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In New York City, famous for its food and restaurants, locals are reverential about the bakeshop and café Once Upon a Tart. For more than a decade, they have been lining up at the store mornings and afternoons, waiting patiently for their signature scones, muffins, soups, salads, sandwiches, cookies, and—of course—tarts. And pretty much since the day the café opened, patrons have been ...
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In New York City, famous for its food and restaurants, locals are reverential about the bakeshop and café Once Upon a Tart. For more than a decade, they have been lining up at the store mornings and afternoons, waiting patiently for their signature scones, muffins, soups, salads, sandwiches, cookies, and—of course—tarts. And pretty much since the day the café opened, patrons have been asking—sometimes begging—the proprietors for their sweet and savory recipes. Good news: the wait is over.
In Once Upon a Tart, the café’s founders and co-owners, Jerome Audureau (a New Yorker via France) and Frank Mentesana (a New Yorker via New Jersey), go public with their culinary secrets (“We don’t have any,” says Frank. “That’s our biggest secret of all”) and recipes. They also tell their inspiring success story, from selling tarts wholesale out of a warehouse in Long Island City to opening their now-famous outpost in Soho.
In nine delicious chapters ranging from savory tarts to cookies, the authors instruct and advise home cooks on everything from how to make the flakiest tart crust (“keep the dough cold”) to making sandwiches (“condiments are key”) to how to diet (“you want half the calories, eat half the scone”). Once Upon a Tart is packed with more than 225 easy-to-prepare recipes, including all the store classics that have earned Frank and Jerome the devotion of their customers: Caramelized-Leek-and-Celery Tart, Creamy Carrot Soup with Fresh Dill, Pork Loin Sandwich with Frisée and Rosemary-Garlic Aioli, Buttermilk Scones with Dried Currants, Banana–Poppy Seed Muffins, and Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart with Crisp Topping.
Says Frank, “We believe that deep down, everyone is a cook.” Adds Jerome, “And that a little butter in your life is a good thing.”
When Frank was growing up, there was an annual backyard party given by his neighbors. "It was the kind of event where you were sure to see people you hadn't seen since the same party the year before. And that you wouldn't see again until next year's party." Frank particularly looked forward to the strawberry-rhubarb crisp brought every year by a woman named Shamey. Shamey gave Frank the recipe from which he created this tart.
1 pint strawberries, stems removed and berries cut in quarters
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, rinsed, leafy ends removed, and cut into 1/2-inch slices; or tart apples, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 par-baked Flaky Tart Crust
1 recipe Shamey's Crisp Topping
1. Position your oven racks so that one is in the center, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Toss the strawberries, rhubarb, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a big bowl. Dump this mixture into your par-baked tart shell and spread it out evenly. Using your fingers, sprinkle Shamey's topping over the fruit, taking care to cover its entire surface area, especially around the edges.
3. Place the tart on the center rack in the oven, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until you see fruit juices bubbling up through the topping and down around the sides of the tart. You may want to place a baking sheet under the tart to catch any spilled juices.
4. Remove the tart from the oven, and set it on a wire rack to cool slightly.
5. To remove the tart from the pan, rest it on a wide can. Make sure the tart is steady and balanced, then slide the outside ring of pan down off the tart. Move the tart to your work surface, and slide the tart off the pan bottom onto a rimless serving dish or cutting board. We love this tart fresh from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Shamey's Crisp Topping
makes about 2 cups (enough for a one 9-inch tart)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 ounces (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
1. Dump the flour and the brown sugar into the bowl of the food processor fitted with a metal blade, and pulse until they're just integrated. Add the butter all at once, and use the pulse button to cut butter into flour. Stop pulsing when mixture is the texture of moist crumbs.
2. Remove the blade from the food processor, and dump the crumbs into a big bowl. Add the oats and nuts. Work them into the crumbs with your fingers until the topping is stuck together in big clumps. It should not be one whole ball of dough but more like.... well, like crisp topping. Only not cooked.
Posted May 17, 2004
It is rare to find a cookbook that has some creative and great recipes. I try so far most of the recipes after 3 weeks that I purchased the book. I love Once Upon A Tart caf¿ in NYC and was so glad to buy that wonderful cookbook.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 7, 2003
Wonderful book full of easy yet surprisingly unique and favorful tarts. Gorgeous photographs and straight forward approach to cooking/baking. The book is infused with warmth,humor,and personality. Incredibly fun journey through the kitchen.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2003
This cook book offer you some very easy & creative recipes. It is not easy to find a cook book with simple & great recipes. I love it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2003
I look at a lots of cook book and finaly find one that make me want to try the recipes. I try most of the recipes in this book and all turn out so tasty.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 31, 2003
Posted May 19, 2003
This book offers a great creative selection of Sweet & Savory recipes. I enjoy reading and making lots of the recipes from this book. The method are very simple well explain and the result for sure excellent.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.