July is thick with fog and gentle complaints from locals about needing escape from the chilly summer days. The temperatures often in the high 50’s throughout the day, this place offers a strange presentation of American summer weather. My children love these days of tucking in with books and toys. The wafting smell of home baked treats lures the children from their rooms bursting with creativity from hours of morning play.
It is too cool in the mornings to think about anything outdoors. The magic of the kitchen brings a homeschooling classroom about math, sanitation, organization, and tactile fun experiences. Children love making things and the process of creation. Many children show confidence and adventure in the kitchen well beyond some adult cooks I know.
It was fun to host a little tea party for some of my daughter’s school mates. We decorated civic-minded California-shaped cookies. Then sat down for tea and other treats, including a little tiny plum tart and sugary waffles. The kids were seated for a long while chatting about summer experiences of house guests and vacations. I was impressed with these youngsters’ great manners. The pride they showed in eating their own decorated cookies and sharing them with others was delightful.
We decorated sugar cookies and devoured the plum galette constructed from the EASIEST crust in the world to make. This dough is meant to be made with children, as it is so easy to measure all of the ingredients and have ready to mix for the little chefs in your life. Give a try and enjoy baking in San Francisco for the rest of this cool summer.
EASIEST Tart Dough Ever
Yield: 1 9″ tart, galette, or 2+ dozen sugar cookies
8 Tbs butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla (today I used Orange Flower Water, instead)
1/8 tsp sea salt
4.5 oz all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
- Into a bowl combine melted butter, sugar, flavoring, and salt. Blend well.
- Add flour and mix until thoroughly blended. Reserve for 5 minutes.
From here you can get creative.
Make a Tart:
- With your fingertips, press dough into a tart pan. Dock* with a fork and blind-bake* for 20 – 30 minutes at 425 degrees F.
Make Cookies or a Galette:
- Between parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll out dough to 1/8″. Chill for about 15 minutes.
- Cut out cookies and bake at 425 degrees F for 7 – 12 minutes, depending upon size and shape of cookie.
- Or make two galettes — divide into two parts. Fill each with thinly sliced fruit. Arrange fruit slices in a decorative manner. Sprinkle with as much granulated sugar as you like (1/8 cup for each galette is perfect). Add a pinch of sea salt. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-25 minutes.
- Docking is the act of piercing dough with a fork or docking instrument. This is only done for single crust tarts, without crust topping.
- Blind-baking is pre-baking crust to fill after baking or to fill and bake again.