One thing that sucks about working at Bridgehead is that apparently the turn-over is kind of high. It’s not that it’s a bad place to work (AT ALL!!) – quite the opposite – but with the number of students that it employs, it’s bound to be expected. In fact, since I’ve started working there 4 people have already left or are leaving. Am trying very hard not to take it personally.
And so, because I love to bake, I’m trying to make the most out of it by sending off each of my new friends with a yummy. Let’s hope the turn over doesn’t get too crazy…
So this particular dessert was in honour of Isabelle’s departure. After three years of service, I’m pretty sure she’s earned it. Even though I only worked with her for a couple of shifts, I found her to be one of those people who has a great ability to say EXACTLY what she means without hesitation. When I first met her, I detected a bit of an edge. But I soon saw that just beneath that edge is obviously a VERY caring lady – further evidenced by the personalized notes that she left us all. And even while she was insisting that hugging makes her uncomfortable (Can totally relate!! Personal space is my friend!), I could see a twinkle of a tear in her eye. But most of all it was made VERY clear to me from the reactions of other staff and customers, she will be very much missed.
RECIPE: Mmm… Strawberry Tart
This is a fairly time consuming recipe because it requires things to be made in advance, but once the Tart Shell and the Pastry Cream are done, you’re in business. Spoon the cream into the shell, smooth it out evenly and top with fresh fruit – in this case YUMMY organic strawberries.
Recipe from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
- Mix sugar and butter together until smooth (use a fancy-shmance KitchenAid like Lynne if you’ve got one, but a fork works well, too)
- Add yolk and mix until smooth
- Incorporate sugar and flour and keep mixing until it all comes together
- Grab a jelly-bean size of the dough and set aside (in case of cracks)
- Plop the rest of the dough into the bottom of your spring-form pan (or tart pan with removable bottom)
- Spread it out evenly on the bottom and up the sides – try to get sides at least 1-inch high
- Poke holes in the bottom with a fork and then freeze for minimum 60 minutes
- Bake at 375F for 7 minutes – stopping to press the bottom down in case it starts to rise – and then a final 15
- Fill in any cracks with reserved jelly-bean of dough
- Set on a baking rack to cool
Recipe adapted from Tartine
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
4 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
Take a deep breath… this is INTENSE! It’s also probably a good idea to read this a few times and keep handy while you’re doing it… it’s THAT intense.
- Put the milk and salt into a large saucepan, place over medium-high heat
- Bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally
- Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar, add the eggs and whisk until smooth (I’ve been warned of sugar cooking the eggs, so don’t let the eggs and sugar stand together for too long)
- THIS IS WHERE IT GETS INTENSE!
- When the milk is just about to boil remove from saucepan from heat and slowly drizzle about 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking continuously
- Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the hot milk and continue whisking until the custard is as thick as lightly whipped cream, about 2 minutes
- MAKE SURE YOU DON’T LET THE CUSTARD BOIL VIGOROUSLY… IT WILL CURDLE THE EGGS. BLECH!
- Stir in the vanilla extract and let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Cut the butter into 1 tbsp pieces and whisk into custard 1 tbsp at a time until smooth
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming
- Put it in the fridge to cool completely