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Bake For Hope

May 10, 2010

Tarts Small Medium Large

Last week, Bake For Hope Los Angeles hosted a three-day bake sale in downtown LA. Bake For Hope is a non-profit organization that hosts a week-long bake sale nationwidebenefiting local Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliates. I volunteered to give delicious baked goodies to the organization to help support breast cancer research. This bake sale is very close to my heart since my husband’s grandmother passed away in March. She had breast cancer.

For the bake sale, I made Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and Grapefruit-Lemon Tarts with Blackberries. Yum!

Grapefruit-Lemon Tart

Snow-capped Cookies

I used to eat Chocolate Crinkle Cookies a lot when I was a kid. I remember buying just one cookie during recess as my morning sweet treat. I have used Shirley Corriher’s recipe from her lovely book BakeWise. I underbake the cookies a bit, because I like it on the soft and chewy side. Just recently, White on Rice Couple made their own version inspired by David Lebovitz‘  recipe he calls Chocolate Crack Cookies (his new book called Ready For Dessert is amazing, by the way).

Chocolate Crackles


I also wanted to make something elegant for the bake sale, and that’s when I concocted in my head to make a Grapefruit-Lemon Tart with Blackberries. I love the combination of grapefruit and lemon together. The tang it brings is uniquely flavorful. If pomelos were in season, I TOTALLY would have used that instead of grapefruit. Another combination I love is lemon and blackberries, if you have never tried it, I say you go to the grocery store now and buy some lemon sorbet and top it with blackberries. Simple but divine.

Grapefruit-Lemon Tarts with Blackberries

Pâte Sucrée

I use my school’s recipe for Pâte Sucrée. I have tried and experimented with other ones but this recipe works best for me. It’s the most malleable and forgiving tart dough I know. This is also available via Le Cordon Bleu’s Professional Baking Book by Wayne Gisslen


7.5 ounces of butter, slightly cold to room temperature (plastic consistency)

3 ounces of sugar

1/3 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ounces beaten eggs

12 ounces pastry flour (I use organic unbleached)


1. Sift flour and salt together in a bowl and set aside (I sift my dry ingredients over parchment paper).

2. Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. The goal is to mix until combined and incorporated, not light and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs a little bit at a time ensuring that the mixture is well incorporated before adding the rest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla extract.

4. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and just mix until just combined.

5. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten to a disc. Wrap it tight and chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours or even overnight.

6. To prepare the tart shells, roll out the chilled dough into a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and drape over your tart pans and firmly press in place. If you are using small tart pans like I did, you can use a pizza cutter to cut small rounds of dough. If the dough breaks, you can easily patch it with scraps.

7. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and chill for at least 20 minutes before blind baking at 350° F for 12 to 14 minutes. Just remember that if you are using a big tart pan, place a piece of foil or parchment on top of the dough and put some pie weights or uncooked pinto beans on top. The pricking and the pie weights help prevent the dough bubble up while baking. But if you are using small tart pans, no need to put pie weights. The incredible amount of butter in the dough will help release the tart shells pretty easily off the pan… but still do the pricking on small tart pans.

Grapefruit-Lemon Curd


8 egg yolks

1/4 cup grapefruit juice (use a combination if you like: Ruby Red, Pink and Rio Red; you will have a lot of grapefruit halves left)

1/4 cup lemon juice

Zest of 1 grapefruit

1 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

6 ounces of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


1. Whisk yolks, grapefruit and lemon juice, half of the zest, and the sugar in a medium-sized pan and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly and continue to cook until the mixture is about 160° F on an instant read thermometer, no more than 10 minutes. Visual clue: when the mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon, it’s ready.

2. Remove it from heat and add in the salt. Add the butter pieces one at a time and stir to melt. Add in the remaining zest.

3. Strain the curd using a fine sieve and cover it with a plastic surface (directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming). Chill in the refrigerator at least three hours before use.

Note: You can also cook the curd over bain-marie (water bath or double boiler). This is safer if you find yourself overcooking your eggs when making any type of curds.


1. Remove cooled tart shells from pan. Put the curd on top of the shells and smooth out with a spatula.

2. Top them with blackberries and brush the fruit with apricot glaze for some shine.

***This post is dedicated to our loving and beautiful grandma. Happy Mother’s Day Grandma Lupe!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2010 5:51 pm

    both of them look gorgeous! well done on the bake sale these must’ve been a huge hit :O)

  2. May 12, 2010 8:20 pm

    Thank you Betty! They were a hit indeed. The tarts went fast just like that and the cookies were all sold at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. I heart bake sales… especially the ones that are for a good cause.


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