FRIDAY OPEN THREAD

WHAT A WEEK. Alas, I did not bust out the sewing machine and do the thousand little projects (and a couple medium-sized projects) I’ve been meaning to do. But I DID clean/dust my makeup and its storage drawers/tower thing and washed all my brushes, AND cleaned my perfumes and their little shelf. It’s spring : eff you, dust.

I ALSO stuck a whole bunch of red laser fish eyes to an eyeshadow palette, because WHY NOT?

Yes, those are actual fake fish-eyeball stickers, they are produced for people who enjoy creating their own fishing lures (not me) or I guess just sticking eyeballs on things (definitely me), and if you too would like to stick fish eyeballs on your stuff, you can procure some here at Lurecraft. (They come in other styles and colors! Lurecraft also has a shit ton of glitter! YOU’RE WELCOME.)

In other news which is totally not really “news” I made yet another fun salad :

THAT ONE is arugula and spinach, with prefab fried chicken strips from Publix because oh god I was so tired and also I’m intimidated by frying things myself, plus sliced cucumbers, chopped beets (FROM A CAN), avocado (NOT FROM A CAN) (ew), with grated asiago and a honey-lime-olive-oil-worchestershire dressing. NICE. This one is highly recommended.

In the “actually made from scratch” cooking adventures category … MY TART. LET ME SHOW YOU IT.

Oh whaaaat. This is a honey-milk custard on a crust made of walnuts and pistachios, and it is MAGNIFICENT. I used this recipe here, but with some changes, which I shall elucidate as follows :

FIRST, throw about 3 cups of nuts in the food processor. The recipe says 2.5 but I’m always afraid of not having enough to fill my tin/pan. I used about 70% walnuts and the rest pistachios, as they’re a little milder. Almonds or pecans would work too! Once they’re finely ground like coarse breadcrumbs, dump them in a bowl and add about 4.5-5 tbsp melted butter, an egg white, 3-4 tbsp brown sugar (depending on how sweet you prefer it, or what kinda nuts you’re using, or whatever), and 1/4 tsp salt. If you feel like improvising, add some allspice or cinnamon or nutmeg too. Mix well and mash into a nonstick tart pan with a removable bottom (this one is great if you don’t already have one), and bake for 14-15 minutes at 400 degrees. If it has some big air-bubble poofs in the bottom when you take it out, just poke them with a sharp knife and gently press flat. Let cool, then slam it in the fridge.

THEN, the custard. I was concerned the amounts in the recipe wouldn’t be enough to fill the tart, esp since I wasn’t doing that apple-roses bullshit (I tried this once and … hmm-mm). Soooo I increased everything by about 1/6, and thus : Warm 1 3/4 cups milk in a saucepan. I used mostly whole milk and then a hefty dose of half ‘n’ half. While that’s warming, in a bowl mix up 7 egg yolks, a half cup or so of Sugary Glop [legit maple syrup, clover honey, fancy flavored honey (I used manuka once!), or whatever Sugary Glop combo you prefer — maybe half Karo half blackstrap molasses on a pecan crust for like an inside-out pecan pie?], 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch (I almost typed “corn powder” there), and a half tsp of salt. Whisk well to ensure there’re no CORN POWDER lumps.

Pour the warmed (not scalding hot!) milk into the bowl over the egg mixture, stirring/whisking gently all the while, then dump the whole mess back into the saucepan and set the burner to like 3 or so. The recipe said on LOW, but this shit takes forrrrrrever — it’s super liquidy, and you need to cook and whisk (whisk pretty much CONSTANTLY to keep it from lumping up) until it gets reaaaaally thick, which takes A Long Goddamn Time. Seriously, it’s at least 20 minutes. You will start getting cranky because your arm is tired, did you forget an ingredient, this crap is still like a pot of milk why is it so liquidy, uh-oh there’s all this egg foam will that junk reincorporate? Just keep going! It WILL thicken, and the bubbly foam stuff will go away when it does. Yes, it’s going to thicken and set more when it’s refrigerated, but you need to cook this shit until it’s the appx consistency of chilled pudding. THICK. This doesn’t have as much ~firming~ egg yolk as, say, my usual Key Lime Pie recipe, thus much of the thickening needs to happen on the stove.

Rinse out your mixing bowl, dry it, and dump the cooked custard back in there, whisk in about a tsp of vanilla extract, then cover it and fridge it for a couple hours. Then whisk again to ensure smoothness, and pour it into your baked and chilled shell! Then just leave it in the fridge until it’s ready to serve — I find it needs a good four hours or so to really set properly, so this would be a good “make it the day before” dessert item. Serve on its own, or with fresh berries, a drizzle of honey, or whatever you like. It’s silky and creamy and GORGEOUS, with a slight bitterness from the walnuts. And LOOK AT THIS CRUST (I’m really proud of this crust, yo) :

THIS WEEKEND, I’m gonna be working on my website (my other website, not this one), and probably drinking. Also it’s Shark Week and I ain’t cookin’ shit, so somebody best order a pizza. WHAT’RE YOUR PLANS, TELL ME THEM. <3