Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Berry Tart

The town where I grew up has a lot of agricultural areas, so I could always get fresh berries this time of the year. The house that I lived in until I was 5 had many blueberry bushes in the back yard. It seemed like we had tons and tons of blueberry bushes, but I was 5 and I really have no idea how many bushes there were. I do remember that there were spiders in the bushes and I don’t like spiders!

My husband was at Whole Foods the other day and noticed that they had ½ flats of a combination of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries from a local farm. I happen to drive by this particular farm when I go and visit my parents, so I was really happy to buy berries that I actually knew where they had been grown. We used up some of the berries but still had about half of them left. This recipe calls for precisely the amount of berries we had left. I even had graham crackers on hand so I could make the crust.

I just happened to have the combination of berries that the recipe called for, but you could use 6 cups of any berries that you might happen to have. I also used apricot preserves rather than red currant or apple jelly. It worked just fine. Pureeing the berries was the easy part, straining them through a sieve was tough! This took a bit of patience, but I eventually extracted all of the puree. My puree thickened almost immediately, so I didn’t cook the mixture for 7 minutes. Don’t skimp on the lemon juice, it really adds a lot.

It had been a bit of a baking madhouse at our place when I made this tart, and I was actually worried that the tart had spoiled before I had a chance to try it. The recipe says that it keeps for just a day or so, but this tart was still good 4 days after making it. I’m so glad that it was still good because this tart is excellent. It doesn’t have very much sugar, so you get the natural tartness of the berries shining through. The puree is very intense but really adds everything to the tart. My crust fell apart a little bit, but I think I could have done a better job pressing the crumbs into the pie plate. This was a great tart and was the perfect way to use summer berries.

2 cups raspberries

2 cups blackberries

2 cups blueberries

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons red current or apple jelly

Graham Cracker Crust

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

To prepare the crust:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Pour the crumbs into a 9 inch pie plate. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and side of the pan. Bake until the crust begins to brown, 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Gently toss the berries together. Puree 2-1/2 cups of the berries in a food processor until very smooth. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan, pressing on the seeds to extract as much puree as possible.

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together, the whisk the mixture into the puree. Bring the puree to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture is thick, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside to cool slightly.

Melt the jelly in a small saucepan and drizzle over the remaining berries. Toss gently to coat. Pour the slightly cooled puree into the cooled pie crust. Top with the jelly-coated berries. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and the puree has set, about 3 hours.

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchens Family Cookbook

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This look super yummy! I love fresh summer fruits. I love how you wrote about being 5. Isn't it neat how much more wondrous the world seems then?