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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Buttermilk Tarts - Outdoor Wednesday



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Walking this angular path began a reverie that led me back to the gardens of my childhood. The homes in that neighborhood sat on small city lots whose gardens were nothing more than rectangular borders that repeated from one house to the next. These beds began with a row of white sweet alyssum that was backed in turn by the tiered support of blue argeratum, gold marigolds and red geraniums. The more creative neighbors managed to insert salvia and snapdragons into the borders and that made the riot of colors even more explosive. Occasionally, there'd be a patch of gem toned cannas, the old Victorian type, that towered over tiny four foot gardeners learning how to weed. To the eyes of a child these gardens were like a box of crayons and gorgeous in the order of their rigid symmetry. They were planted from seed, watered by hand and tended with great care. Buried deep within a woman's genome there must be something that drives the creation of beauty where none exists. These old city gardens were proof of that. They were nursed to life with a dollar's worth of seed in gravel, clay and sand. I've seen lots of gardens and created many of my own but none are as treasured or remembered with such fondness as those of my childhood. It is a tender mercy.



Memories of childhood desserts go hand in hand with those of city gardens. There were puddings and myriad pies of fruit and custard, and every once in a while buttermilk pie, a personal favorite, would appear on the table. The pie, while delicious, is not photogenic, so, I decided to use the buttermilk custard as a base for glazed tarts that look more appetizing. The tarts are covered with a thin layer of fruit preserves to add color and make them sparkle. I really prefer the pie au natural, but if you need eye candy the tarts are a better way to go. Buttermilk pie is the economical precursor to cheesecake. It's bite comes from low-fat buttermilk and sour cream that's been perked up with freshly grated lemon zest. That background flavor that plays on the tongue is cardomom. I love to make this at the height of berry season. It's really creamy and delicious.


Buttermilk Tarts...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
Pastry for a 2 crust pie
4 tablespoons melted butter
3 egg yolks
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Zest of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup sugar
Optional: Fruit glaze

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Roll pastry on a well-floured surface. If making tarts, cut dough to fit 12 4-inch tart pans. If making a pie, cut pastry to fit a 10-inch deep dish pie pan. Set aside.
3) Combine melted butter, egg yolks, buttermilk, sour cream, lemon zest and juice, salt, flour, cardamom and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
4) Pour into pie or tart shells and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Topped cooled pastry with fruit glaze, if using. Yield: 1 10-inch pie or 12 4-inch tarts.

Recipe adapted from Saveur magazine.

I'm sending this to Outdoor Wednesday, an event sponsored by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.

56 comments:

Debinhawaii said...

You tarts are so beautiful--just like little jewels and they sound delicious too. What perfect work!

ellen b said...

I grew up in neighborhoods that had gardens like you describe...no English gardens for sure..but always a joy to see color growing up from the concrete borders...Those tarts are calling to me.

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

these look delicious! I love tarts, butIve never seen them like this with the jelly-like filling They look so much more portable and storable that way than with whole fruits!

Maya said...

Oh, Mary you are such a tease. These look wonderful..., I'm getting bored with my ice creme.

girlichef said...

They are like little jewels...just gorgeous! How do you do it? Daily, even!

the ungourmet said...

I have quite a fondness for pink trees in the spring. I have loved them since I was a girl. Loved reading this!

Your tarts are so pretty!

Kristine said...

Its almost 11:00 and you have made me really hungry looking at your tarts! yummy.

Those flowers are so pretty...my mother used to plant marigolds every year that looked just like that.

Kristine

Ebie said...

The tarts looks so beautiful and very inviting!Its past 11 here now, so I'll pass and save for dessert tomorrow!

recipes2share said...

The tarts are beautiful as are the flowers. Gardening isn't my thing at all, but I enjoy my friends colourful garden, next door!

Ning said...

I don't know why, the food, dishes and desserts from our childhood taste better! :)

Debbie at Mountain Breaths said...

Oh my my, I would love one of your tarts with my coffee!

Katy ~ said...

Gorgeous. Beautiful. I squeal in delight. I must have buttermilk tarts!

Mary, the memory and picture of city gardens...what can I say... I love Wednesdays.

Hootin' Anni said...

I certainly enjoyed your trip back to the neighborhoods of your childhood days. And your vivid description of the canna lilies towering over it all. Great reminiscing...it was like I was there with you walking down the walk.

And the tarts? Well now, let's not make a scene...but, I deMAND one of 'em right now. [kidding]

My Little Space said...

Just simply delicious! Love it.

Becky K. said...

Wonderful looking tarts! I love the pretty colors. Pepperidge Farms make tarts that look like this but I'll bet yours taste better.

Donna-FFW said...

Oh these tarts are just so appealing Mary, absolutely gorgeous. So perfect!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Beautiful tarts Mary. I'd love to sit outside and look at your beautiful garden with you.

Ginger said...

Mary,

Is it ok to be jealous? I mean those tarts are unbelievable. I love the memories of the gardens. Once again, a great blog post!! I don't know how you do it, but I am happy that you do!

Susan said...

Gorgeous garden and yummy tarts!

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I've always admired those who have such organized flower beds, they look so beautiful. Mine are just the opposite, I see a plant I like and buy one, or several, and just plant them where there's room. Not nearly as beautiful, but it fits my personality (don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing).

I love Buttermilk Pie, and like you I prefer them without a topping.

Ann said...

Wow Lovely adn tempting pics. Tart looks so good and yumm

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Very pretty garden and the tarts look so, so yummy! Thanks for sharing.

Christi

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Your words and pictures are poetic and the tarts look divine!!

Katherinellen said...

Mary,
The flowers garden look just beautiful...Mmmm! The tarts looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipes. Great Oudoor post..Smiles and Hugs Kathy

Taste of My Life said...

Beautiful and Good!

the wild raspberry said...

I too have many wonderful garden memories...and those tarts would be a great addition to a garden brunch!
have a lovely day...
chasity

Lynda said...

These are beautiful little tarts, Mary! This reminds me of my Grandmother's buttermilk pie!

oneshotbeyond said...

sensational & so summery looking!

Mary at My New 30 said...

What wonderful memories - I really enjoyed your story, so descriptive and thought provoking! And that photo is gorgeous.

Love the idea of dressing up the buttermilk pie too - great idea!! They look amazing.

Natashya said...

They are so pretty and perfect. I love how they glitter like jewels.

flmom said...

I haven't had buttermilk pie in years - now my mouth is watering. These tarts look sinfully delicious!

debbie said...

Happy Outdoor Wednesday Mary,
beautiful post from the garden to the oven
from the flowers to the beautiful tarts....beautiful
hugs beautiful chef
debbie

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Buttermilk pie ... that takes me back. My aunt taught me to drink buttermilk and I love it to this day. My grandmother was the pie maker and buttermilk pie from her kitchen was divine even without a topping. Very beautiful with topping Mary.

Janie's World said...

The gardens looks good, but the tarts are amazing! I'm going to have to try to make some of those.

Katherinellen said...

Mary,
Had to come back by again...Oh my goodness...a comforter at night...Miss those night. It suppose to cool off to ...guess what Low 90 by this weekends hahaha Maybe I should come see ya...:D Katherinellen

Miller Racing Family said...

The corner flower bed looks wonderful. Oh and the tarts are so pretty, it as though you could reach through the screen and eat them.
I hope you are having a great week!

Brenda said...

What you wrote about women and needing beauty reminded me of a quote I knew I'd seen in a book recently. So I looked it up. It says: "The beautiful is as useful as the useful, perhaps more so." -Victor Hugo
Brenda

Kelly Bergsing said...

What a lovely memory!! I love the flowers. To think that we whine nowadays. Gardening back then must have been even more arduous! My mother makes a buttermilk pie, but... don't tell.... yours looks yummier!! ;0) I like the idea of the fruit. I t would add a little flavor and more eye appeal. Either way, I think I would be happy with any of them!! ;0)

finsmom said...

These are so beautiful and tasty looking! Great photo :)

Ashley ~ said...

The flowers are beautiful, and you're right, they do look like boxes of crayons.....so pretty*!

(((hugs))) _Ashley*

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Mary, you have such a way with words. Love your description of the old flower gardens. We are so spoiled today, aren't we?

Mar said...

Beautiful garden!
Food is seldom photogenic, love your tarts, they look wonderful. There is no buttermilk available in Spain :(
Mar

mbkatc230 said...

These sound wonderful! Buttermilk pie is one of my favorites. By the way, I made your "shiny topped" cobbler this weekend - our daughter and her boyfriend were home from college. It was a MAJOR hit! Thanks! Kathy

Marina Capano said...

wow! so tasty!

xoxo

Crystal said...

Well Mary, I can sure see how that garden would stay in your mind. How beautiful in all their symmetry and beautiful color. I wish I had that kind of gardening patience.
Your tarts look scrumptious. I will have to give them a try.
Thanks for stopping by to visit and leaving your sweet comment.
You must stop back again. I like to meet new friends.
Crystal

CurtissAnn said...

A profound thought: that there must be a genome within woman that has her create beauty where none exists. I have that gene, but what I need now is the gene that compels me to cook. :)

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Mary, I am going to try these out, and I will let you know how I do with them. I am going to make some for the 4th of July celebration. The garden was so beautiful. I could smell the fragrance from the garden. I can see myself as a child walking on the concrete edge around the garden of Grandmas house. You had to run real quick to make sure you didn't get stung by a bee. Thanks so much for sharing, and thank you for stopping by Country Wings in Phoenix. I will be stopping by again for sure. Loved the pics. "Country Hugs," Sherry

Mary said...

CurtissAnne, You really made me chuckle. The gene activates when you get really, really hungry.

mel said...

That was a sweet post. I love when I remember something from my childhood that vividly. The tarts look yummy! Happy OW.

CailinMarie said...

mmmm... you always have the yummiest looking things! I will not even pretend that I'm going to try to make tarts! I did get as far as chocolate chip cookies today *grin*
Have a beautiful day!

Michelle said...

Mary-I just want to come for dinner, breakfast, lunch, desert, tea....anything I'm so tired and would love to have someone cook for me...it all looks so delicous...

Lori said...

Cut and paste- I am so making these. I was just thinking that on one of these cool days I need to make tart shells for those hot summer days and fresh fruits. On that day I am making a couple of these. YUM

Marta said...

Oh wow! What a gorgeous tart!!! foods charged with childhood memories just taste better :)
I stopped in my tracks when I read "butermilk and cardamom": two of my favourite ingredients!
Thanks for this recipe!

once in a blue moon... said...

dang these look good... and gorgeous pic~

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Your little tarts sparkle! They look delicious. I love cardamom.

Laurance said...

This is so beautiful.I love it.

Merry

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