Topless tarts everywhere: the Monthly Mingle roundup

ToplessTartsRoundup © J Horak-Druiff 2011

STOP PRESS! Want to have a quick pre-release sneak peek at the May 2011 Wikio Gastronomy blog rankings? Click here and spot the familiar name at no. 6 :)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that everybody loves a tart. It doesn’t matter if it is a sweet tart, or a hot and spicy tart – there is just something about them that’s irresistible – and even more so if we are talking topless tarts.  Can there be anybody on the planet that does not approve of them?

As you may know, my dad passed away in March.  Together with his will, he left a set of instructions regarding the funeral he wanted and where he wanted his ashes scattered.  He was very adamant that the only person to conduct the funeral service should be Father L., the same Catholic priest who conducted my mom’s funeral service seven years ago.  This may seem like an odd choice, considering that neither one of my parents was church-going, let alone Catholic.  But if you had heard the incredibly moving, cerebral and inspiring service that Father L. delivered for my mom, you would understand why my father was so adamant.

The funeral was duly held as my father had requested, with Father L. presiding, and once again the service was perfect for the occasion and for my father.  Father L.’s kind, gentle, wise and inspiring words were what we all needed to hear and I hope my father heard them wherever he was.  A couple of weeks after the funeral, I received an e-mail from Father L. who had been sent a link to CookSister so that he could see the beach where we scattered my father’s ashes.  But of course, on the day that a Catholic priest decides to visit my site, what is the leading article about?  TOPLESS TARTS!  Cringe.  So after he mailed me to say that he had been to the site, I mailed him back and apologised (only half in jest!) that he had to be greeted by topless tarts on his first visit to CookSister.  His reply?  “Oh, I prefer my tarts topless. Any other way, they’re just too… crusty.”.

So there you have it – topless tarts as approved by the clergy.  Apparently, a lot of other people also approved of topless tarts, judging by the enthusiastc response to this month’s Monthly Mingle theme.  Thanks to my sister-from-another-mother Meeta for allowing me to host her event – now please take your seats as we welcome on stage…. THE TOPLESS TART SHOW!


My friend Tandy Sinclair of Lavender and Lime was first out of the tarty starting blocks with her gorgous peach tarte tatin – I love this peachy take on the apple original!



From sweet, to savoury – Joumana of Taste of Beirut presented us with these oh-so-pretty Prosciutto crustless mini quiches – perfect for serving with lovely summer cocktails.



Next, Candice of Gorgeous Gourmet comes up with a feast for the eyes as well as the tongue.  Her Mushroom, Caramelised Onion and Goat’s Cheese Tart is as pretty as a piece of abstract art, and I can almost smell those mushrooms through my screen!



The lovely Solange of Pebble Soup got so swept up in the tart-tastic theme that she produced not one but THREE tarts!  Check them all out on her blog, but the one she chose for the Mingle was this unusual and delicious grape tart.



Who said all topless tarts had to be women?  Stand up and be counted, my dear friend Andrew of Spittoon Extra!  He puts his outstanding baking and photography skills to work to present us with this indulgent Soured Cream Plum Tart – as elegant as a still-life painting.



These days it seems the foodie world is so busy with macarons that they forget the simple joys of macaroons – but not Arthi of Soul Curry – she wows us with a berry-strewn Chocolate macaroon tart that’s almost too pretty to eat!



Another contender for Miss Topless Tart April 2011 is the lovely Jenn of Jenn Cuisine.  She manages to transform pink grapefruit into the most gorgeous and delightful grapefruit curd tartelettes – and they are even gluten-free!



After all the sweetness, it’s good to get back to something savoury.  I love artichokes but I have never thought of them as a tart filling – however the lovely Giuliana of Juls’ Kitchen is happy to educate me with her gorgeous topless artichoke tartBella!



Spring is in the air… and Robin of What About the Food? works the theme with this lovely spring onion tart. In fact, inspired by the theme, Robin made two tarts – but you’ll have to visit the blog to see the other :)



Hurrah – another South African entry! This one is from Cindy at The Only Cin and her little topless number is a colourful feast – she brings along a tri-colour topless tart with spinach, bacon, tomato and Camembert.  How can you resist?



Something a little more exotic now as we go and visit Mairi of Toast.  Hands up – do you know what kikorangi is? Bonus points if you know that it is a New Zeland blue cheese – and Mairi uses it to great effect in her greens and kikorangi topless tart!



Another fan of the fabulous tomato was Emma from Souperior.  I had to smile when I saw that she had made a roasted baby tomato and pesto tart with a Parmesan crust – when you see my own entry you will know that great minds think alike!



Welcome now to a Mingle newbie – Lora of Diary of a Mad Hausfrau.  She introduces us to yet another fairly exotic ingredient with her spectacularly good looking Vanilla bean paste and sea buckthorn tart with a brown sugar crust.  I don’t know about you, but it was the brown sugar crust that stopped me in my tracks :)



One of my oldest blog friends joins us for the Monthly Mingle this month, taking a break from her new bundle of joy!  Pille of Nami-Nami knows I don’t like beetroot much, so she apologised in advance for making a beetroot and feta tart – but when it’s this beautiful, how can I refuse??



Another nod to the popularity of tomatoes among the topless tart fraternity comes from my friend Sally of My Custard Pie.  Her post not only reveals the secrets of her Ottolenghi roasted vegetable tart with feta and ricotta but also includes some snaps from a photographic outing in Dubai :)

 My Custard Pie


What with the Royal Wedding last week, our thoughts have been turning to all things British.  Renatka of Fabulicious Food showcases all sorts of delicious british goodies with her British asparagus, smoked trout and dill tartlets – perfect for the sunny Spring weather we are having!

 Fabulicious Food


My lovely friend Ailbhe of Simply Splendiferous gives a nod to her Irish roots as she treats us to a delicious sounding potato and bacon tart. Love the cute visuals too!



And from savoury, we move to sweet as Richa of Ambrosia tempts us with her creamy, dreamy lemon tart.  Nothing like a lemon tart, I always say!



Mmmmmm, mangoes!  Ruchi of Ruchi’s Simply Food also went for something sweet and wowed us with a mango coconut macaroon tart – I love the combination of two tropical flavours in one tart!.




Probably one of the most beautiful tarts that I have ever seen comes from Sylvie of Gourmande in the Kitchen.  Her Raspberry and Lemon Tart simply took my breath away – and I’m sure it will do the same for you!




Sweatha from TastyCurryLeaf is another one who decided to tempt us with lusciously ripe Summer tomatoes – her Mozzarella and tomato tartlets look perfect for a lazy summer lunch!




It’s beginning to look a lot like a summer holiday around here as we welcome the lovely Soma of eCurry to the party – and look, she’s brought an exuberantly Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable and Hummus Tart.  Irresistable flavours & vibrant colours.



One of my favourite party guests made it to the mingle with minutes to spare.  My darling blogMamma Colleen of Browniegirlblog pulled out all the stops and made a Pancetta, fig and blue cheese tart with chocolate caramlised onions.  It’s like main course and dessert all rolled into one!




Now why does it not surprise me that my talented co-presenter at the forthcoming Plate to Page workshop, Jamie from Life’s a Feast, decided to make a sweet tart??  What this lady doesn’t know about baking is not worth knowing and her baked custard tart looks like a fitting end to any party!



To my mortification, I nearly forgot all about the original hostess with the mostest, my sister-from-another-mother Meeta of What’s for Lunch, Honey?  She has been so busy in April that she was not sure she would be able to make her own event, but her hard drive yielded up buried treasure from 2009 in the form of Flammkuchen (tarte flambée) two ways: with zucchini, tomato & feta; or with zucchini, fennel & goat cheese.  You choose!




And as for me, your topless tarty hostess CookSister??  I made a toplessly tantalising tomato, pesto and thyme tarte tatin, for your viewing and tasting pleasure :)


  Thanks ever so much to all of you who joined in and mingled with us this month – it was a true pleasure working through all your delectable entries.  Thanks also to the one and only Meeta for letting me host her event – always a pleasure doing business with you 😉  Next month’s hostess with the mostest will be the lovely Juls of Juls’ Kitchen and I know you will be in good hands with her!  I’m pleased to announce that her theme will be fresh pasta – please check out her announcement post for all the details. Happy mingling!

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  1. says

    Jeanne you even got the priest to visit the tarts:) oh! dear.. this has to be a one of a kind mingle:)Beautiful beautiful round and so many lovelies. bookmarking this entire post to try out and go over them one by one.

  2. says

    Jeanne what an amazing round-up and thank you so much for your kind comments on my tart :-) I can’t believe the priest visited and his comments are hilarious! I bet he’ll be following all our topless tarting journeys now. Absolutely can’t WAIT to join in with fresh pasta making. What a treat. Thanks again for hosting such a great mingle.

  3. says

    Jeanne, what a fabulous round up and as I passed from one Topless Tart to the next I found myself oohing and mmming and saying YES I want to make this, oh I want to make this! Everyone did a fabulously delicious job! Wouldn’t this have been a fantastic outdoor buffet or picnic if we had gotten together, each one of us bringing our tart? Thanks for hosting and coming up with the perfect theme.
    I now see why your dad loved Father L. Isn’t he great?

  4. says

    That is such a lovely story about the priest. Love so many of these tarts.I’m so looking forward to being back in the kitchen.

  5. says

    Wonderful round up, I too had a horribly busy April and didn’t manage to submit anything to this or my own event. I finally managed to make my topless tart double bubble Nigella street party entry the other day but not photographed it yet!!
    Hope to see you soon Xx

  6. says

    Oh, I wanted to enter this…but life got in the way. I loved your lead-in story to the event and I love what I’m seeing here. I intend to linger and click away.

  7. says

    Glorious tart-a-licous! This is a fabulous collection. Thanks so much Jeanne for your lovely introductions to each entry and assembly skills.

  8. says

    What a truly delightful man Father L, is. :-) I’m so glad you had such a fellow to preside at your parents funerals. xo Hope your heart is healing after your loss.

  9. says

    I admire you for seamlessly combining heavy talk with frivolous pursuits; this Father sounds like a marvelous man and the display of tarts got me thinking I really like them tarts!!!

  10. says

    Wow! I wish I had been able to participate…maybe next time, my blog should be up and aroung in a few weeks.
    Happy weekend!

  11. Leah-Anne Hart says

    I am really sorry to hear about your dad! Sending our love to you and yours!! I have decided to start cooking more, as I love doing it but just slightly lazy about it! I am going to give a Frangelico and Hazelnut Tiramusu a go this weekend, wish me luck.

  12. says

    I just wanted to say I really enjoyed your “topless tarts” collection – they look delicous and they are approved by the clergy – I had a good giggle!
    Off to browse some more.