Who needs to be real housewives when you can be fabulous ones? A few brilliant and creative friends, (including Lucinda Wesson of creative design studio True & Wesson) recently engineered a send-off to a friend leaving our staid New England shores for sunny Florida. The send-off involved, among other things, a can of hairspray, seven pairs of false eyelashes, several pairs of tube socks and an awful lot of bronzer as we channeled a retro Florida fabulous groove in her honor.
Thankfully, the evening also involved a fantastic progressive meal (plus a stop in a local establishment before the main course to be SURE our outfits were appreciated). The menu? From “A Party with Fizz” in the June 2007 issue of Bon Appetite. The food? Fabulous.
The complete menu is available here, and it was just terrific, from the Shiitaki, Goat Cheese and Chanterelle Pizza appetizers, the salad, the Roasted Shrimp in Champagne-Shallot Sauce, the delicious Orzo Risotto and the amazing Blue Lake Green Beans with Lemon and Thyme that we all raved about.
Menu cards and table design by Chocolate Creative Design/Lucinda Wesson, china and stemware from the extraordinary and lovely collection of the bronzest housewife of all, Heidi, who bravely hosted this dinner.
I can only take responsibility for the Lemon Cream Tart, and hardly at that because (come closer, I’m going to whisper this) I didn’t actually make the crust, but used a premade one. I’ve never done this before, and I was really surprised at how okay it was. Or perhaps it was the champagnes paired with each course that dampened my ability to be critical of pie crust. In any case, the recipe is easy and so darn good, especially with a bit of Raspberry-Apricot Compote with Champagne and Lemon Verbena on the side. I’m just saying. Lemon Cream Tart Crust
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
For crust: Butter bottom (not sides) of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Blend flour, sugar, grated lemon peel, and salt in processor. Add butter; blend until coarse meal forms. Add egg yolks; blend until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Press onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Freeze crust until firm, about 15 minutes. DO AHEAD Crust can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep frozen. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake crust 5 minutes. Press up sides with back of fork if falling. Continue to bake until golden, pressing up sides as needed, about 18 minutes longer. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature. For filling: Whisk sugar, eggs, yolks, and lemon peel in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in lemon juice and wine. Cook over medium heat until custard thickens and just begins to bubble, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Cool to just warm, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Pour filling into crust. Bake tart until filling is set in center and begins to puff at edges, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
If you have your own party, you’re going to need a little of this–SERIOUS hairspray and nearly illegal coral lipstick.
For the full, fabulous experience, enjoy our extremely fabulous slide show here. And let me know if you are having your own fabulous housewives party, because I want to come!