Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ooo La La!

One of the pleasures of being invited to dinner is that hostesses who know me often ask me to bring dessert. I guess my obsession with baking has become well known.

Last weekend I was asked to bring a salad and dessert. The salad included tomatoes and cucumber from our garden. The dessert included raspberries from the market and beautiful plump ripe blackberries from our yard. This year promised to have a bumper crop of blackberries and since they are essentially weeds, there are a lot of those berry bearing brambles to pick from. At the moment most of the berries are still red and not ripe and even some that are black are teasing. They are tart enough to bring a pucker to your mouth. Finding the ripe, sweet ones requires a bit of effort, but it was worth it for the flavor they brought to this French style tart.

The recipe was one I found at the King Arthur Flour site and the fruit they used was pears. The crust used almond flour and the filling also used almond flour, plus almond extract, so the almond quotient was high. I made the tart in a narrow rectangular tart pan and had rows of berries marching up and down in the filling instead of pears. Not only did it taste amazing, but it looked so good that our host asked which bakery I had bought it in. I told him the bakery around the corner since my bake center where it was created is around the corner from the main kitchen.

This tart takes a little time, but isn't really difficult. Be kind to yourself and purchase fresh almond flour. King Arthur sells a good one, but so does Bob's Red Mill and you can sometimes find almond flour at health food stores, too. If you can't find it, you can make some yourself by putting blanched almonds into a food processor with a few tablespoons of the sugar called for in the recipe and pulsing it until it becomes flour. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn't become a paste and be sure to sift the finished flour to remove any large pieces of almond that didn't get fully ground up.

Use the best berries you can find. If you wash them, be sure to dry them well. For the jam on the bottom, I put a tablespoon of seedless raspberry jam and the juice of a quarter of a lemon into a small heat-proof bowl and microwaved it briefly to melt the jam, then stirred it well. Use a pastry brush to make a thin layer of the jam on the bottom of the tart. It adds flavor and keeps any juices from the fruit from invading the crust.

Raspberry Blackberry Almond Tart
based on a recipe from King Arthur Flour

1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam
juice of 1/4 medium lemon

1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons soft butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 3/4 ounces) almond flour or finely ground almonds

3 tablespoons soft butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 pint fresh blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the jam glaze: In a heat-proof small bowl combine the jam and the lemon juice. Microwave briefly to soften the jam.

To make the crust: Beat together the sugar, butter, salt, and flavorings.

Add the flours, stirring to make crumbs that cling together when squeezed.

Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 4 1/4" x 13 3/4" tart pan; prick it all over with a fork.

Chill the crust in the freezer for 15 minutes, then bake it in the preheated 350 degree F oven until it's just beginning to brown on the edges, 18 to 22 minutes.

Remove it from the oven.

 Cool on a wire rack.

 Once cool, brush a thin layer of the raspberry jam glaze over the bottom of the tart crust.

To make the filling: Beat together the butter, salt, sugar, flour, and almond extract.

Beat in the eggs, then add the almond flour, stirring just to combine.

To assemble the tart: Spread the filling in the bottom of the crust.

Place the dry raspberries and blackberries in rows on top of the filling, pressing them down gently so the bottom of the berries are covered.

Bake the tart in the preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving. 

1 comment :

  1. Pat this is lovely. I try to keep other sources open but King Arthur is so reliable with superb results.
    That long rectangular tart pan has become a favorite of mine to the point that I'm going to need a second one.