Okay.  So last night I tried to make a tart.  My very first tart, actually.  Only I completely botched the entire thing.  First, I went to Williams Sonoma to get a tart tin.  (Williams Sonoma is possibly my most favoritest store EVER other than Whole Foods and Trader Joes.  J.Crew comes in a close third.)  Sounds good, right?  WRONG. 

Mistake number 1: I didn't buy baking beads.

Which usually would be fine because when I need to blind bake something I just place a glass pie dish on top of it.  It usually works pretty well whenever I need to blind bake (which is not that often).  I made the crust sans Kitchen Aid (so proud) and patted it into the tin.  But last night my brain left the building (again) and I just forgot to put a glass dish on top of the tart crust.  Not only that, but then I reached problem number 2.

Mistake number 2: I didn't do a good job of putting the crust into the pan. 

I made the crust not nearly thin enough in the middle and too shallow.  And I KNEW IT!  But I didn't fix it.  Because I am dumb.  After baking, this crust problem was compounded by the lack of baking beads and lack of a glass dish.  Curses!

I definitely over baked the crust too, Mistake number 3.  I was

distracted by phone conversations with friends who are leaving the country for two months, and friends who have exciting job prospects.  Of course after over baking the crust, I screwed up the filling too by making waaaay too much, seeing as the crust was so shallow.

Mistake number 4 (caused by mistakes 1, 2, & 3): Too much filling.

Obviously I tried to fill the tart as much as I could.  Of course I followed up with another careless (aka lazy) mistake.

Mistake number 5: Not baking the tart in a bain marie.

So I definitely got the burnt skin kind of thing that happens when you don't bake a cheese cake-like filling in a bain maire.  Luckily, it didn't crack so that was one plus.  (I think it was too shallow to crack.)  I was just to LAZY to make one.  See?  See where laziness gets you?  It gets you on the path of a terrible tart.

BUT, I have remedies!  Because I am learned in ways of sprucing up mediocrity.  Behold:

1. Cover up everything with pretty pretty strawberries!  I trimed off the really ugly burned layer of the filling, which was pretty easy with a thin, sharp knife.  Then I loaded on the strawberries (which I was going to do anyway, but with the ugliness of the tart I had to make sure I covered everything REALLY well.  Have I mentioned that I'm a psychotic perfectionist?

2. Use the left-over filling to make weird raspberry tart things!  And then make them look even weirder by "artistically" covering them with chocolate.  It looks like a chocolate spewing spider attacked the raspberries.  Oops.

I don't know how great the tart crust tastes because I haven't cut into it yet (the filling needs time to set in the fridge so I left it overnight).  But I know the filling tastes good because I tried some it out of the raspberry ramekins.  Well, really, I had to cut an even surface on the little tarts because they kind of puffed up to extrordinary heights in the oven.

Well, live and learn, my friends.  I know what to do for next time–don't be lazy and stupid.

(But it's difficult to deny the two pillars of my personality.)

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