Monday, November 10, 2008

"Easy" Tart Crust

You know that night, oh, two weeks ago when I botched the chocolate chip cookies almost beyond saving? Well it seems my culinary fiascos for that night weren't over. Making a quiche from scratch had been on my mind ever since reading this post. So after Eric and Mark went home, I pulled up Martha Stewart's "easy" tart crust on my computer and set to work.
Is "easy" some sort of marketing tool that Martha and her staff of editors and formally trained chefs use to lure in unsuspecting victims who start a recipe and then realize that in no way will it turn out successfully thus forcing them to glean every closer to Martha's "simple" instructions for entertaining? Or is it just me? Sure the recipe seems easy at a glance: there are four ingredients that surly everybody has on hand (water, butter, flour and salt). Below is an example of where things went wrong for me:

This is the food processor given to me by my sisters two years ago. Clearly, we have a problem. Study this photo below:

I knew as I was dumping in my 3 cups of flour and 1 cup of ice cold butter that the .00001-horsepowered propeller in this kitchen appliance was not going to cut it (pun intended). Left at a standstill (literally), I did what every self-respecting home cook would do: I hid the flour-butter combo in the back of the fridge promising to follow through later that week.

But as my food supply dwindled for the week, the bowl of flour and butter became more prominent. Every time I opened the fridge it called to me; I responded by slamming the door in its face ... up until two nights ago when the tart recipe and I faced off. The game so far is Tart-1, Lainey-0. Even my culinary improvising couldn't save me, but it is not over yet.

I think the problem arose when my food processor overheated and melted what was supposed to by very cold butter, resulting in a mixture not at all resembling dough (as evidenced in the first photo). Instead, I will buy a tart crust from the store (which is probably a good idea since I don't own a pastry pan or a food processor of the proper size to deal with this sort of thing), and I will make something entirely new from the creamy, buttery floury substance now occupying a conspicuous space in an already crowded refrigerator. I'm thinking shortbread.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Yes, shortbread! I'm about to make a post to chronicle my journey into shortbread making.
This post is hilarious, and disheartening - the food processor. : ( How sad. I'm sure mine wouldn't be up to the task, either. I like how you hid it in the fridge but it slowly came out of hiding to confront you. I completely understand.
I haven't yet planned a foray into tart making, though it's crossed my mind. I'm waiting until I get the tart pan, I hadn't even thought about the food processor. Mayhaps I should wait until I can find a better food processor, too.