Woo-hoo! Big success in the pastry-baking department.

I was originally going to entitle this “I learned how to make a rustic tart,” but knowing you yahoos, the thread would go in a totally different direction than I intended.

A “rustic tart” is comprised of a simple round of pastry dough laid flat on a cookie sheet and a heap of some yummy filling piled in the center. Fold up the excess dough all around the edge in a casual way to partially enclose the filling, and bake it at 420 or so until done. It comes out looking very pretty and professional, but it’s way easier than an American-style pie.

Here we go:

Roll out some of your favorite recipe of pie crust to about 10" around. Put it on a big cookie sheet.


1 granny smith apple, peeled and sliced, mixed with 2 tablespoons of sugar, a few raisins and some lemon zest.

Sliced peach, sugar, almond extract.

Blueberries, sugar, lemon juice.

Choose one of the above, and pile it in the middle, leaving a 1 to 2" border of bare dough. Casually fold up the dough around the edge to partially cover the filling, sprinkle liberally with more sugar, and bake at 420 for 30 minutes or until the filling is tender and the crust is browned.

You can do a savory version, as well, and it’s ideal picnic chow:

Grill some sliced eggplant and zucchini until tender and browned, and saute onions in olive oil until they are golden. Put the pastry round on the cookie sheet, shmear a generous round of fresh goat cheese in the middle, and pile on top of it the cooked vegies. Fold up the dough as above, and grate fresh parmesan over the top. Proceed with the baking.

Really, these little tarts are gorgeous, easy and extremely addicting. Make your pastry dough with a generous proportion of butter to shortening, and they’ll be crispy rather than tender.