unblanched and I don’t think it really mattered!

    Your tart looks great! This recipe’s a keeper!

  18. wow, i can’t believe you took those pics with your mac! very resourceful 🙂 i’m glad the recipe still worked, looks like it turned out great 🙂

  19. You know, perfection is overrated. “What tastes good is good” is my motto!

  20. I just really love when I get the chance to finally read your blog! I feel like you are just telling it like it is and not trying to dress anything up. It’s great!! Anyway, I think you did a fantastic job on the tart. I am looking forward to actually trying it soon.

  21. I did the same thing and ground regular almonds into a grainy mess. I also bought pear slices but ended up going to the store for pear halves because I had to buy what seemed like my hundredth pound of butter since joining TWD!

  22. Sorry about your camera, but your tart looks great!

  23. LMAO I mess up each and every recipe I make for lack of reading skills, so don’t feel bad. I am glad it turned out regardless of your attempts to sabotage yourself :}

  24. I’m glad the tart turned out good in the end. =) And I hope your camera is fixed soon.

  25. Just found your site. The tart sounds great but where is the recipe? Went back through all the recipes and the double custard looks so good. Hubby is a custard freak so will try that one tomorrow.

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