a berry delicious Fourth

I hope everyone had a memorable holiday weekend!   

coloring with cousins (Maddy's a leftie, too)!

Andrew and I returned from a too-short time with my Pennsylvania family—fun with uncles, cousins, babies, and puppies—who could ask for more?   

Though I brought my share of food to our family gathering, I had the chance to practice other skills… like coloring in the lines 🙂   

I brought two pans of my Grammy’s irresistable mac and cheese (to which even my piano tuner requested a recipe), and this exciting tart—worthy of its own post.   

   

This tart was featured in the “Berries Jubilee” article of last summer’s Vegetarian Times. Yep, they have awesome recipes that I’m raving about these days.   

I’m not a big pie person—I don’t enjoy dough enough, even when it is delicious. I usually want more fruit than pastry. This dessert has a crunchy nut crust, attractive and deliciously unique. Clearly it’s beautiful and appealing to the eye, but here’s a few more things I love about this tart—reasons I hope will entice you to make it. (And then write me about the results) 😀   

1. It’s really easy. I’m talking little to no cooking technique required to make this. (We all need a break once in a while…)   

2. With a food processor, it’s fast and mess-free.   

3. You can make it in advance (and make lots of people really happy when you two show up).   

4. The majority of ingredients are nutrient-dense—antioxidents, dietary fiber, whole grains, monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. (I’m not making a case for this tart as a breakfast food, but for a dessert, this is a wiser option than that pint of Ben & Jerrys).   

5. It travels and keeps well.   

FRESH BERRY TART WITH TOASTED NUT CRUST

crust   

1/4 each whole almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts   

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour   

1/4 cup sugar   

1/4 tsp. salt   

6 tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, diced   

1 large egg yolk   

filling   

1/2 cup light sour cream   

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt   

2 tbsp. light brown sugar   

1 tsp. vanilla extract   

1 cup blueberries   

1 cup raspberries (or halved strawberries)   

1/4 tsp. grated orange zest   

1 tbsp. orange juice (from the same orange)

other goodies to get the job done

food processor

9″ tart pan with removeable bottom

 

FOR THE CRUST   

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray.    

Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven 10-12 minutes, until browned.   

Pulse nuts, flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until the nuts are ground to powder.   

A side note about cubed, chilled butter. This is really key in certain baking recipes. When I worked in a bakery, I was cubing 20 lbs. of butter for endless cookies and scones. Ah, memories. Cut your butter with a sharp knife at the beginning of your recipe and return the cubes to the fridge until the recipe calls for them.   

Add butter to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.   

Add egg yolk and pulse until moist clumps form.   

    

    

   

As you can see, the mixture seems really crumbly. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of your prepared pan.   

A flat surface, like the bottom of a measuring cup, is the best way to ensure an even surface. The nut mixture doesn’t seems like quite enough for the edges, but it’s just right once the bottom is even.   

Your malleable, nutty crust should be about 1/4-inch thick.   

   

Now here’s a fantastic crust technique so you’ll never need pie weights. Pierce the crust well with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes. This keeps the crust from poofing up without the mess of foil and weights and other complications. Who loves simplicity??   

Adjust the oven temperature to 400F. Bake the frozen crust for 12-14 minutes, or until golden. Cool.   

    

FOR THE FILLING   

Whisk together the sour cream, yogurt, brown sugar, vanilla, and orange zest in a bowl.    

Toss berries (or fruit of your choice) with the orange juice in a separate bowl.    

(Please, please don’t skimp on the orange zest, it really makes the tart special).   

Spread the sour cream mixture into the crust with a spatula. It didn’t seem like enough filling to fill the tart, but it is just enough so scrape every drop from the bowl!   

I really want to experiment with peaches on the next round of this tart, but it is ideal for berries, as they are less likely to brown or bleed color into the sour cream mixture while resting in the fridge for a few days. Nonetheless, the acid of the orange juice kept my strawberries fresh for the mere day and a half the tart lasted among company 😀   

Spoon the berries over top a little at a time, until the sour cream mixture is evenly covered. (No one says it can’t be a little artistic, though)! It really does look beautiful however you arrange your fruit—yet another thing to love about this beautiful dish. I also sprinkled additional zest over the finished tart.   

Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes before serving. And take my advice, cut thin slices—my tart somehow fed twelve, but we would have loved seconds.   

two minutes into cutting... the tart disappeared in the next two!

 

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