Happy Mothers Day 2009! To all the mommies that I know, I hope you had a wonderful day and your kids cherish you more day by day and your hubbies give you all the credit you deserved of bearing this very demanding role for a human being. To my mom, I can only promise to make you this tart when I go back to visit end of this year and you shall have all the respect and love from me and your grandkids!
My motherhood life started almost 5 years ago and thinking back, I have come a long way of learning to be one. And even today, my kids still never fail to surprise me with unexpected questions, tantrums, embarassing moments and proud achievements. In contrast, I have nothing to surprise them anymore with my occasional meltdown, funny laughs, sofa queen and the one who prepare all their meals and pick them up on the dot of the hour at school! And also one more.... the only one that their daddy fears!
My yearly Mother's Day always start with a simple breakfast in bed with a card that is scribbled by my kids with the help of Curry. Next I will get to plan the whole day on what to do, which is really no different from my daily days! Well, like they always say, once a mother, you are a mother Forever.
For today, I made a very nice fruit tart with a sweet cream cheese filling and stuffed with the beautiful colors of kiwi and strawberry. Curry and I have differences in almost everything but we always agree on one thing.... fruit tarts. We both love it and one big fruit tart can never last in the fridge for 2 days. Instead of the usual custard cream filling, I went with cream cheese and sugar flavored with lemon juice and zest.
Of all my bakings, I think I make tarts the most. And I think they are my favorites during spring and summer with the abundance of berries and the open face concept of it always makes it look light and luscious. And of course, the freshness of a good tart dough with buttery crunch texture that doesn't turn soggy overnight is the best part of a tart. I always use the same recipe for the tart base and I prefer to mix the butter with the flour with hands rather than the food processor as that way ensures that all the flour is coated with bits of butter and I find that adding egg to the dough makes it too moist at times and rather leave it out completely.I always start with 2 tbsp of cold water and adding by one tablespoon at a time and when the dough is like a store bought cookie dough consistency, that will be the best time to let it rest in the fridge. Applying egg wash to a blind baked tart dough at the last few minutes of baking will ensure that the bottom part of the tart will not turn soggy after the filling is filled in.
I was lucky to get a pack of strawberries that were uniform in sizes and with a few big ones, they fitted perfectly into the 8 inch tart shell. I cut up some to fit in the remaining gaps with the kiwi fruit and glaze the fruits topping with syrup mixed with a little gelatin to make them glisten and look nicer on the plate.
The cutting part might be a bit tricky when there are so much quantity of fruit but I find that cutting them after letting them rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour was easier as the fruits tend to harden a bit and a good pie cutter surely helps with a good cut and scoop.