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1  COOKING / Dessert / Flame Plum Tart on: August 30, 2007 07:06:32 AM
Last night I used some of the Italian prune plums we bought at the farmer's market to make a Flame Plum Tart from The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  This cookbook challenges me every time I think I am a good baker.  I've yet to perfect one of its recipes.  But it is fun to try!

Pros:
1. The plums were pretty good when eaten raw. They were AMAZING when tasted in this tart. Something about the sugar mixture brought out a tart sweetness that did not exist in the raw plums.
2. The presentation was beautiful.
3. I learned a tip I'll use again. Freezing the dough (which was like a sugar cookie dough and I don't know if this works for all dough) in the pan for several hours eliminated any crust shrink without the use of weights during blind baking.

Cons:
1. The sugar cookie crust did not work well. First, it was quite hard to roll out and I ended up having to press it into the pan. Then, it got too brown in baking. This was partly my fault, as I read the crust-specific directions for the blind baking but missed the plum-tart-specific directions to underbake. Also, the sides of the tart unmolded easily, but the bottom crust stuck to the bottom of the tart pan and fell apart when I tried to cut pieces. Perhaps I'll use a thicker crust next time.
2. The finished tart was very, very juicy. It was a bit of a mess. But I did moisture-proof the bottom crust with melted apricot preserves and sprinkled it with the cornstarch mentioned in the recipe. Maybe if my plums had been a little less ripe it would have been less drippy?

Ultimately, the plum flavor was so amazing, I'll have to try this again. The plums on their own would have been great over ice cream, too.

2  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / One or two servings vegan dessert? on: July 09, 2007 06:27:21 AM
I'm making his favorite carrot cake for my husband's birthday and one guest (out of about 20) who is coming is vegan. I don't want to make a whole vegan cake, since everyone else will be eating the carrot cake and it's more hassle to make a second dessert, but I would like something there for her to eat that is simple but delicious.  I'd be willing to make a small extra "something."

Does anyone know a recipe with small quantities that makes just one or two servings of a vegan dessert?
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Can you ID these sewing machine feet? on: November 11, 2006 05:47:50 AM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jsphotos/294202964/

These five feet/attchments came with my new-but-used Viking sewing machine, which arrived without a manual.  I'm a novice sewer and need some help.

Actually, I'm not sure that #4 (from left to right) is a foot at all, but I got the others to snap on and I'm hoping someone can help me determine which of these are special feet and what they're meant for.  Also, is #5 supposed to look like that, or is it broken?

Thanks!
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