Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Outstanding" Fresh Berry Tart

In my opinion, fruit tarts always look better than they taste. The gooey, gelatinous glaze that holds the fruit together, um, no thanks! I've never had a fruit tart that left me fully satisfied, until I made my own. This "Outstanding" tart defies all others with it's flaky crust, fresh berries, and amazing lemon curd... a fresh berry tart doesn't get better than this.

For those who aren't familiar with the organization Outstanding in the Field, it is a project that brings together local farmers, chefs and foodies of all sorts for amazing dinners and conversation. They ultimately aide in rebuilding relationships between the consumer and farmer - the epitome of the sustainable and slow food movements. What an awesome cause! Unfortunately I missed my chance to attend the McGrath Farm Dinner in Camarillo, featuring wines from Old Creek Winery and creations by Chef Tim Kilcoyne from The Sidecar Restaurant - one of my fav's. I heard it was amaaaaazing! Hopefully they'll be swinging through Ventura County again next year. In the meantime, I'll keep enjoying their cookbook.

Mixed Berry Tart with Meyer Lemon Pastry Cream
from Outstanding in the Field Cookbook

1 Meyer lemon
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 pints mixed fresh berries
Tart Shell

Tart Shell
1 1/3 cups white flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces and chilled
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons ice water

Tart pan
Food processor

For the Curd: Zest the lemon and chop it finely. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of the juice from the lemon and set it aside along with the zest.

Whisking is key here! In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk until a smooth batter forms. In a heavy bottom saucepan bring the milk to a boil. While whisking the egg batter constantly, temper it by pouring a little bit of the hot milk into the egg batter. Whisking briskly, pour the entire egg batter into the milk. Whisk in lemon zest. Keep the saucepan over medium heat, whisk constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. The mixture should quickly thicken. Remove from the heat and pour the pastry cream into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap flush to the surface to prevent a skin from forming. This is key! Refrigerate until cold, or overnight.

In a small bowl, mix your fresh berries with the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. This will help the flavors marinade together, macerating the berries.

Tart shell: Using your food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse into mixture forms coarse bread crumbs. Add 1 of the yolks and 1 tablespoon of water and pulse until the dough just comes together, adding the remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time only if necessary. Press the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate at least for an hour. I personally believe overnight is the best way to go!

Once you remove the dough from the fridge, let it sit for about 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface roll the tart dough to 1/8 inch thick. Fit into your favorite tart pan with a removable bottom and refrigerate again for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 425 F.

Line the pan with parchment paper and pour in pie weights, bake for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights, prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until tart shell is a golden brown.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining egg yolk with a pinch of salt. Brush the surface of the tart crust with the egg yolk mixture and bake for 1 to 2 minutes until the yolk is set. Remove tart shell from oven and let it completely cool.

Assembly: Spoon the chilled pastry cream into the shell and smooth the top. Pour the berries and their juices on top and serve as soon as you can.

1 comment:

jose1183 said...

I could got for some right now, my sweet tooth just woke up..