French Riviera Lemon Tart

Since this tart is taught as part of a class by Rosa Jackson in her sunny atelier, Les Petits Farcis in Nice, I pretended I was traveling. 😀 How fun it would have been to actually be there baking.

We are told this tart is a bit of a magic trick, one we should remember because it comes together very quickly with a press in crust, 10 min baking time and a filling prepared on the stove top. The tart is chilled for an hour or until set. An impressive tasting tart with a quick turn around.

This tart packs a lemony punch and just makes you think of freshness and springtime. I am not much of a fan of crusts usually, but this one was delicious in my book…more of a cookie crust and that was just perfect with this tart filling.

I made this tart, as part of the dessert table at my daughter’s baby shower and it was a hit. Everyone loved it…and everyone commented about the “smack-your-lips tartness” …there was barely a sliver left so I think it was a success.

I would totally make this again…it’s a keeper!

Eton Mess

Our recipe this month is a take on the traditional Eton Mess consisting of strawberries, whipped cream, and meringue. It dates back to 1893 and is believed to originate from Eton College in Britain. It is still served there before the annual cricket match between rival schools.

Our version followed the basics, with a twist…our bottom layer compote included rhubarb cooked down with the strawberries and our meringue had crushed speculoos cookies folded into it.

This is more of a construct-as-you go dessert, assembling all the layers which can be made ahead of time. Perfect for entertaining.

I made a double batch and brought it to my in-laws for Easter brunch. Serving it only needed layering the strawberry/rhubarb compote, some whipped cream, sugared strawberries…a little more whipped cream, and then topped with the speculoos studded meringue.

I had made the meringue the day before and kept it loosely covered, but experienced the dreaded softening. 🤦‍♀️ It was so disappointing to go and try to crack the meringue, which we had tasted the night before and it was fine…to have turned into something else….ugh.

Oh well, it tasted fine and we had to roll with it. Figured it would give a new and different texture to the dish haha.

Turns out everyone loved it.

I am not sure most of them knew what the meringue was suppose to taste or feel like, but said they loved the chewiness…my son saying it is kind of like how vanilla wafers are best when they are slightly stale and softened a bit haha.

So, mine had a bit of a chew, rather than a crunch but it was a hit. Everyone said it was unlike anything they had eaten before and they loved it. Yay…a slight fail, was still a win! 😍

Espresso Chocolate Sablés

We have a chocolate studded, coffee flavored shortbread cookie this month. In our cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies, there is a whole chapter on Sablés, so this is another flavored version.

Using the typical butter and confectioners’ sugar base, we add cinnamon, chopped bittersweet chocolate and an espresso extract that as I made it up seemed pretty intense for those of us sensitive to caffeine haha.

There were a couple of choices on how to bake the cookies, either in rings…or rolled out, cut, and then placed in a buttered muffin tin to keep them from spreading. I actually used Steph’s method again since it worked so well last time 😀. I portioned out the dough and just put it directly into the tins, alleviating the need to roll them or even cut them from logs. Worked like a charm.

These seemed to be a denser cookie than others Sablés we have tried out so far…as Dorie suggested they would be. Everyone really liked these, but when giving me feedback, it was mentioned they seemed like a heavy cookie. I am not sure that is a good thing haha. Maybe with a cup of coffee they would be perfect.

They were tasty and I am sure every last one will get eaten, heavy or not haha…and mine didn’t give me heart palpitations from all that caffeine so all good. 😂😂

Cottage Cheese Biscuits

Sounds interesting right?

Haven’t heard of this combo before, but we are told adding the cottage cheese adds a tang and helps to give us an easy to work with dough.

It is suggested to eat these piping hot out of the oven…and also as an open faced sandwich with eggs and bacon or smoked salmon and red onion.

I am in the middle of having to replace my oven…sigh…it has lost its ability to fully heat up. The control board has died and wouldn’t you know it, the part was discontinued three years ago. Ugh. Anyway, having to make do with the situation and be resourceful with ovens elsewhere, so I was able to get these baked but not really at the right time of day for a sandwich. The recipe tells us these can be cut out and frozen for future use so that is basically what I did. I made up the dough, cut them all out, but only baked two so we could taste them and then froze the rest for another time when we could have them for breakfast.

I live in California and we didn’t grow up eating biscuits…not anyone I can think of does. I am curious if they are more of a regional thing to eat. 🤷‍♀️.

These were good and easy to whip up. We liked the crunch these seemed to get on the outside…not sure we could really get a tang out of them though. Our assessment was they tasted like biscuits haha but we will look forward to trying them as a sandwich. 😀

Almond Crackle Cookies

These were a super simple cookie that would be a hit anywhere.

When I say simple, I mean really simple…there are only 3 ingredients: sugar, egg, and sliced almonds. They are whisked together, and either cooked in a muffin tin or on a cookie sheet. The recipe made it sound like they might be hard to get out of the tin so I opted to do them free form on a cookie sheet. I used a 2 in cutter as a form as I scooped the batter to give a roundness. They spread a little this way but I don’t know if that really matters.

The cookies are very light and wafer-like. We thought they had the flavor a macaron..which makes sense…but waaay easier hahaha.

These were great…and the perfect kind of recipe to have on hand…easy, tasty, and likely to be a hit since they are light and unique!

This one is a keeper!

Double-Stuffed Deviled Eggs With Crab

We have an upgraded version of the deviled egg to try this month.

The difference comes with the bottom layer filling…crab, green apple, scallion, and a touch of cayenne. That is topped with the traditional yolk, Dijon, and Mayo combo…also heightened with a little cayenne.

What I did love about this recipe, besides the eggs, was following Dorie’s instructions for hard boiling. It didn’t seem that different from what I normally do, but this time all of the shells came off perfectly. That doesn’t usually happen haha.

Nothing difficult about this recipe, and we really enjoyed trying them. They were great…just for all the extra work, not sure we could really taste the crab mixture much as the traditional yolk, Dijon, and Mayo have a pretty dominate and forward taste. We liked the crunch of the apple and onion though!