i asked my husband over the long weekend an unthinkable question. more unthinkable was that i asked it in front of my mother and my aunt, both of whom spend their fair share of time in the kitchen: “do you think i’m a better baker, or a better cook?” my husband, some might say wisely, suggested that i am well equipped in both. not the answer i wanted, though. my aunt suggested that i was fishing, and maybe i was. but, i also truly wanted to know whether i was better at that which came naturally (cooking), or that which i didn’t really care to do until i started baking cakes about two years ago.
from the cakes, which were mostly done in a ten week series of birthdays (seven birthdays, plus additional parties), i moved to cookies. and then to loaves and muffins. and i’ve started to do breads and cheesecakes and squares. but, really, my heart lies with cookies and cakes. pies, rarely. and no, i don’t quite know the different between a pie and a tart. not really.
but, i baked a tart last week. and then another on sunday. and another one yesterday. i think this summer will be the summer of the tart.* but, not necessarily the pie.
the lemon tart, from deb of smitten kitchen, is absolutely sublime. and NO, you do not need to add fruit to it. but, if you are going to, please make sure it’s not wet. because the raspberries up there in that photo were fine. the strawberries in the sunday tart? not so much. i suspect berries that are contained within their skin make for more successful fillings.
the changes that i made to deb’s recipe were minute enough that you best read her work. it’s splendid and completely worthwhile. for mother’s day. or a rainy sunday. or any old day.
on that note, i promise you a recipe for tart aux fraises in the next few days, on which is rich, but also sweet and not too dense. an anyday tart, as it were. PROMISE.
*which is obvious, since tarts don’t require a particularly pain-staking amount of effort.