There is so much hype about junior year. It seems like when my classmates used to talk about The Bachelor and the scary new P.E. teacher, they now talk about AP classes and college apps.
All of this hype freaked me out a little bit. My label-maker went into overdrive, I felt as though my life was scheduled down to the minute, I was constantly writing myself illegible notes on my phone, I had calenders solely dedicated to keeping track of my other calenders.
Then I took a step back. I realized that while jamming my label-maker and staring down at my bi-weekly calender, I was missing a heck of a lot. Things were just passing right by me. The air started smelling like fall, Carly got a haircut, and I desperately needed a manicure... and I didn't even notice. Missing out is a scary thing. I realized that sometimes, I need to get my face out of my agendas. Sometimes, it's absolutely necessary to do something "pointless."
I did a dryer load of fuzzy socks, so I could put them on when they're still warm.
I painted my nails this electric peachy pink color.
I went on a long walk blasting "Don't Drop That Thun Thun" and looking at the trees. Then I started noticing things again and how beautiful everything was. I noticed how the light reflects of the wavy windows in my neighborhood, how birds manage to nestle into precarious little crevices of brick walls without falling down, and how simply tilting my chin can give me a whole new perspective on my neighborhood. I wondered what the world would look like if I were 6 feet tall, or what it looks like to Carly. Before I knew it, I was eighteen blocks away from home.
Most of the time, I bake for a purpose (bake sales, birthdays, sports games), and I absolutely love my classic cookie/blondie/brownie repertoire (i.e. things that can be eaten with one hand on the way to English class or on the sidelines). But I think that sometimes, it's important to make something impractical and crumbly.
Like this crostata. It's not particularly ridiculous like some of the other things I make. It doesn't have the "wow" factor of a triple-decker Nutella cake or oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies.
It's a little crumbly, a little rustic, and the dough looks a little like a six-year-old's play-dough creation.
But it's really delicious. It's one of my favorite things to make. It's pretty simple and great for sharing. Perhaps some would say that it's a little "pointless." But maybe "pointless" isn't such a bad thing after all.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
11 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
zest of one lemon
pinch of salt
1 small jar of peach jam (mine had a hint of smoky bourbon in it)
raw cane sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 F and grease a 9" tart pan.
Place flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the center and add the eggs. Using either your hands or a fork, incorporate the eggs into the flour. Work the butter into the dough until it forms clumps.
Add the sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Keep working the dough until is it very crumbly and slightly sticky.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a couple of times, then take off about 1/3 of the dough (for the lattice pattern on top).
With a rolling pin, roll out the bigger piece of dough into about a nine inch circle and press into the tart pan. Prick a few times with a fork, then spread the jam evenly on top.Break off little pieces of the small piece of dough and roll them between your hands into long strips. Place the strips over the jam, pressing lightly at the edges so they stick to the crust.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
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