Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Coronado Concerts in the Park - Challenge All-American Fare

It was a busy weekend in the kitchen for me. On Thursday and Friday, I prepared my Daring Cooks' Challenge of the month, to be revealed on July 14; on the 4th, I was up early baking Raspberry-Balsamic Scones; and on Sunday, I spent a good part of the day baking tarts for our Concert in the Park Challenge - Whew!

We decided on All-American Fare for the 5th of July Concert in the Park theme, and I initially selected two American favorites: Banana Cream Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie. However, I wanted to do something a little different from the traditional versions. I ran some recipe searches and stumbled on the beautiful Tartlette blog post for Banana Cream Pie...with Chocolate and Caramel. Helen created her version by adapting the recipe from the Tartine Bakery & Cafe cookbook, using her own salted butter and caramel sauce, omitting the whipped cream topping, and making tartlettes, of course. I was instantly sold after drooling over her photo and reading the recipe. For the recipe, please visit Tartlette. Spend some time while you're there and enjoy an impressive collection of recipes and photographs.

Here are the photos of my tart. I used a rectangular tart pan and drizzled some extra chocolate ganache over the top. Just look at those layers of chocolate ganache and salted caramel, followed by banana slices buried deep within vanilla pastry cream, and a finale of drizzled ganache. Truly a slice of heaven and one of my new, favorite desserts.

A few more photos during the preparation

Pie weights, or dried beans, both work well. Scrunch up the parchment paper first, so it fits easier into the tart pan over the dough

The cooked tart shell

A layer of chocolate ganache

Followed by a layer of salted caramel

Topped by a layers of pastry cream and sliced bananas. I covered most of the bananas with the pastry cream because it was going to be a few hours before I could serve it at the park and I didn't want the bananas to turn brown. After plating, I drizzled the chocolate sauce over the top.

Next up was my Lemon Tart, also sporting a layer of chocolate underneath the silky lemon curd. I did find some fabulous lemon meringue pies, but I stayed with the tart theme

This recipe, Jessica's Favorite Meyer Lemon Tart, can be found in Susan Goin's Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table. It's a wonderful cookbook to add to your collection.

Prior to demolishing the tarts, we savored John's Quack-Mac & Cheese (chicken confit disguised as duck confit), Sandra's rendition of Tyler Florence's Mac N' Cheese with Bacon, Kai's two potato salads and fried chicken, and Pammy's Macaroni Salad...

John's Quack-Mac

Sandra's Mac N' Cheese

Olivia eating daddy Kai's Fried Chicken

The food was wonderful, the band was lively, and it was a great ending to a long, holiday weekend.

We're Sailing the South Seas next Sunday, so stay tuned.

Denise & John


lisaiscooking said...

Gorgeous tarts! Both sound just delicious.

Tara said...

The thin layer of chocolate is a brilliant touch... I will have to try that next time! :)

Miakoda said...

Aaargh! Too much delicious food in one post! I'm going into shock. Quick, feed me... ;)

Q. said...

Your tarts look too perfect to eat! I have been searching for pie weights for AGES and just found them last weekend. Next up, I need to find some fun tart pans - love that long rectangular one you have! And I agree, the lemon and chocolate is fantastic.

Kai said...

I actually liked the Lemon Tart better. (Even though the salty caramel layer was delicious.) Looking forward to Sunday; promises to be very diverse and summery.