Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sweet Melissa Sundays - Strawberry Cobbler Tart

My blogging and tweeting friend Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures is hosting this week's Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe, Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Pie. Tracey's encouragement and especially her photo tips have made me a better blogger. She is sweet, kind and generous and her beautiful blog is the first place I look when I need a recipe. This is because her taste is impeccable and she's never disappointed me.

I've been super busy with work, with three separate audits (two of them major) happening concurrently. As if that isn't enough, M's business is at a crossroads where their accountant (me!) has to come up with a manufacturing inventory tracking system. Last night I worked until 11 just to get the year-end financials done and today I'll start on the inventory system.

How to juggle work with my desire to make Tracey's pick? Like Tracey, I have never had rhubarb and looked forward to this recipe so that I could try it. But that just didn't happen. I had fresh strawberries in the fridge, so I went with those. I knew I wouldn't have time to make pie crust and I eschew the store bought ones, so I went with the last sheet of Trader Joe's puff pastry I had in the freezer.

I made 1/4 of the recipe and baked my mini in a 4" spring form pan. I cut way back on the sugar, using only 1 tablespoon since the rhubarb needs a lot and my strawberries were sweet. I also didn't use lemon zest, opting to sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the biscuit. I barely had enough biscuit dough to eke out a thin heart-shaped biscuit to cover my little creation.

My mini baked in about an hour. The biscuit looked very brown before I pulled it out of the oven but the puff pastry and filling still needed more time. The P&Q indicated a lot of bakers had the same issue. Tracey related that her pie was a little soupy and mine was no different, but I was fortunate because it set up nicely.

This made a wonderful treat for us to split after having a small salad for lunch. M. stole most of the strawberry filling and proclaimed the dessert a success. The fresh berry flavor really came through and the crunchy biscuits contrasted nicely with the fruity filling. Puff pastry made this a super easy dessert. I can't call it quick, but if you have puff pastry in the freezer, the hands on time is minimal. I can't wait to try this with cherries, peaches, apricots...

Thanks, Tracey, for a pick that was a runaway hit with us. If you'd like the original recipe, Tracey has it here.

Strawberry Mini Cobbler Tart - adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
Printable recipe

For the crust:
1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted in the refrigerator until pliable but not soft

For the filling:
1 cup sliced strawberries (about 10 berries)
1 teaspoon sugar (or more if needed - taste your berries so you know how much to use)
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch (if you add more sugar, use a little more cornstarch)

For the cobbler:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon chilled butter, cut onto bits
2 tablespoons heavy cream

For finishing the tart:
Extra cream or milk for brushing the cobbler
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put a sheet of foil on a sheet pan and set aside.

For the crust, lay the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut a 6" circle out of the middle (you can use a 6" plate as a guide, I eyeballed it and it worked fine). Gently line a 4" spring form pan with the puff pastry, tucking in the folds to form a smooth surface around the side of the pan. Put pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling and cobbler.

For the filling, in a small bowl, toss the berries with the sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.

For the cobbler, stir together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Work in the cold butter with your fingers. You should have a lot of flakes and chunks of butter. Add the cream. With your fingers, combine until the mixture comes together. You may need a few drops more cream (I did). The moment the dough comes together, drop it on a piece of plastic wrap and put another piece of plastic wrap on top of it. Push it into a roundish shape about 1/2" thick, and using a 2 1/2" biscuit or decorative cutter, cut a single biscuit. Remove the crust from the refrigerator, arrange the berries in it and top with the biscuit.

Put the tart on the baking sheet and brush the cobbler with some cream or milk. Sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking every few minutes toward the end. The tart is done when the juices are thick and bubbly, the puff pastry is browned and looks flaky and the cobbler is well-browned. Serve warm.

Serves two greedy people.


margot said...

It looks like a nice little dessert, even though you didn't get a chance to make the original recipe. I hope things slow down for you soon.

I haven't been able to find puff pastry at Trader Joe's recently; I hope they haven't stopped carrying it entirely since it's a much better deal than other all-butter pastry.

Nina said...

YAY AUDITS AND ACCOUNTING! I know how you feel; find a job in the market sucks too.

Your mini ones look so adorable! I love them!

Candy Girl said...

Your little pie is so cute! I thought this was delicious and agree with everything you said about Tracey - she is awesome!

I was laughing about you doing audits and financials. I am not an accountant but was recently promoted to the position of Financials Manager for our PeopleSoft system and audits, and ledgers, and expenses are all I hear about these days!

Julie said...

What a cute dessert! I love mini versions of desserts.

Katrina said...

Ahh, I love your loving mini there!

Tiff said...

Your dessert looks beautiful! I am surprised you found time to do anything, hopefully work slows down soon!

Tracey said...

Thanks for your kind words Leslie and for finding time to bake along with me this week despite your busy schedule! It sounds like you are in serious need of a vacation and soon...

I love the way you adapted this recipe - puff pastry was a fabulous idea! The recipe was quite a bit of work, and it's nice to know I can take some shortcuts and still wind up with something yummy :) Glad it was a hit for you guys!

Gloria said...

How adorable! Your adaptation using puff pastry and a cinnamon sugar topping on the biscuit sound great. This was a very time consuming recipe and puff pastry is a great time saver and tasty too!

spike. said...

can't believe you got to baking such a cute little pie with all the work craziness!

k.a.r.e.n said...

that is the cutest mini!

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

I know the feeling of feeling swamped with work. I have a B.S. in Accounting...done Accounting for a long time...not doing it at present..and not missing it either! that's what I like. :D

Cute little pie...


Hanaâ said...

The mini tart looks delicious. I can only imagine how wonderful it tasted if you used those some beautiful strawberries you got from that farm a while back! I hope things slow down for you soon.

Mimi said...

I'm impressed that you could find the time to bake. Your mini tart looks so delicious.

mangocheeks said...

The presentation is just calling out to me, I am sure it tasted sublime too.