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Tuesday June 7, 2011

Total Eclipse of the Tart it's Gastro-Astronomical!

In just a few days, on June 15th, 2011, a total lunar eclipse will take place. This kind of lunar event happens only every ten years and scientists predict next week’s eclipse in particular will mark one of the darkest on record.

If BraveTart’s starry background and vaguely Star Trek PADD like design didn’t give it away, let me be clear: I ♥ me some outer space. As a serious science geek and lover of even the most mundane celestial events, I prepared to take off work to stay up late and enjoy the show. Maybe invite some friends over for an eclipse viewing party. Make some Moon Pies. Drink some Moonshine. You know.

Except it turns out that I can’t see it from Kentucky. I can’t see it from any part of the United States. Or even North America for that matter.

Whatevs. It’s pretty much just the astronomical equivalent of Groundhog Day, except the earth’s so dumb it doesn’t even know it has a shadow. How embarrassing is that? Like I even care about some eclipse…


full lunar eclipse chart as expressed in tarts

Unless it was a Total Eclipse of the Tart.

Okay. I have a longstanding obsession with Gastro-Astronomical events. I always did like the gastro part better anyway. Who wants to observe a stupid eclipse when you could eat one? Who even said I wanted to observe? I’m just here for the food.

Instead of watching the earth’s lame shadow creep across the boring surface of the disgusting moon, I’m gonna watch a crispy layer of sugar brûlée creep across glistening surface of delicious lemon curd.

It’s like a bajillion percent better than a celestial event named after some vampire book. Forget Eclipses. While you’re at it, forget Team Edward vs Team What’s-his-name. I’m on Team Tart.

lemon tart brûlée

This map shows which parts of the earth will offer front row seats to the full lunar eclipse. If you live in America, don’t even bother clicking. The moon hates you, you’re not invited.

But some people can have their eclipse and also eat it. Some People live in Australia and are astrophysicists and have baking blogs and have the option of watching the most brilliant lunar eclipse of the decade slowly unfold at moonrise and nibble on a lemon tart brûlée, all at the same time.

Some people can’t. And, it’s not like some people even wanted to in the first place. I didn’t. Not even the least bit curious.

Not when I have Rosco to painstakingly take all of these photos and Whit to Photoshop them according to my obnoxiously specific wishes. The “real” lunar eclipse will only last 107 minutes, but these .JPGs will last a life time.

Without those two guys, I’d just be the owner of a lonely tart.

total eclipse of the tart

Regardless of which “zone of visibility” your place of residence is located, I hope you manage to have a lovely June 15th.

I hope you bake something stellar. I hope you look up at the moon. And, for just this once, I hope you imagine it’s made of lemon curd instead of cheese.

And…. If you did just happen to live in the Zone of Visibility, and you happen to have a guest room, and you happen to need some lemon tarts? Gimme a call.

Lemon Curd
123 Dough

posted byStellaand filed under:  Fruit  Sideshow Photos  Tarts

74 comments and counting

Jun 07, 2011 · 10:25 AM

This is pure genius. Love the details and how you caramelized the mini tarts to create the shadows! clapclapclap

 · Yuri @ Chef Pandita ·

Jun 07, 2011 · 10:37 AM

Wow, Stella. Seriously. I am so glad I followed Yuri’s link to this! You have nudged me out of the Tartbreak Hotel and over to order a case of lemons which I am doing RIGHT NOW! Lemon Love!

 · Nancy ·

Jun 07, 2011 · 11:13 AM

Puns. Geekery. Bruleed tarts. Lemon curd.
Stella, you are officially the awesomest person ever. You’ve just supplanted Nigella Lawson as my Official Foodie Girlcrush.

 · Isabelle @ Crumb ·

Jun 07, 2011 · 11:24 AM

Oh I love this! Better than any actual lunar eclipse =)

 · Peggy ·

Jun 07, 2011 ·  2:32 PM

I’ve been giggling with delight throughout that whole post.

 · Mousey · 

Jun 07, 2011 ·  5:23 PM


 · GJ · 

Jun 07, 2011 ·  5:54 PM

The most delicious eclipse, ever! It makes me wish we baked more when I was a culinary school student (I wrote about it here, if you’re interested: “Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood” on Amazon Kindle)

 · S.J. Sebellin-Ross ·

Jun 07, 2011 ·  6:30 PM

Some people think you are too fabulous for words. I’m on Team Tart!

 · Chocolate Chilli Mango ·

Jun 07, 2011 ·  8:27 PM

@Yuri, thanks for the applause! Rosco & Whit did all the hard work. Baking’s a piece of…cake…

@Nancy, I’m so glad you clicked through too becuase “tartbreak hotel” may be the best thing I’ve heard all day!

@Isabelle, careful, you’re treading on blasphemy! Nigella’s the one girl to rule them all!

@Peggy, yeah! Who even cares about a stupid “real” eclipse.

@Mousey, I adore your giggles. You have my favorite laugh.

@GJ, nice tie in!

@Viviane, I’m still super jealous. But go Team Tart!


Jun 07, 2011 · 11:55 PM

and winner of most epic name ever!?
Total eclipse of the tart!
Whoot! Whoot!

 · Sarah ·

Jun 08, 2011 ·  1:21 AM

Not to make you super jealous but I’ll be watching the eclipse from down here in Oz… eating your lemon curd tarts. You can come over if you like.

 · erin ·

Jun 08, 2011 · 10:00 AM

@Sarah, when Rosco and I first started the blog we came this close to naming it “Total Eclipse of the Tart” but we finally decided it was too long and no one wanted to type in, “” just to visit us. Ha ha.

@Erin, sooooo, what’s your address?


Jun 08, 2011 ·  4:32 PM

That’s so cute!!! I wish the moon didn’t hate us though Y~Y. Team tart ftw!!

 · Kait · 

Jun 09, 2011 ·  7:48 AM

As I read and re-read this treat I can see the video of this cosmological wonder in my head. Thank you ever so much. Only a video of the tarts in motion could ever eclipse this post! BTW, the moon hates us because it has a tart of stone.

 · shuckydurn · 

Jun 09, 2011 · 11:26 AM

This is just so so so amazing! You are very creative! I love astronomical events….put tarts in them and I’m surely amazed!

 · CaffeIna ·

Jun 09, 2011 · 10:46 PM

@Kait , Seriously. The moon needs a major attitude adjustment.

@shuckydurn, my brother has a background in videography. Maybe I’ll have to make him tackle it for us someday!

@CaffeIna, food geekery is my favorite. How could any event not be improved by the presence of tarts?


Jun 10, 2011 ·  3:25 PM

So bitter. Tsk tsk

I’m completely envious of those who will be able to see it, too. Sigh.

These tarts sound fab. I love how you bruleed partial rounds of sugar for the shadows. So clever! You guys produced a wonderful set of photos.

 · kaitlin ·

Jun 10, 2011 ·  7:42 PM

Thanks Kaitlin. Yeah, I’m a bitter, angry baker. Sour grapes. Or tarts. Either way. Rosco was sooo patient with me as I’d brulee, he’d take a pic, I’d brulee, he’d take a pic, over and over. It took us all stinkin’ day.
What a guy.


Jul 30, 2011 ·  2:07 PM

bahaa. i like you and this is awesome.

 · julia ·

Jul 31, 2011 · 12:48 AM

@Julia, thanks so much, we had a blast pulling it off.


Aug 13, 2011 ·  1:26 PM

But I am confused. There is a full tart next to a total eclipse on the right of the diagram. And there appears to be only 19 days to the tartar month. And why is the tart spiralling towards the Heart of the Tart in true King Crimson ( fashion????? And why am I covering up the fact that I am intimidated by your baking abilities by making as many nerdy scientific puns as I can muster? NB I slept through the eclipse here in Australia. After all, it was at night time. I think.

 · arizaphale ·

Aug 14, 2011 ·  2:07 PM

@arizaphale, omg, I can’t believe you slept through it!!! Nooooo…… My husband is a huge King Crimson fan, I will have to pass your joke along. Well, the Tart culture is really quite different from our own, it’s interesting how their society evolved with such a short Tartar month. XD


May 14, 2012 ·  3:21 AM

Its really cute!!!!!!! I wish the moon didn’t hate us….

 · Rolf Golfer ·

May 14, 2012 · 10:29 AM

@Rolf, hahaha, me too!


Jan 23, 2013 · 10:21 AM

First time on ths and i Love it
I am so going to use this and I just ten

 · crazygirl · 

Jan 24, 2013 ·  8:20 AM

Hi crazygirl! Hope you have fun in the kitchen, thanks for stopping by!


Mar 30, 2013 ·  1:34 PM


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SO marvelous!!!
Beautiful idea!!!

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