tartlets this week

Last week marked the beginning of holiday party season for me!  And for my first party, I was asked to bring some pies.  But rather than doing the expected – pecan, pumpkin, apple – I decided to go with two tarts from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

I used their recipes to make tartlets instead – easier and more fun to serve at a dinner party!

IMG_5805

On the left, their orange creamsicle tart.  The orange curd begins with orange soda and orange juice reduced down and finished up with eggs, butter, sugar and gelatin.  Poured over an orange flavored tart dough (which I did with orange essense instead of orange zest as the recipe suggested), it sets up nicely in the refrigerator overnight.  Everyone LOVED this one!  Totally tastes like the iced creamsicles we used to eat when we were a kid.

On the right is their whiskey pear tart.  The recipe has you poach some canned pears in whiskey and sugar first.

IMG_5792  Then bake the pears on a bed of almond cream on a basic tart crust.  The almond cream uses a a marzipan base, which I was worried about tasting too artificial.  But when I took my first bite, there were nothing artificial about it – DELICIOUS!!

So, why not go outside the box for a Christmas party???  Start some new traditions!

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