Don’t read this post if you are the type that gets all huffy when someone takes light-hearted pokes at you. Just don’t. Heeheehee. You were forewarned! Assumption tarts are not something I grew up with, so I don’t have the strong benefit of “it’s a kid thing” My mom didn’t go to school there, my aunts didn’t go there and my sisters definitely did not go there. So tasting it without any history, and as an adult overly focused on food, I don’t quite get what the big deal is all about; they are kind of like hard, less tasty pie crust that is used as a foil for some quite excellent guava jelly. And since the recipe harks back to the early 1800’s (according to their tins), I suspect the original recipe was nothing more than flour, lard and perhaps a little sugar and salt. Today, of course, I suspect it is predominantly Purico or vegetable shortening with very little butter, if any.
My wife’s family has a long history with the Assumption. And even she sees the humor in calling the delicacy an “Assumption Tart.” Considering the other connotation of a “tart”, this is all just too amusing for Marketman not to comment on. Might we have also evolved an “Atenean Gigolo” for say a wickedly snazzy yo-yo used out in the school parking lot? Or a “Maryknoll floosy” for a particularly cheery skirt? Or if we go international: a “Wellesley Wench”, “Holyoke Harlot”, or “Smith Siren”??? Heeheehee. No, let’s get back to the tart. It is good. It just isn’t THAT GOOD, in my own opinion. I realize it raises funds for good causes and so what if it isn’t brilliant, it has tradition, it features guava jelly (a native delicacy that so few still otherwise enjoy) and it apparently makes folks happy. At PHP450 for this tin with the Madeliene type smiling nun on the cover, it has just two layers or crust inside and a small container of guava jelly. Pricey. I could probably make this at home for 1/5 of the price or less…
I decided to whip out my homemade mangosteen jam and try it on the wedge of a tart crust and it was good; but admittedly, NOT as good as the pairing with guava jelly (mangosteen jam on left wedge in photo up top, guava jelly on the right wedge). Hmmm, one day I will play with this concept and make some tastier and less hard crusts then top it with some cream cheese or nice vanilla ice cream, a fig compote or mangosteen jam and see what that tastes like… Now all I need is a snazzy name that will last centuries after I have gone. With my current pre-occupation with James Bond movies I could perhaps call it a “Bond-Age Tart” or a “Stylish Tart” or a “Tasty Tart” or “Tarty Tart”; what would you suggest??? And let’s not even dwell on the vision of the President of the Republic and other folks of my mother’s age bracket in those plaid skirts at their 50th reunion…now that, truly makes me shudder involuntarily! And, not, in a good way…if you know what I mean! No real offense meant at any of the many alumnae of the above mentioned institutions… Enjoy your TARTS!!!