Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For Jill H.

About three years ago, I called K, who was throwing a bridal shower, and asked how I could help. She asked me to be in charge of drinks. When I asked if that meant juice with Sprite, she asked me to do something a little fancier, like Italian Sodas.

"No problem," I said, and hung up.

And then I immediately and consecutively dialed 3 of the fanciest people I know (Marla, Lesley C, and Susan H, if you're wondering) and said, "WHAT THE HECK IS AN ITALIAN SODA AND HOW AM I GOING TO SERVE IT TO FANCY PEOPLE???"

Thankfully they talked me down off the ceiling and cherry limeade and yes, Italian Sodas were served, but I was a nervous wreck.

Over drinks. I know.

Phone conversation from yesterday:

Me: Need any help with the bridal shower tonight?
K: Yes - can you bring a dessert?
Me: Sure. I can make carrot cake* or strawberry pie.
K: Um, those are harder to serve at a shower. Can you make something like a strawberry torte?
Me: Uh . . . . describe a torte?
(I mean, I've heard of them, but my baking repertoire is very limited.)
K: Ok, just make sugar cookies and put some glazed strawberries on them.
Me: I can handle that.

So I tweaked K's idea, and came up with these, which are based loosely on my mom's famous Strawberry Pie, and which turned out pretty well! See? No panicked phone calls, and Jill H. even wanted my recipe! Progress, I tell you.

K thinks we should name them after us both, since it was her inspiration and my exhaustive labor, but do you think anyone will eat Benniumble Tarts? Or Brumennion Tarts? Suggestions are welcome!


Mix together:
1 cup softened butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Dash of salt

Flatten approx. 1-inch balls of dough and press into 24 mini-muffin cups, spreading dough up the sides of the cups. Bake 11 minutes at 350. Remove as soon as sides begin to brown. Crust will be puffy - flatten it out gently (I used an upside-down lemon juice bottle - the cap was just the right size). Place on cooling rack.

Strawberry Filling

Chop, mash or puree:
1/2 pound of strawberries

Combine in saucepan:
1/3 c sugar
2 T strawberry gelatin
2 T cornstarch
1/2 c water
1 T lemon juice

Boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Cool.

Stir cooled mixture into strawberries, adding as much as you think tastes good.

Cream Topping:

Combine and beat until thick (up to 10 minutes):
1 can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1/3 c lemon juice
1/4 t almond extract
1 t vanilla

Spoon strawberry mixture into mini-crusts, and top with cream topping.


Savannah said...

Those look yummy! We were at the Walker's last night for dinner and saw your van out front and we were wondering what we WEREN'T invited to! Haha! We figured it was a shower of some sort for an unknown individual. Glad it went well!!

Jill said...

now I'm REALLY bummed that I wasn't invited. Or that the leftovers weren't left on my doorstep (since you were parked at my house!) Those look delicious!!

You need to give yourself more credit! You are a fabulous cook!!