Jam Tart

May 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm 55 comments

tart2wm

Lately, it seems to me that one of the most important things about being alive is, well, food. Even before this whole “baking thing” :) became a part of my identity, food has been as important as housing and education.

I come from a family where my grandfather laid the foundation for food appreciation… Heavy, dusty potatoes, long, gorgeously orange carrots, crackly-skinned poultry and lots of real cream and butter (lots of it.) My father has kept the tradition alive, too – among my favorite weekend dinners are homemade butternut ravioli with home-grown tomato sauce, barbeque ribs made with his secret hand-mixed chili powder, and crisp, creamy sweet potato fries.

It’s not just the holidays and weekends when we eat well. My mother claims not to enjoy cooking, but I don’t buy it for a minute. I’ve seen her make potstickers, mixing together the skin with only flour and water, chopping pork and herbs for the filling. I’ve seen the way her face lights up when I taste test a new red bean filled bun. She likes to cook for the same reasons I do: to savor something delicious, and to watch other people do it too.

tart5wm

When I was in middle school, lunch was the only unhealthy meal I got, paid for out of a vending machine. I’d wolf down a bag of potato chips, a pack of sour gummy worms, and a bottle of Dr. Pepper. Not so much anymore. When I eat out, it’s sushi or potato and mushroom piroshkies; when I pack it myself it’s a turkey sandwich on homemade bread and a blackberry yogurt.

Most of the things I blog about aren’t healthy, but I don’t treat myself to chocolate cookies and peanut butter cheesecake every day. I know you’re meant to eat these things wisely and share the rest. It’s important to us to eat healthy, and that’s what we do. And even when it’s not completely “healthy,” like when we generously add heavy cream to our mashed potatoes or deep fry halibut cheeks, at least we know we’re using quality ingredients.

I can hardly remember the last time we bought bread, since my mother makes it all herself: fresh tomato basil, ciabatta, carrot dinner rolls, naan, pita pockets and hamburger buns. Our herb garden is flourishing under the shy Seattle sunlight, and the vegetables are following – acorn squash, Japanese cucumber, arugula, snow peas, butter lettuce. We’ve got the promise of apples, pears, currants, and Asian pears to come.

tart8wm

As for what we don’t grow or make, we get pickier and pickier as the years go by. We’ve switched mostly over to organic fruit now at the grocery store. We love the fresh, firm fish that the Puget Sound has to offer. I like to use organic evaporated cane juice instead of white granulated sugar. We still only buy what we can afford, and we budget our shopping list, but we have definitely gotten choosier.

When Mother’s Day rolled around this year, I settled on making a Jam Tart. I didn’t exactly plan ahead, so Sunday morning I had two hours to get the whole thing baked. I put the tart crust dough in the freezer to chill, and then I rummaged through the fridge until I realized we didn’t have any jam left. Drat.

I remember, as I drove to the closest grocery store, being annoyed at myself for not making fresh jam myself earlier. Blackberry? Orange marmalade? Strawberry? I could have made all of those from scratch, I thought. When I got to the store – one I wouldn’t have picked if I hadn’t been pressed for time – I stood before their unimpressive selection of jams and jellies.

tart3wm

I didn’t even bother looking at the inexpensive generic brands or the sugar free versions. I picked up a jar, turned it around, scanned the ingredients. I grabbed another, checked the origin of the fruit. On the top shelf, I finally found one small jar of marionberry preserves – a little glass thing faceted like a black diamond. The brand seemed solid and the ingredients looked good. It was also two dollars more pricey than anything else.

But I didn’t think twice before buying it and running back to the car, barely on schedule.

Inexplicably, days after the tart was eaten and gone, I found myself thinking about that jar. There was definitely nothing wrong with the jam. It was smooth, sweet, fruity – but it was expensive. And it wasn’t even eaten straight from the jar with a spoon or spread onto a crusty loaf. It was baked into a tart. In hindsight, perhaps I should have bought something a little more affordable. You have to make sacrifices somewhere, right?

tart4wm

Am I turning into a food snob? I swore I never would. But I’m the one person of my friends who won’t eat if we go to Qdoba or Wendy’s for lunch, instead walking to the next door Trader Joe’s or waiting to go home to eat. I shop for fruit the way some girls shop for shoes. And even though we can’t exactly afford it, I beg to go to Whole Foods on special occasions.

I think it’s a good thing to care about your food: where it comes from, what it’s been treated with, how fresh it is. But I think I’ve also got to consider what things are really worth, and when they really matter. It’s easy enough to buy a little $6 jar of jam when the only thing I spend my own money on is ingredients. But when I’m on my own at college three months from now, I won’t be able to get away with those kinds of food purchases all the time.

I think the key is balance. I won’t compromise my food ethics, and I’ll always have an appreciation for good food. But I’ll never force it on anyone else, and I’ll still have to be responsible about my purchases. Maybe not everyone will agree, but I think that’s just another aspect of caring about your food. For now, I’ll take it one meal at a time, forkful by forkful of Mother’s Day jam tart.

tart1wm

In the food world, this jam tart has a great resume. It’s from David Lebovitz’s new book Ready for Dessert, and I found it over at Smitten Kitchen, where Deb has never led me astray. It has tons of good reviews through comments, and I knew it would be a winner as soon as I made it.

But you know what? It was just okay. I had a lovely Mother’s Day with my mom, grandma, and dad. We went out for dim sum and came home to a gorgeous afternoon. We cut open the tart, plated it. I went outside to photograph it and heard my family talking from inside.

“It’s… sweet. Wow.”

I took a bite and couldn’t believe it – it was definitely, definitely sweet. A little too sweet even by my standards. Maybe I did something wrong, since the tart had such great reviews all around. But we agreed that the crust was fantastic, a little crisp and a little soft and reminiscent of corn bread. I’ll definitely be making it again, maybe with a different filling… Sweet potato? Blueberries? Something savory, like grits? It would all work. Or maybe I’ll just use a thinner layer of jam.

So much for the $6 jar!

Jam Tart
From David Lebovitz via Smitten Kitchen
Makes a 9″ tart

1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (70 grams) stone-ground cornmeal or polenta
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces or 130 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg, whole
1 large egg, separated
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 to 1 3/4 cups (450 grams) jam or marmalade
2 tablespoons (30 grams) coarse-crystal or granulated sugar

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar together until smooth. Add the egg, egg yolk and almond extract and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until the dough just comes together.

Transfer about one-third of the dough to a lightly floured counter and shape it into a log about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until needed, or stick it in the freezer.

Transfer the remaining dough to a buttered 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom. If using a tart pan, press the dough up the sides to the rim of the pan and set the tart pan on a baking sheet. If using a springform pan, press the dough about 3/4-inch (2-cm) up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate the dough-lined pan until firm, at least one hour, or for half an hour in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Spread the jam or marmalade evenly over the dough in the pan. Cut the chilled dough into very thin discs with a sharp paring knife, or use a cookie cutter. Arrange them slightly overlapped in concentric circles over the jam to form a top crust. Whisk the remaining egg white with a teaspoon of water until frothy; brush evenly over the tart lid and then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons (30 grams) coarse sugar. Bake until the top crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

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55 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jane  |  May 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    This is just absolutely beautiful, Elissa. I love the little hearts you put on the top. I just got my copy of Ready for Dessert about a week ago, and I’m glad to see how nicely this came out. I also love Smitten Kitchen. It’s one of my all-time favorite food blogs. Lovely post! And hey, congrats on being 18!

    Reply
  • 2. Celine  |  May 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Nice post as always! I’m a teenager too, it’s sad that we can’t buy all the good ingredients we want :)

    Your tart is very pretty with all these hearts. I must try this tart, but 130g butter… ouch. But as you said, we won’t eat jam tarts every week haha! Or let’s make in small tart pans!

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  • 3. Katy  |  May 15, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Being a poor college student, the whole food purchase thing is definitely hard. There are so many things I want to buy but can’t afford..
    One of the hardest thing about college is the lack of a kitchen. None of the dorms I’ve ever lived in have had anywhere for me to cook or bake, and not being able to on a regular basis is sort of heartbreaking.
    Speaking of college, what decision did you finally make? I know May 1st is college d-day, so I was curious about where you decided to go. :)

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  • 4. Nisrine@Dinners and Dreams  |  May 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    It looks delicious. I love the heart cutouts.

    Reply
  • 5. Kim, Rambling Family Manager  |  May 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Elissa:
    I hope you picked a college with a good “food scene”! ;) It’s awful where I live but it’s slowly getting better. At least we have a Whole Foods, not next door but a reasonable car ride away, and we finally have a farmer’s market. (But it’s very small since it’s just starting out.) It’s something to consider. Plus the kitchen thing. My first dorm had a kitchen as one of the common areas but the rest of the dorms I lived in didn’t. I had a contraband toaster oven and hot pot in my room as well as a small refrigerator. One of my suite-mates had an electric frying pan. I’m going to send my daughter off to college with a rice cooker since we eat a lot of rice, plus you can add veggies to the rice and use it like a slow cooker. (Back before I turned veg I even threw small chunks of pork in with the rice; it all cooked perfectly.) You can still eat well in college, not that I did. I ate lots of “cheese rice”; instant rice cooked in my hot pot with chunks of cheddar cheese melted in, and oodles of noodles. Talk about unhealthy!! Blech! I’m sure you’ll do a lot better. :)

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  • 6. jessie  |  May 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    wow, i loved the way you always transition from a thoughtful stroll on memory lane to the subject of your post.

    anyway, being a college student definitely meant altering the way i ate. since i went to a college in the city, our dorms were apartments and we had kitchens. even then, trying to buy from the farmers market rarely happened because everything is just so expensive on your own :(

    but hopefully your blog revenues can help with grocery expenses!

    Reply
    • 7. Elissa  |  May 16, 2010 at 11:53 am

      jessie – What blog revenue? :P I actually spend money on 17 and Baking for the site domain and photo uploading on Flickr, and I don’t make any. No ads, no promotions, no product placement/reviews… And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  • 8. Yumi  |  May 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Hey Elissa! I’m just about to finish my first year of college. I’m not nearly as accomplished a baker as you, but I love to cook! My parents are still providing me with a stipend, but I’m pretty frugal when it comes to most things, and I cook almost all of my meals, because whenever I eat out I am struck by the fact that I could make the same thing for about 10% of the cost. One tip I have is, if you try not to eat out too much or buy already prepared foods, you *can* afford that $6 jar of jam! In fact, Trader Joe’s store brand is great–I recommend the raspberry, which is my favorite. It’s sweet but a little tart, and there are lots of seeds, which I love because it adds a little crunch. I know you mentioned somewhere along the way that just because you can bake, doesn’t mean you can cook, but college is full of new experiences, and you may find cooking really isn’t too difficult (in fact, I find baking much more complex!).

    Reply
  • 9. Emily  |  May 15, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I know what you mean by wanting to buy the more expensive stuff and shopping at Whole Foods, I find myself leaning towards such things, but have to pull myself away or else I’ll be poor as dirt. Oh, and when you started naming off the types of breads your mother makes, I’m so jealous.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to be able to cook and bake in college. My dorms don’t have kitchens with stoves. Maybe I’ll have to become a microwave master.

    The tart looks beautiful, and I love the hearts on top, very cute!

    Reply
  • 10. hannah @ thepastrykook  |  May 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    i absolutely love the hearts you put on top. what a great way to represent your love for your mom!
    and i think homemade jam is THE best. you always know how much sugar goes in. mass produced jam is usually packed full with high fructose sugar. sigh :(

    Reply
  • 11. Anna  |  May 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I love window-shopping in Whole Foods! I can’t often afford much in there, but I’ve actually found that some things there are cheaper than at other stores (such as their dairy), so sometimes I buy their yogurt and really enjoy delicious organic yogurt for a week. As for the more expensive things, well… I’m dreaming of the Whole Foods shopping sprees I’ll go on when I win the lottery :D
    The tart looks beautiful, though! Sorry that the jam didn’t work out very well, but at least next time you’ll be able to save some money on the filling!

    Reply
  • 12. Lauren  |  May 15, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I love that your mom makes all of that fresh bread. Not to mention that you spend any spare change on more wholesome, more close to you foods. I think that once you get to University, get going with it, you’ll find you’re groove. Maybe that won’t mean buying the more expensive jam, or maybe it will just mean buying it less often. You’re going to find like minded people. (I wouldn’t go to Wendy’s either ;D). Maybe you’ll make you’re own little garden (and yes, I am jealous of yours. It sounds so lovely), or maybe you can have a tiny herb pot. Sometimes it just takes those moments of freedom to figure out what works best for you. What’s the most manageable, what you enjoy.

    Anyways, a very happy Mother’s Day to your mom! She’s done a fantastic job :).

    Reply
  • 13. musketnuss  |  May 16, 2010 at 4:07 am

    I totally get what you mean – I’m quite a lot like that, especially when it comes to the part of friends eating fast food and me getting something else. I love eating healthy because it tastes sooo good and makes you feel good. But I also love to bake sweet things. And even if the tart was a bit too sweet, the photos are gorgeous. It would be lovely to know when you try it with another filling sometime!

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  • 14. Millys mini kitchen  |  May 16, 2010 at 6:04 am

    It’s always a shame when something doesn’t turn out as you think it’s going to. I find anything with jam is always a bit to sweet, and I tend to stay away because my boyfriend doesn’t like fruit anyway (I KNOW). The topping looks so cute though with the hearts. I may have a little try, but instead have a different filling. You know what though? the photos are so good I may just try it with jam… I can’t resist.

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  • 15. Janet  |  May 16, 2010 at 8:30 am

    It will be interesting to see what foods you buy/eat once you start college, as well as afterwards when you are in the beginning of your career. I was first introduced to Whole Foods in college, but as much as I liked it, didn’t shop there b/c I couldn’t afford it.

    Even now, with a solid career as a teacher, a husband, and a mortgage, I have to pick and choose where I spend our food dollars. Unfortunately, organic is usually too pricey for us. We always buy organic milk, but most other foods we settle for what’s inexpensive.

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  • 16. gateauxbellehelene  |  May 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I really love the hearts that you’ve put on the top of the tast. It look so pretty and a great mother’s day gift. It’s so hard striking a balance between eating healthily and good ingredients. I don’t think you are a food snob at all, you just have your food morals that are admirable. It’ll be interesting to see what food you do buy at college but I know you’ll stick to your ideals.

    Reply
  • 17. Lila Ferraro  |  May 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I recently made a pizza braid with home-made wheat dough. With the leftovers I usually make a jam braid with a glaze. This time, however, I made a peanut-butter/jam braid. It was delicious and just like a hot pb and J! I love jam! BTW I’m impressed your mother makes all of your bread because I do that too. It is very time consuming but, very rewarding!
    Lila Ferraro

    Reply
  • 18. Alex Erynn  |  May 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve been thinking of making a tart. i think I’ll do it when I have fresh fruit to make a nice jam. I always llike the taste of homemade better, and you know exactly what goes into it then, too.

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  • 19. CUPCAKE LOVER:)  |  May 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    i’m makin that:)

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  • 20. skittlesaremydrug  |  May 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Like you I’ve somehow turned into a bit of a food snob. I’d rather have lunch at a cafe or restaurant with gourmet food that grab a quick bite from Burger King or McDonalds. And when it comes to grocery shopping I swear I can taste the difference if I buy the cheaper brands. Sadly I wish my bank balance could keep up with my tastes!

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  • 21. Sarah  |  May 16, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    I love love love this tart. Especially the way you cut the topping into hearts. I feel like things like that are the reason why homemade baked goods are always better than store bought. Gingerbread cookies are far more delicious when they’re made with the moose shaped cookie cutters you bought on your trip to Colorado when you were ten. Macaroons always taste better when your arm is still aching from all the egg whites you whipped. (I refuse to use electric mixers, even though my family makes fun of me constantly for it. If Laura Ingalls Wilder did it by hand, then so will I!) All issues of taste aside, homemade goods have a little bit of yourself in them. Details like cutting the crust into hearts, or adding cinnamon and nutmeg to your chocolate chip cookies because your mom loves the way the house smells when they’re cooking, those are things that even the best bakery can never give you.
    As far as baking in college goes, please keep at it! Make friends with upper classmen who have apartments, or start a baking club and see if your college will let you use their kitchens. This blog is too amazing (and I am far too in love with it) to not happen every week.

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  • 22. marybeth  |  May 17, 2010 at 9:26 am

    All you need to do next year is send me an e-mail and I PROMISE to mail you a jar of my homemade Marionberry Jam. I make oodles of it every year . . . .SERIOULY – I would do that – even if you just want to eat it with a spoon right out of the jar!

    Reply
  • 23. Julia  |  May 17, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Beautiful post (and tart) – as always. I don’t think I’ve commented on here before, but I wanted to add my two cents about the tart. I made it and I, too, found it too sweet when made with store-bought jam. I didn’t want to mess with the crust, but I also didn’t have any homemade jam left, so I just made a “quick jam”. Just cook down any kind of fruit with just a little bit of sugar until most of the water has evaporated. It doesn’t really need to gel, so adding extra pectin or a lot of sugar is not necessary. I also added some lemon zest and juice. On its own, the “jam” was quite sour, but it worked perfectly with the sweet crust.
    Good luck at college. It always surprises me to hear that dorms don’t always have kitchens. I go to college in Germany and everybody here lives in apartments (even the university-supplied dorms are one-room apartments with kitchens). I’m sure you’ll make the best of whatever situation you’ll encounter, though.

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  • 24. Beth @ 990 Square  |  May 17, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I wish I had discovered how much I love to bake when I was your age! Your knowledge about food impresses me–just make sure you keep it up when your friends in college try to talk you out of your values! It’s not snobbery–it’s just liking what’s good!

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  • 25. Michelle  |  May 17, 2010 at 10:55 am

    What a gorgeous tart. I recently discovered the best fruit jams in the entire world made by Food for Thought (and i’m actually hosting a giveaway right now for strawberry basil jam and wild blueberry merlot preserves that would go INCREDIBLY in your baked creations). Sometimes, the perfect condiment can made an awesome dessert truly outstanding!!

    Some colleges do have kitchens, it just depends on the dorm you live in. All the dorms at Northwestern Unviersity had them, even though you may have to share with other people. Concensus is VERY VERY FEW college kids make use of the kitchen. Good news! hehee

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  • 26. rdredekopp  |  May 17, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I made this tart right after it was posted on Smitten Kitchen and it was DELICIOUS. I made it with homemade orange marmalade and as good as it was the first day, it got better and better the next three days until it was gone. I made it a second time with store-bought raspberry jam and it was still far superior to other tart recipes I’ve tried, but man, that marmalade tart was good.

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  • 27. Gina White  |  May 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Brava, Elissa, for your post! It’s wonderful whenever I see people thinking about what the ingredients in their food are and where they come from. I loved Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and am happy to hear my friends discussing it and being more mindful about organic foods, nutrition and what their children are eating (or, in the case of school lunches, being fed). I was interested in your comment about organic evaporated cane juice–how do you substitute for granulated sugar in recipes? Thanks!

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  • 29. Dolce  |  May 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Make your own jam with lesser sugar content, and bake this tart again. It will be so worth it!

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  • 30. fulltimefoodie  |  May 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    ahhh, why are you inside my head? ;)

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  • 31. Katie  |  May 17, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Wow, so tasty. I love the hearts as the pastry top, so cute!

    Reply
  • 32. Theresa  |  May 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Great Blog! I have nominated it, as well as 4 other teen food blogs for a Sunshine Award. Visit http://wp.me/pKbZe-BT to read all about it.

    Reply
  • 33. Lisa  |  May 18, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Hi Elissa,
    I had a question and was not quite sure where to ask :(. How did your site get so well known? I notice that many bloggers have linked you and you’ve had articles written about you, etc. Did you publish the link on other bloggers sites or promote yourself in someway, or was it just a word-of-mouth sort of thing? What is this foodbuzz thing I keep seeing on several blooger’s sites? I’ve just started food blogging and gaining a couple of viewers (outside my family and friends) would be nice. Thanks for advice for an aspiring blogger! I’m sixteen =)

    Oh! And the tart looks gorgeous. I’ve seen your ginger-snap post (from a while back) and that is SO on my i-gotta-bake-this-real-soon list.
    – Lisa

    Reply
    • 34. Elissa  |  May 18, 2010 at 9:31 am

      Lisa – I have no idea how it happened! When I started, I barely got any hits. All I did was upload photos to Tastespotting and Foodgawker. But I didn’t do anything else, so it must have just spread by word of mouth. Everything has just built up on each other (someone at the Oregonian found me, then the Seattle Times, then AOL Food, etc…) I ended up winning Best Teen Blog at the 2009 Weblog Awards, which generated a lot of food blog traffic to my site, and Deb of Smitten Kitchen and Joy of Joy the Baker both gave my blog their approval, so I get a lot of hits from that.

      Long, rambling answer, but my advice is to just keep blogging and don’t get discouraged. My first month I got maybe 30 hits, but I just kept writing. Upload photos to Tastespotting and Foodgawker, comment on other people’s sites, join the Daring Bakers.

      As for Foodbuzz, it’s just a community of Foodies. If you become a member and display their banner on your blog, you get added to their directory (more traffic to your site.) I’d recommend joining it too. Good luck!

  • 35. Eliana  |  May 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    You are not a food snob my dear. You just have a sincere and honest appreciation for food and I love you and your blog for it.

    Reply
  • 36. Preston Mui  |  May 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Food snobbery is always good, of you know what you’re talking about. And you certainly do.

    Reply
  • 37. Warm Vanilla Sugar  |  May 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    This tart is so pretty, and absolutely perfect for the great weather we’ve been having. I love this recipe!

    Reply
  • 38. Anna  |  May 19, 2010 at 7:38 am

    I can completely relate on the food budget vs. “good food.” And as you get older, I feel time factors in even more – how do you balance using wholesome ingredients when convenience foods get you dinner at 7:30 p.m. instead of 9?

    But really, everything is a choice and a balance, not just food. You cut where it doesn’t matter to you, and invest in your passions. I think being a “food snob” is just fine (or any other “snob”) as long as you don’t lose respect for those who choose something else. And you do such a great job at inspiring, not imposing, your passion, so I’d say you’re the perfect foodie!

    Reply
  • 39. Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread  |  May 19, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    GORGEOUS tart! I adore the little hearts :) Loving the use of jam in this!

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  • 40. Summer  |  May 23, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I love how ur jam tarts turned…
    I can vouch for this recipe , coz even with tweaks it was gorgeous :-)))
    And found it exactly d way u did!!
    I tried it with hazelnuts in a few, coconut in a few , and vanilla beans in all the tarts bases, gorgeous, and yeah i love the heart shapes too, i did it too:-))))))))))))))))000000
    ANd guesssss what, i too posted it for Mothers day , so was thrilled to find the same recipe ,with hearts and for mothers day!!!
    Have a super sparkly merry day!!!

    Reply
  • 41. Chef Dennis  |  May 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    what a beautiful tart!! and your photos are magnificent….it was truly a pleasure finding your blog! I wish I could have fed you in school, my girls do eat well!
    cheers
    Dennis

    Reply
  • 42. shaeron Attan  |  May 25, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Hey! I’ve been looking through your past recipes and i think you’re really talented! :) Your love for baking is really inspiring and i will definitely be coming back to check out your latest posts!

    Reply
  • 43. limelicious  |  May 26, 2010 at 12:58 am

    This is just the recipe I was looking for! I’m graduating college in less than a month (only to return for four years in pharmacy school…sigh) and like many of those who’ve already commented, I’ve needed to re-evaluate food purchases since coming to college.

    Buuut I still buy the occasional luxury item…last week it was a jar of amaretto peach jam from a nearby farmers market.

    Now you know why this is the perfect recipe for me to find ;)

    Do fret too much about food in college- if anything, it’ll teach you to eat simpler and to be more creative with what you have!

    Reply
  • 44. Jessica  |  May 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

    You sound like you have a great head on your shoulders…

    Best wishes and you are right…balance is the key.

    Reply
  • 45. Cynthia McIntyre  |  May 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Hi! I loved your blog note and your photography is really great! Thanks for sharing the recipe- I can’t wait to look at the rest of your recipes!!

    Reply
  • 46. wearsgoo  |  June 1, 2010 at 3:46 am

    agreed! I’ve kind of become a food snob at this point. It’s hard not to with so much exposure to the food trends as a blogger and being generally in love with food. I believe in fresh, natural and organic ingredients when one can. Although I can’t deny my love for greasy spoon chinese catfish and 5$ pho in chinatown, among my favorite things!

    Reply
  • 47. grace  |  June 2, 2010 at 1:09 am

    food snob? no. you’re what i call a selective eater, and there’s nothing wrong with that. :)
    luscious tart–it’s beautiful in every way!

    Reply
  • 48. Season  |  June 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    I love butternut squash ravioli! I’d love it if you shared your father’s recipe.

    Reply
  • 49. mali2305  |  June 3, 2010 at 6:10 am

    I’m the same- I’ve become a “food snob,” though I don’t really like the term “snob.” We just happen to care about what we eat and where it’s from and what’s in it! But it does frustrate me when others don’t have the same respect for their food…so maybe that’s going a bit too far!
    Just a tip for college- my sister is in college in Baltimore and every weekend there’s a farmer’s market about 5 minutes from her dorm- it’s the perfect place for a “food snob” without much access to a full kitchen! It’s better than fast food or grocery stores at least.

    Reply
  • [...] hint of almond in its crust. Just makes everything come together so much better! I adapted it from 17 and baking (I must tell you I love her blog, check it out!) and I am definitely gonna make this again. Jam and [...]

    Reply
  • 51. Flour Child  |  June 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I can speak to the wonders of being a food snob (at least about some things, jam is not one of them.) I discovered the wonders of valrhona chocolate a few months ago, and since then I haven’t been able to use anything else.
    The quality of the ingredients definitely makes a difference, but oh my god, on a high school student’s budget? There have been times when I have had to pay for cocoa in quarters.

    Also, I love your blog, and this is the first time I have ever commented, but your chocolate raspberry ganache cake and carrot rolls have become staples in our house. I started my own baking blog (at 17, wouldn’t you know) and I was just wondering if you would share any advice.

    Reply
  • 52. Leif  |  June 27, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Good job on the TV spot! I would love to try your 4th of July cake someday.

    Regards,
    Leif

    Reply
  • [...] each other in the food blogging community.  After all, food is a universal: everybody eats. As 17andbaking says, “it seems to me that one of the most important things about being alive is, well, [...]

    Reply

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Elissa Bernstein



I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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