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Today I was inspired to clean out my refrigerator and freezer. Partly because I was procrastinating like crazy. I just couldn’t force myself to sit at the computer all day and work on the new book. The January deadline is getting bigger and more menacing, and yet today I just couldn’t do it. I really did need to clean out the fridge to make room for more buckets of dough and for the hundreds of mini Devil’s Food Cupcakes [1] I have to make for the Children’s Heartlink Gala [2] this Friday. **

While I was dutifully cleaning I came upon all kinds of odds and ends that alone didn’t seem worth saving, but put together they might just turn into something tasty and unforeseen. I recalled a post that Aran at Cannelle et Vanille [3] did using bits and pieces from one dessert to create something gorgeous and brand new the following week. I had a bit of cheesecake batter, a touch of lemon curd and some tart dough, together I ended up with an absolutely lovely tart. I’m just incapable of throwing anything out, unless it has turned to the dark side.  I hope this tart will be inspiration to all of you who hoard small packets of dough and little containers of custard. They can be made into something quite beautiful if you are in a creative mood!

Here is how I put it all together:

1 packet of tart dough (the recipe and directions for getting it into the tart pan)

3 cups chai cheesecake batter [4]

1/2 cup lemon curd [5]

Preheat oven to 350°

First you need to blind bake the tart shell. I line the chilled tart shell with foil and fill it with beans and pie weights and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the dough is no longer wet looking.

Remove the foil and continue baking for another 5 minutes until the tart shell is golden brown.

Drop the oven temperature to 300°. Fill the baked tart shell with the cheesecake batter and bake for about 25 minutes. My cheesecake batter was chilled, if yours is at room temperature you may want to check it at 20 minutes.

The cheesecake will puff up slightly but should not souffle. It will wiggle like jello. If you over bake it there is more of a chance it will crack.

Allow the cheesecake to cool for about 15-20 minutes and then spread the lemon curd on top.

Bake for another 5 minutes to set the curd. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature until you can comfortable pick it up. Refrigerate the tart for at least an hour before slicing.

Serve with creme fraiche and perhaps a cup of tea. My kids came home from school and ate nearly the entire thing. I have one piece saved for tomorrow when I will be hand cuffed to this computer working on the manuscript!


Last weekend I went to my first Opera. Wow, now that is an over-the-top art form. Fabulous! I had donated a baking class/book package to the MN Opera’s silent auction. I will be going to the winning bidders home to bake with them and 6 friends from my book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day [6]. I can’t wait and I thank them for their support for the book and the Opera!

It has been so much fun learning more about some of you through Twitter. The communication is brief, but how nice to have a glimpse at what others are working on in their kitchens and beyond. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to seeing more of you! Join me at Twitter [7].

My next post will be an absolutely fantastic apple cake from Robin Asbell’s book The New Whole Grain Cookbook [8] and I’ll be giving away a signed copy of her book!