And it is so much fun to dabble in old-time recipes and the foods that were served over a hundred years ago!
Here's the book cover, three lovely stories set in the fictional town of Second Chance, South Dakota just about the time when the federal government granted statehood to the Dakotas.
So then I needed to have a recipe for the tarts, and here it is. It will also be in the upcoming anthology release (paperback and Kindle version!) but remember:
You heard it here first!
Second Chance Inn Old-fashioned Custard Tarts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, then reduce oven temperature to 350 after ten minutes of baking.
For the pastry
- 2 cups flour
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 5 Tablespoons ground walnuts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup soft butter
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 egg
Mix flour, walnuts, salt and sugar. Cut in the soft butter using two knives, criss-crossing them or a pastry blender until mixture resembles a soft “meal”.
With fork, blend water, vinegar and the egg. When thoroughly mixed, add to flour/nut mixture.
Mix until pastry cleans side of the bowl. Form into one large patty and then roll out, cutting rounds to fit into muffin or tart pans.
For the custard filling
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 7 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
Heat the milk until quite warm. Don’t boil. Mix eggs and sugar thoroughly, using mixer or whisk, until pale, then add milk in a thin stream to keep eggs from curdling. Mix thoroughly. Pour custard filling into small pitcher or large measuring cup with a spout. Fill tart pans about ¾ full. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake at 400 degrees for the first ten minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. (325 in a convection oven) until set, about fifteen to twenty minutes more. A convection oven tends to “pull up” the top layer of custard, so the gals from Second Chance advise using the regular bake setting for these tarts.
These were delicious! I put coconut on some of them... and I burned an entire pan of them because when I put them into the oven, the rack shifted and the custard splashed out of the tarts... Then when the baked, the splashed custard burned the bottoms of the tarts... A whole tray gone!
And this is what the pan looked like before scrubbing and scraping!
And look at this! Our famous Jarradale pumpkins look like this in the fall:
And this is what they look like in the house now! I let them ripen until a quiet winter day and then I roast them and mash them for pumpkin pies and cakes....
Look how pretty they are:
They're turning PINK!!!! These pumpkins are the best tasting I've ever had, and we love them here on the farm. And this is Xavier and Mary Ruth on New Year's Eve... note that two big dogs don't bother Xavier, he just sits there, petting both... and they love it.
We can't see sunsets or sunrises once the leaves are on the trees.... and sunsets are blocked by houses and trees to the west....
But these winter sunrises, when the sun rises at it's southern-most point, can be spectacular because there's often a cloud bank over us (SAD FACE HERE!!!) due to Lakes Erie and Ontario... but when the sun breaks the horizon and hits that cloud ridge from beneath, the colors are gorgeous! Pinks and corals and yellows and salmons and violets.... Just lovely.
Isn't that so pretty? Like God lit a fire and its light dances in the morning sky.
NEWS ALERT: The days are getting longer.
We are eleven days past the winter solstice, which means.... my days get longer! :) This is always an exciting thing for Yankees and all northern-dwelling creatures because we know that we're on the upward trend! Once you hit September here, the light decreases by several minutes each day. It's crazy noticeable....
It's not so noticeable now, but it will be in six or seven weeks... and there will be joy in Mudville because the farmer here likes longer days of light.
Or he gets GRUMPY.
A grumpy man.
Next week we'll talk about the Rosemary Shortbread cookies from the first novella. Because why wouldn't we?
Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves writing sweet books with unforgettable characters and great story lines because she likes making readers happy. Follow Ruthy on Twitter.com, friend her on facebook.com , email her at email@example.com or stop by her website http://ruthloganherne.com