I'd made the side trip to Williams Sonoma in search of mini tart shells and emerged without having to take out a second mortgage.
And a second stop at the grocery to pick up the two ingredients I didn't have in-house.
I'd sliced the endive, peeled and cubed the pears, crumbled the stilton, melted the butter.
And then I tried preheating the oven. Beep. Beep. Beep. Error message F7. And then the touchpad stopped responding altogether.
A little internet research and a couple of phone calls later, I've got an appointment scheduled with GE's service department for Friday afternoon. In the scheme of things, that's a pretty quick turnaround. But unless I can come up with a Plan B, I'm going to miss the deadline for Hay Hay Donna Day #5: The Savory Tart, hosted by Tami of Running with Tweezers.
Fortunately for our heroine, John's parents love me (or took pity on me, or both) -- and their oven functions fine. So I pack up my puff pastry, my brand-spanking-new tart shells and my now-plenty-cool tart filling and head south on 680.
Two hours later, I'm quite pleased with my trans-bay area effort. The tarts are a delightful combination of savory-sweet and perched atop some honey-cumin vinaigrette coated greens, they make a satisfying early fall lunch. The curry turned the pastry an eye-catching and autumn-appropriate yellow.
And now, without further adieu, the recipe (based loosely on this one I found on epicurious.com):
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 heads Belgian endive, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
1 cup roasted spring onions, chopped
3 cloves roasted garlic, diced
1 teaspoon curry powder
8-10 pears, peeled, cored, coarsely chopped The recipe as published called for three large pears. The pears in my CSA box were itty-bitty -- but quite tasty. I peeled, cored and chopped a full cup.
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar I used 1/2 tablespoon each balsamic vinegar and red wine.
1 17 1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed )
1 cup crumbled Stilton cheese (give or take) I used a hunk of leftover blueberry studded stilton.
I followed the published instructions for the filling: Melt butter & olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add endive, onions, garlic and curry; saute until endive is golden, about 8 minutes. Add pears, vinegar & wine and cook until pears are tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cool.
After transporting the components 50 miles down the freeway, I abandoned the recipe and let creativity take over. I rolled the pastry out on the counter and used my new tart shells like cookie cutters to make perfect shell-shaped puff pastry forms. I pressed the pastry gently into the shell and pricked each a few times with a fork so my pastry didn't puff the filling right out and onto my prepared cookie sheet.
The stuffing to pastry ratio worked out perfectly -- I had exactly enough of the filling to create 6 generous but not super-sized individual tarts.
I had leftover pastry and artfully draped it across the top of my pastry, smacking myself upside the head silently (and virtually) for not grabbing my very Martha-esque leaf shaped cookie cutter as I ran out the door. Golden leaves atop the tarts would have been gorgeous.
Tasted just as good with random pastry shapes though.
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