The Twelve Days of Tartmas!

On the first day of Tartmas, my true love gave to me, one lemon tart and a partridge in a pear tree

An introduction
Holiday baking always helps get me back in a cooking mood. To freshen things up this year, part of that baking will be tart-themed.

Por quoi?

My one of my best friends Brittany got me a beautiful, nine-inch tart pan as part of my Christmas gift. This particular item was at the top of my Christmas list, since I’ve been finding and bookmarking tart recipes for about a decade now (give or take a few years or so…). Finally, I can make my own.

Hilary Duff: tart ninja (pastry, pre-baking - it's pretty, n'est ce pas?)

If you’re anything like me, then you will have wondered just how it is that tarts come to be. I always thought that tart pans were just like their cake pan cousins, and that you had to find some way to strategically dump out the finished product in a way that didn’t disturb the appearance. In reality, tart pans have a removable bottom. This makes total sense, of course (which is why I didn’t think of it before), and means that my newly beloved tart pan is like a cross between a springform pan and a normal cake pan. Does any of this make sense?

If not, just appreciate the final product.

In honour of my new tart pan, I’ve decided to create 12 different tarts over the upcoming weeks. I will chronicle my choices here, each time accompanied with a line from our favourite sing-songy Christmas story. Don’t roll your eyes at me. I know you secretly love it.

For the first day of Tartmas, I decided to make a refreshing zinger of a dessert: a lemon tart.

Since this is my first time ever making a tart, I didn’t want to get too adventurous and decided that this classic flavour was my best bet. I was ecstatic with how well everything turned out and, would like to shamelessly boast about my uncanny ability to produce a decent tart shell from scratch. I attribute part (okay, most) of my success to Smitten Kitchen’s fabulous “great unshrinkable sweet tart shell.” Any recipe that has such a confident blog post title has got to be good. And it was. Glory.

One thing I will note: tarts are insanely time consuming. Case in point: I spent five hours in the kitchen (/at the dining room table which I transformed into my mixing and rolling station) preparing three desserts. Not even baking them – that couldn’t happen until the next day. I blame the heavy chilling time required of pastry. As in 2 hours after making it (pre-rolling), 30 minutes once moulded in tart pan and about two hours once the tart itself was actually done. Not to mention all the baking, mixing and bowl licking time you also have to throw in.

Moral of the story: T is for tart. T is for time-consuming. But T is also for Totally awesome, which is what this tart was. All is well.

What will the next 11 days have in store? You’ll just have to wait and see…

Recipe: Lemon tart
Since I used a complete copy-cat recipe from Smitten Kitchen and since the instructions are insanely large, I’ve decided to just link to the original. Here’s the great unshrinkable sweet tart recipe and here is the lemon tart link.

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6 thoughts on “The Twelve Days of Tartmas!

  1. What a fun idea! I too wondered about tart pans, and feel kinda silly I didn’t figure out the springform bottom. Now I really need to get a tart pan so I can make delicious holiday tarts too :)

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