Once upon a Tart

Soups, Salads, Muffins and More

by Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau and Carolynn Carreno

Once upon a Tart

Hardcover, 360 pages, Random House Inc, List Price: $27.50 | purchase

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Book Summary

The co-founders of the Long Island City warehouse bakery share culinary wisdom, technical tips, and recipes for such fare as pear-ginger raisin muffins, classic basil pesto, and an array of signature tarts.

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Excerpt: Once Upon A Tart

Once upon a Tart

Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart with Shamey's Crisp Topping
makes one 9-inch tart

When Frank was growing up, there was an annual backyard party given by his neighbors. "It was the kind of event where you were sure to see people you hadn't seen since the same party the year before. And that you wouldn't see again until next year's party." Frank particularly looked forward to the strawberry-rhubarb crisp brought every year by a woman named Shamey. Shamey gave Frank the recipe from which he created this tart.


1 pint strawberries, stems removed and berries cut in quarters
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, rinsed, leafy ends removed, and cut into 1/2-inch slices; or tart apples, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 par-baked Flaky Tart Crust
1 recipe Shamey's Crisp Topping

1. Position your oven racks so that one is in the center, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Toss the strawberries, rhubarb, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a big bowl. Dump this mixture into your par-baked tart shell and spread it out evenly. Using your fingers, sprinkle Shamey's topping over the fruit, taking care to cover its entire surface area, especially around the edges.
3. Place the tart on the center rack in the oven, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until you see fruit juices bubbling up through the topping and down around the sides of the tart. You may want to place a baking sheet under the tart to catch any spilled juices.
4. Remove the tart from the oven, and set it on a wire rack to cool slightly.
5. To remove the tart from the pan, rest it on a wide can. Make sure the tart is steady and balanced, then slide the outside ring of pan down off the tart. Move the tart to your work surface, and slide the tart off the pan bottom onto a rimless serving dish or cutting board. We love this tart fresh from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Shamey's Crisp Topping
makes about 2 cups (enough for a one 9-inch tart)

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 ounces (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

1. Dump the flour and the brown sugar into the bowl of the food processor fitted with a metal blade, and pulse until they're just integrated. Add the butter all at once, and use the pulse button to cut butter into flour. Stop pulsing when mixture is the texture of moist crumbs.
2. Remove the blade from the food processor, and dump the crumbs into a big bowl. Add the oats and nuts. Work them into the crumbs with your fingers until the topping is stuck together in big clumps. It should not be one whole ball of dough but more like.... well, like crisp topping. Only not cooked.

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