Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Undone & Outwitted by a Tart


Actually, it wasn't the tart's fault. It was mine. And I need your help. But first, some backstory:

After all these years of working with puff pastry (frozen! never scratch!), you'd THINK I would know better than to bake a pear tart on a flat cookie sheet.

But I didn't. I merrily popped it into the oven and went back to work, thinking, Dr. G. is going to kiss me when he sees this tart.

Then Young Gollum said, "What's burning?"

I cracked open the oven door, smoke billowed out. We began madly waving cookie sheets to keep the smoke away from the detectors. Then I turned on the oven light. When homemade pear preserves hits the bottom of an oven, and when that oven is 400 degrees, the results are ugly.

I was too distraught to take a picture, but the bottom of the oven was black and carbonized. Since I cannot use caustic cleaners, I didn't know what to do. So I waited till the oven cooled and tried to clean the oil slick with baking soda and lemon juice.


Most of it did come up, except for some horrid patches. The men have gallantly tried to scrub it, but even their burly-manliness can't scrape up the taint.

I need your help. If you know of any non-caustic substance that will remove burned on jam, I'd love to hear about it. (MY mother said ammonia will do the trick, but I'm afraid to try that, what with my recent run-in with Clorox.)

One good thing--the tart was delicious. :-)

44 comments:

  1. Oh no Gollum. I recently did this myself. What worked for me was a good soak with hot, hot water. I just squeezed a wet sponge onto the oven floor, let it soak a few minutes, then scrubbed with a flat wooden spatula. Got the worst out then turned on the self cleaning feature and it all disappeared. Good luck Sweetie.

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  2. Baking Soda andwhite Vinegar... make it into a paste. Spread it evenly and thick. Let it sit for 20 minutes or so. Then wipe in a cirular motion. If that does not work.. I am not sure what will. (It is gentle enough not to cause any damage.

    Miss you! Sorry to hear about your mini disaster! Your oven is always so spotless... I know you must be beside yourself.

    xoxoxoxoxo
    Donna Marie

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  3. Ok Gollum I just got out my old Heloise Housekeeping hints book..and it say to take dish soap and let it soak over night on the spots and it will come off..now I just love Dawn direct Foam and really think that would work for you..but Donna also had a great idea..good luck... hugs and smiles Gloria

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  4. Make a thick paste out of baking soda and water. Apply it liberally where needed. Turn on oven to "warm" for 30 min. Turn off. Wait overnight. Scrape off with plastic spatula. Works at this house.... time after time.... when will I learn to be neater?

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  5. Oh no! I've done this too - I used a baking soda and hot water paste, let it set, occasionally moistening it. It did come off. Good luck!

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  6. I AM SOLD ON DAWN, DAWN DAWN
    THIS SHOULD TAKE IT OUT.
    I USE DAWN FOR EVERYTHING.
    MY BRIDES THINK I AM A SUPERSTAR IT GETS OUT EVERYTHING THEY GET ON THEIR GOWNS. I use it on everthing in my house that has had a stain or grease; it cuts grease and it should cut jam.
    Let me know!
    Blossom Let it soak.

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  7. a quick google search and i found this link
    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cleaning/msg0404295625919.html


    Stop by my blog..I have left you a little something at http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com/2009/01/moi.html

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  8. Oh, thank you all!! These are the bestest ideas. I shall keep trying one method after the other until the evil blobs are gone.

    Oh--my pastry wheel arrived, the one that makes lattice designs. I am anxious to make something...in a proper pan, of course. :-)

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  9. Little kitchen kerfuffles are my trademark. I am the child of the child of a Grease Fire Starter.

    I always thaw the puff pastry sheets on a cookie sheet (with a bit of flour and Pam), and the flatness makes it easy to run the rolling pin over the dough. I shall NEVER take this shortcut again!

    I used to have a wonderful plastic pastry "sheet" that I bought at a Tupperware party. Note to self: find that sheet, Gollum.
    Until then--I'm using waxed paper.

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  10. As I was reading your story, I thought, Oh no, surely you aren't breathing more toxic fumes again!!!
    Hope the other hints work because other than baking soda or vinegar, I haven't got a clue!

    Now you've got me hungry for a pear tart. Do you just spread the preserves over the puff pastry and bake them? Please share the recipe and I'll be sure to make it in a jelly roll pan!

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  11. Baking Soda with a little water usually does the trick for me in removing anything tough like!

    Good luck..the tart sure looks pretty though :-)

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  12. Sorry to read of this but glad you are finding losts of help. Blogville has such knowledge!

    Glad also to know you could still eat the tart!

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  13. Did the same thing at Christmas. We poured hot water on it and scraped with a wooden spoon. It worked!

    Then we got an oven liner that wipes off when spills fall onto it.

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  14. Oh Gollum, I am so glad everything turned out OKAY and you have some wonderful tips on getting the oven clean again, I can just imagine you all running around fanning the over with baking trays to stop the alarms going off. enjoy the tart it looks yummy. Kathy.

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  15. I say buy a self-cleaning oven!

    But here's what I found for you:
    http://keepitcheap.blogspot.com/2007/11/homemade-oven-cleaning.html

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  16. So why can't you use Off oven cleaner? Is that considered caustic?

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  17. Hi Gollum...hey, I applaud you for even making a tart...My motivation for cooking (or burning) anything is hard to come by lately. You have some great suggestions so it's probably off by now...I hope.
    ;-) BO

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  18. Wait! Wait! Wait! Hold on a minute and let me get this clear! You're supposed to CLEAN your oven????
    Oh, okay!

    :-)

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  19. I'm just kidding G! Although if you saw my oven right now you might think I am not really joking. eek! Sorry to hear of your woes, but I am glad to hear it at least tasted good. Thats what counts. Good luck on your clean-up.

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  20. I use white vinegar for all things that verge on catastrophes. When I read your header of the blog today "Undone and Outwitted by a Tart", I thought we were going to hear some juicy gossip about one of the characters in your novel... or perhaps about "BoomBoom"!
    Hope the suggestions for cleanup help. Otherwise, I'd just crank up the Self Cleaning option on the oven and let it really stink up the house! Open some windows and let the farm smells take over!

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  21. hmm 2 things come to mind instantly, self cleaning oven or hired help!

    your lattice wheel will be great fun when you get the hang of it. the pasty should be cool, not room temp, not cold, for perfect results. then rechill before you bake to get it cold again, if that makes sense to you!

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  22. I have no clue what you can use to get the rest of the spots out, but I wanted to let you know that I was undone and outwitted by an angel food cake last September! That's hubby's favorite cake, and I thought I'd bake one for his birthday. I had one in the oven in a bundt cake pan, just as I've always done. When I checked on it it had exploded up over the top of the pan and went all over the bottom of the oven, much like your tart. Unlike your tart, though, we couldn't eat it! It was stuck in the (nonstick) bundt pan and I had to dig it out of there. I ended up buying an angel food cake at the grocery store and it was pretty anticlimactic by that point!

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  23. I am thinking that I missed your run in with Clorox, but isn't your oven self cleaning? Of course no oven is ever really self cleaning enough, is it?

    Janet

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  24. If your oven is a self clean....let it self clean...you have to set timer.But DO NOT use amonia,bleach.. I use kosher salt poured high and a damp plastic bath scrubby or washcloth.works on mine. I have a GE Cafe top of line model that does everything except wipe up my spills.But this salt seems to work.And it is harmless to your windpipe.

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  25. I have no other suggestions, but wish you success!! Hate it when something bubbles over, but glad the tart was worth it. It sure looks good. Sally

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  26. Gollum- You may want to remove your oven door. It makes it easier to scrub without stretching. You can also get better leverage on you cleaning weapon of choice! I start with the baking soda/hot water mixture. After letting it set a bit, I score the really bad spots with a plastic putty knife, then attack the whole mess with a heavy duty non-scratch scrubber. Good luck to you!

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  27. Looks like you've gotten some good advice. Before Christmas, I accidently put a bag of granulated sugar on the top of my smooth top stove, which had not yet cooled. I realized it immediately, and jerked the bag up, but too late. A huge pile of sugar had burned onto the stove top (not to mention plastic from the bag). My sweet husband saw me scrubbing, and came to the rescue. Really thought I was going to have to buy a new stove, and since it matches the gas range next to it, I was worried about having to replace both of them! I hope you can get this clean, but DON'T use ANYTHING that will make you sick again. We miss you too much around here. laurie

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  28. Basically I have no business telling yall about this pear tart because I am a Kitchen Slob. If there's a shortcut, I will take it. But I thawed a puff pastry sheet and opened a Mason jar full of peach preserves. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-20 minutes or until puffy and browned.Serve with whipped cream, but ice cream would be delicious, too.

    :::spits:: on the tart if it runs over and burns.

    Once In A Blue Moon's tip about refrigerating puff pastry is a gem.

    If you go to her blog, look for a picture on the sidebar that shows a pear in lattice puff pastry. She posted the recipe.

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  29. Gollum, I have done this too. I have a self-cleaning oven but the mess caught on fire. Was that your problem?? If you have most of it out and just some spots left. Using the self-clean feature should help at this point. Good luck!! Hugs,Terrie

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  30. Now that your oven is cleaned, I am anxious to see the new toy in action. ~ Robyn

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  31. I have a self cleaning oven, but bought one of those oven liners. It is like a sil pat, great! just pull off and wash all those pie spills right off...5 dollars in CTS..

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  32. Oh My! I hope you do not get sick from the smoke! There used to be an oven cleaner that I could use, can't find it anymore. I have asthma. Love all the tips you have gotten, I know I do the dawn and wooden spoon thing! I have some spot that needs cleaning, let me know what works! I will put hubby right on it! lol

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  33. I, too was going to suggest you get an oven liner, I have one and can't believe I lived without one for 40 years! I love it! Also, I LOOOVE Dawn Power Disolver, it's an amazing cleaner but I will have to check to see if it is caustic in anyway, but I don't think so. Of course your MESS is probably history by now:):) Hugs, Pinky

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  34. I think the funniest words in your post today were "burly manliness" ... priceless.

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  35. Curious, what helped on the oven?
    Have a good day today and be careful when making Mr. Gollum anything special, in the oven!
    Blossom

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  36. Oven Cleaner: Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4cup baking soda, 1/4cup salt and 1/4cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings) Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots. Or use Arm & Hammer Oven Cleaner, declared nontoxic by Consumers Union. Hope this helps. I am so glad the tart was good though. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

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  37. Oh, no!!! I feel for ya!


    My mouth is watering, though...lol.

    Dang diet.

    I might've licked the bottom of the oven clean.

    LOL.

    Love the new header!!!

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  38. Sweetie, WHATEVER you do, DO NOT GO NEAR the AMMONIA or ANYTHING that can clog up your lungs!!! (Annnnd "OK"... I'll just go ahead n' SAY it ~~~ MAYYYYBE you should just stick to "pre-made/store-bought", and I add this with GREAAAAAT AFFECTION & a BIG SMILE: "And don't quit your 'day' job"!!!)~~~ Warmest hugs to you all, Linda

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  39. Hi Gollum :)

    Have you tried "Bar Keeper's Friend"? It works like a charm on that kind of thing and is brilliant on anything stainless like pots :)

    Packing is going sloooooowly LOL I don't have too much more than just getting rid of 3 years worth of crap, but it builds up and multiplies ;)

    hugs,
    rue

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  40. as i am quite late, i do hope, that by now you have achieved oven success...

    hate that you were vexed...shame on that old tart :)

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  41. First, I have to say, Holy CRAP, you've got the cleanest oven I've ever seen!!!!!!!!

    This might sound overly obvious, and I bet you've already tried it, but how about scraping it with a straight-edge razor?

    Justine :o )

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  42. Hi Michael, I didn't read all the comments so someone may have said this already, but I take the lazy way out. I always use the self-cleaning button. It locks the door, heats the oven up to cremation degrees, and 3 hours later, all gone! Susan

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  43. These tips are great. Thank you all for your kitchen wisdom! The spot did come up with the baking soda--and a Brillo pad.

    And I bought a proper tart pan.

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