Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy

(Not suitable for Facebook, because double entendres and incidental naked men, but not actually X-rated. Mostly about food.)

Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy. Plus a little Echeveria plant. These are more birthday presents from the 6th, from Juan Gomez and the aging care company he works for (a big tart — not merely una tarta, but un tartone — plus the little succulent) and from Kim Darnell (a cute fruit cream tartlet with a pansy).

Background. I’d intended to use this posting to plug into a thread on the categories and labels in the domain of quiche, flan, tart(e), torte, pie, cake, and bread. Earlier postings:

on 4/29/18, “All the dessert world is not either cake or pie”: on cake, pie, clafoutis, flan

on 5/3/18, “CAKE-PIE II”: on cake, pie, fruit pizza, pizza, pizza dolce / Italian cheesecake, cheesecake, deep-dish pizza, spanakopita, pizza blanca, meat pies

But there’s quite enough birthday-present material for a substantial posting, so I’ll put off CAKE-PIE III for a little while longer

The gifts. Un tartone (with the Italian augmentative suffix –one):


A small Echeveria, seen here against the background of naked-boys-playing photographs on my living-room wall (I live in a visually rich home environment):


(The Warwick Rowers photo on the right is one of three photos that got me sent to Facebook jail for posting adult nudity; the famous Burt Reynolds Cosmo centerfold was another. I will post separately about FB’s algorithms and its enforcement of its Community Standards. Here I note that I will no longer post links on FB that take readers directly to one of my blog postings; instead I’ll post instructions for finding the posting, so that images like #2 will never again appear on my FB timeline.)

And the tartlet, with pansy:


(If you’re objecting, as several people have done to me, that that’s no pansy, it’s a Johnny Jump Up, hold the thought; I’ll get to the naming issue in a bit.)

[Added 9/17: the logo for the local bakery (in Town & Country Village, not far south of my house) that was the source of #3:


Fruit tarts. A fruit tart (tarte, tarta) has three layers: an open crust shell (many possibilities for the makeup of the shell); a creamy layer, either a custard (in particular, pastry cream, as in the tarts above) or heavy cream and mascarpone whipped together, or a layer based on cream cheese; and a top layer of fresh fruit (either plain, as in #1, or coated in sugar syrup or a fruit glaze, as in #3).

Fruits customarily appearing in/on tarts include strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, grapes, pineapple, pitted cherries, and Mandarin orange sections.

On pastry cream and its relatives, from Wikipedia:

Custard is a variety of culinary preparations based on a cooked mixture of milk or cream and egg yolk. Depending on how much egg or thickener is used, custard may vary in consistency from a thin pouring sauce (crème anglaise) to a thick pastry cream (French: crème pâtissière) used [among other things] to fill éclairs. Most common custards are used as desserts or dessert sauces and typically include sugar and vanilla. Sometimes flour and corn starch is added as in pastry cream or crème pâtissière.

Custard is usually cooked in a double boiler (bain-marie), or heated very gently in a saucepan on a stove, though custard can also be steamed, baked in the oven with or without a water bath, or even cooked in a pressure cooker. Custard preparation is a delicate operation

The double entendres. #3 is a fruit cream tart with pansy, four sexually loaded items packed into a small space: fruit, derogatory slang for ‘male homosexual’; cream, slang for ‘semen’; tart, derogatory slang for ‘a woman who dresses or behaves in a way that is considered tasteless and sexually provocative’ (NOAD), ‘slut’, ‘prostitute’, ‘male hustler’, or ‘promiscuous homosexual, gay slut’; and pansy, derogatory slang for ‘male homosexual’. So #3 is an especially well-chosen birthday present for your favorite homo / fruit / pansy / queer / queen / fag. I was touched by the thought.

Bonus double entendre. Around the time of my birthday, a gay friend reported on Facebook that he’d had a visit from a young man who “fed me a creamy dessert he made himself”. Yum.

Pansies. Pansy is the common name for Viola tricolor var. hortensis. The garden pansy, as here:


Meanwhile, a widely used common name for the wild form of V. tricolor — a common European wildflower with small flowers — is Johnny jump up; the flowers are indeed tricolored, with several variants:


From Wikipedia:

It has been introduced into North America, where it has spread [and is often grown as a garden flower; the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto has lots of them]. It is the progenitor of the cultivated pansy, and is therefore sometimes called wild pansy; before the cultivated pansies were developed, “pansy” was an alternative name for the wild form.

But for those who have Johnny jump up as the name of the plant in #3, that name will take precedence over pansy as its name, with the result that for them, unmodified pansy will refer only to the hortensis variant. (Some botanists appear to be inclined to insist on using the common name pansy to refer to both plants, on the grounds that they’re the same species; but I don’t think the rest of us should assent to botanists stipulating common names.)

So: depending on how you think about these things, the tart in #3 either has a (kind of) pansy on it, or it has a wild pansy on it, or it has no kind of pansy on it, but instead a Johnny jump up (in which case one of the double entendres mostly vanishes).

(Earlier on this blog, in the 6/2/17 posting “Pride Time #1: the pink and the purple”, there’s a section on Johnny jump ups.)

The gift Echeveria. By now, Echeveria species are old friends on this blog; in particular, see my 3/1/17 posting “Two notable plants”, with its section on the genus. Of rosette-leaved succulents with many species. A sampling of six (one of which already has an offshoot, or pup):


Amiable plants, easy to care for, with pretty flowers on surprisingly long stalks; I have two different species (neither of them the species in #2) blooming on my patio right now. As for identifying particular species or cultivars, I’m pretty much an idiot.

One Response to “Fruit cream tarts, one with pansy”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    We often make a fruit tart (using a recipe we got from my mother) that does not have a pastry cream layer: crumb crust, any of various fruits, and a syrup made with butter, jam, and spices.

    I think i could stretch to get a double-entendre out of johnny jump-up.

    “I live in a visually rich home environment”: You are a master of understatement.

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