This elegant but relatively simple dish originated with a Pampered Chef recipe. Let me say right up front that I like a lot of the Pampered Chef merchandise, and if you were to take inventory of our kitchen, you would find many pieces of Pampered Chef equipment--some of which are used very regularly.
However, I have a couple of little problems with Pampered Chef recipes. One is that because Pampered Chef is out to sell their merchandise, the directions for each recipe are made so complicated by them telling you in bold print which of their products you are to use to complete each task. Second, Pampered Chef recipes often include the use of a pre-packaged or pre-processed ingredient such as canned biscuit dough, etc. I don't mind a bit that their recipes use these things, but I wish that they would also include a "from scratch" version for a couple of reasons. To begin with, many people are trying to cut as many of the pre-packaged, processed foods from their diets as they can. Furthermore, I've spent a lot of time poring over vintage recipes, and nothing frustrates me more than when a recipe says something like "a box of marshmallows" or something like that. The size and contents of packages change over time, and a recipe that calls for a "package" of something is then rendered useless.
Thus, the recipe that I'm sharing here originated with a Pampered Chef recipe, but I drew on my great-grandmother's from-scratch recipe for cornstarch pudding to modify it so that it is completely from scratch.
This recipe is particularly timely if your family is like ours and experiences a rise in the consumption of eggs in the weeks before Easter. We poke holes in each end of the eggs and blow the egg out of the shell so that when we dye Easter eggs, we are only dying the empty shell. This is a great system because sometimes the weather on Easter forces us to hold our egg hunts indoors. You have to understand something about our Easter egg hunts, though: they are a competition, and we hide the eggs so well that sometimes we don't find them all. Thus, hiding only the shell prevents us from having a rotten mess on our hands.
It's a timely recipe for other reasons too. We had a huge apple crop last fall, and we've still got bushels of apples in our utility room. It is quite cool in there, and the apples were Jonathans, so they've been keeping quite well. We need to get them used, though.
Since the cookstove is being fired almost constantly still, I added small pieces of wood to make a brisk fire in order to bring the oven temperature up to around 400 F.
Here is what you'll need to make the popover puff crust:
|I didn't measure the butter for this particular tart, and I think I got|
a little too generous. This resulted in a puff that wasn't as pretty as
it usually is, so I guess this is one time when more butter isn't better.
|The popover puff about midway through its baking. This is not|
nearly as pretty as some that I have made.
|By the time I inherited Granny's frying pan, the bottom was warped|
enough that it doesn't make contact with the stovetop except in the
center. Therefore, I remove the stove lid beneath it to speed the cooking.
As the popover puff cools, it will contract and make a nice "bowl" to receive the fruit mixture.
|This is what the fruit filling looks like when it is finished.|