The word for this prompt is tart.
I am now sixty-five and I sit here in my rocker watching the kiddies play at the playground from my window. Oh, the memories come washing over me of years gone by. What I wouldn’t give to get up and turn those hands on the clock backwards.
Those were the days, you know. The good days when I used to think it was helter skelter in my household. The kids were excited because Christmas was coming. There wasn’t a quiet place to sneak off to, because they were out of school for Christmas break.
I used to have this routine when they were in school. I would get them on the bus and start a load or two of laundry. By then I would sit down with a cup of coffee and watch my favorite television program. I would continue on with some sweeping and dusting and if I had any errands to run, do that, and then start supper preparations which might include making some bread or baking a cake.
When those kids are home on vacations, life isn’t like that at all. There is a lot of noise and toys everywhere. Kids coming and spending the nights. I used to not be able to wait for them to go back to school.
As it got closer to Christmas, I got more stressed. Last minute gifts to buy. Too many gifts to wrap. Taking the kids to see Santa. Cookies and candies to make. Just thinking back to those days can make an old woman tired, but for some reason, this year it makes me sad.
Maybe it is because I am getting older. No one around anymore. The holidays are quiet now, except for the time spent with my wonderful children. Seeing them and their young ones, surely puts a smile on my face today.
I can feel my stomach rumble, so I think I will get up and slice me a piece of that Strawberry Lemon Curd Tart. You know, there will always be memories of this tart. My mama used to make it every Christmas, bless her heart. I know she was busy, maybe busier than even I used to be at the holidays. You realize, we had it much easier than their generation.
Sitting back in my rocker, I take my first bite and tears run down my cheeks, remembering what once was. Now, I appreciate that helter skelter life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I would give my right arm to see mama bringing that special dessert to the candle lit table and listening to all the ooos and awwws as she placed it center down.
My children decided to have a delayed Christmas this year, but I couldn’t break the routine of having a slice of this wonderful dessert on Christmas Day. I love you mama and papa. Enjoy your trip my children. Have a Merry Christmas to all of you out there this year.
Strawberry Lemon Curd Tart Recipe
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons (or more) chilled whipping cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries, stem end of each cut flat
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- For curd:
- Whisk eggs, sugar, and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan to blend. Add butter and lemon peel. Stir over medium heat until curd thickens to pudding consistency, about 8 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd and chill at least 2 hours.
- For crust:
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter; using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons cream and yolk. Blend until moist clumps form, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap and chill 1 hour. (Curd and dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)
- Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in and press firmly, forming double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with fork; refrigerate 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake crust until golden, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack.
- Spread curd in crust. Stand berries in curd. Strain jam into saucepan; warm briefly to thin. Brush jam over berries. Chill tart until glaze sets, at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Release tart from pan.