You guys! I planted a garden. I tore up the side of my yard, hacking away with a spade and pure brawn (can ladies have brawn and it be not creepy or manly? I vote yes). I built a wall and filled it up with topsoil, peat moss, coffee grounds and compost. Then I put some seeds in it. Spinach, kale, collards, beets (!), and about eight different kinds of lettuce.
My first garden.
Hey! Remember that lady that I always mention who has the amazing blog and amazing new book and is just simply amazing herself, otherwise know as Joy the Baker
? She has inspired me to be creative in the kitchen, and be the ridiculous being I am. After following her blog since 2009, and listening to her and Tracy from Shutterbean
chat away on their homefries podcast
the past year, I got to meet her in person.
She signed my rolling pin. I gave her some coffee. We chatted a bit. She was absolutely lovely.
And you guys remember that bazaar thing I was speaking of earlier? The Crafter Baking Bazaar thing? It. Was. Amazing!
This is a picture of my booth. Strawberry Mascarpone Balsamic Reduction Tarts, Blackberry Goat Cheese Tarts, Donuts, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Biscotti, Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, & Lemon, Lime, and Lemon Lime Curd. I can’t begin to explain how fun it was! I spent the entire day before making and baking, and that day I set up, and from 9a-4p just hung around and sold to people. Yard salers who were passing by, randoms who saw our flyer in flea markets, friends of friends of friends of all types came. It was a beautiful mess of kitchy people who were intrigued by a random house show of crafts and baked goods.
One of the best selling things was the donuts, which I have made before and wanted to devour the entirety of the batch. The next best seller was the blackberry goat cheese tart, I think mainly because people were weirded out and intrigued. But the public went wild for it, just like I did.
This dessert is simple and un-overwhelming (but not underwhelming . . . let’s stick with ‘simple’). It’s unassuming and unique, clearly different but not flaunting it. It wears a smirk of honey. It has the depth and character that only goat cheese has to offer. With a tender crust (provided by the cream cheese in the crust) and a few pinches of thyme, this perfect combination can win the heart and taste buds of Midwest skeptics. And everyone else.
Blackberry Goat Cheese Tart
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
7 Tbsp. butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 oz. goat cheese, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg & 1 egg yolk
1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
12 oz. (ish) fresh blackberries
2 Tbsp. honey
Crust: Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor, about 10 times. Gather up dough and shape into a thick disc; wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease mini tart/cupcake pan.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4″-1/5″ (unless you like thicker or thinner crusts-do yo thang). Using a circle biscuit cutter that is slightly bigger than tart pan, cut the crust and lightly press into each pan; stick into the freezer.
Combine goat cheese and cream cheese in a bowl. Whisk in egg, yolk, thyme, salt, and pepper until smooth. Pour into the crusts. Bake for about 18-22 minutes (give or take a few, depending on your oven) until crust is golden and filling is puffed. Let cool completely.
Remove tarts from pan and place on cooling rack. Place a blackberry atop each tart (or if you prefer, you can cut the berries in half length-wise; they don’t wobble so much if you need to transport them). Drizzle with honey, and lightly sprinkle a bit of roughly chopped thyme leaves on top.
Serve to eager skeptical friends, and accept praise and wholehearted approval.
Source: adapted from Always with Butter
Watching: “Across the Universe”