While pushing the grocery cart through the produce section this morning, an image flashed through my mind's eye: a raspberry tart on the cover of Gourmet magazine. I don't know what issue it was. I've "googled" it no avail. But I remember it clearly. Standing at the maple-topped island in my mother's kitchen, the magazine appeared from beneath the stack of mail. My knees went weak. The photo was perfection itself: plump, sensuous fruit atop a buttery crust; the crumbs delicately adhering to the sides. I could have licked the magazine cover. In fact, I may have.
Fast forward about 10 years. Me, in the grocery store with the ugly fluorescent lights glaring down. My boys, in the back of the cart, arguing over which design of Band-Aids work better: Spiderman or Lightning McQueen.
Deeply wrapped in my Gourmet epiphanal moment, I steered toward the berries.
This tart is an easy way to showcase the jewels of summer. A simple crust is paired with a pastry cream and topped with the berries.
I detail the crust-making here. Even if you've never prepared crust from scratch, please consider giving it a try. It is easy. I promise. And you might just let out a guttural cry of pleasure when you sample it's deliciousness.
If you have a tart pan with removable sides, this will be a perfect time to use it. I don't have one, so I used a springform pan.
On a floured surface, roll the dough into a circular shape slightly larger than the pan. Flour the rolling pin again, then roll the dough loosely around the pin to transport it to the pan. Gently unroll the dough over the pan, then press it against the sides to form the crust.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes, just until golden.
Let it cool while you're preparing the pastry cream.
Whisk together an egg, sugar, and vanilla.
Add some cornstarch,
and whisk again.
Bring a bit of milk to a simmer in a saucepan,
pour it into the egg mixture,
then return the mixture to the saucepan.
Heat for 30 seconds until thickened.
(Don't scald it like I did...)
Rinse the berries and allow them to dry.
Spoon the cooled pastry cream over the cooled tart shell.
Place a raspberry smack-dab in the middle, then start filling in around it.
If my crust were a perfect circle, this would have worked out beautifully.
But I don't do perfect.
I do yummy.
The crust recipe is here.
(Makes enough for a 8-inch tart)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup milk
3 cups fresh raspberries (about a pint and a half)
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and sugar. Whisk in the cornstarch and set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. As soon as the milk simmers, pour it into the egg mixture, whisk vigorously until blended, and pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Return the saucepan to low heat, and whisk for 30 seconds as it thickens. Spoon the pastry cream into the prepare tart shell, level the surface with a spoon, and let cool completely on the counter, about an hour.
Wash the raspberries, gently pat them dry, and arrange them on the tart in a circular pattern, beginning in the center.
Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks in the whole, wide world: Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen.
Linking up at my friend Kimmie's:
And also at:
(And this isn't the right button...but please stop by for a visit at the Trendy Treehouse. SUCH a neat blog.)