Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My TWD Pick: Quick Classic Berry Tart

Can you believe it? It is my turn to host for Tuesdays with Dorie!!! Okay, so you can probably believe it because you haven't necessarily been waiting for me to host, but I have been waiting! I joined TWD back in August 2008 and the first recipe I made with the group was the Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream. Fast forward almost 2 years and TONS of recipes later and I still love this group as much as I did when I first joined. And now I get to host! :)

Deciding on what recipe to choose was pretty tough. Of course, you want to pick something that most people will enjoy. You also want to pick something that you would love and that isn't too time consuming. After bookmarking about 15 recipes and debating with Nathan, I decided on the Quick Classic Berry Tart.



I am SO glad I chose this recipe! I absolutely fell in love with it! It may seem like a lot of work at first, but it really is very quick and easy. The tart crust (which, by the way, is AMAZING!) can be made ahead of time and so can the pastry cream. When you are ready to serve the tart, it takes about 3 minutes to assemble and you have a dessert that wows!

I do want to add that while Dorie suggests that this dessert be eaten right away (and, as I mentioned, it is quite easy to assemble right before serving), Nathan and I did enjoy leftovers later that night. It may not have been as pretty since the fruit had settled into the pastry cream and some of the juices from the berries was running into the cream, but the taste was still incredible.

Thank you to all the TWDers that baked along with me this week! I am looking forward to seeing what everyone came up with! For those of you who didn't get a chance to make this, you really should when you can. It is DELICIOUS!

Quick Classic Berry Tart

Baking: From My Home To Yours
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Serving: The tart needs nothing but a little espresso or some tea to accompany it.


Storing: Eat the tart as soon after it is constructed as possible, certainly on the day it is made. If you must keep it for a few hours, store it in the refrigerator, making sure to keep it away from any foods with strong odors.




About 1 1/2 cups Pastry Cream, cooled or chilled (Recipe Below)
1 9" tart shell made with Sweet Tart Dough or Sweet Tart Dough with Nuts (Recipes Below)
2 pints fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries, or an assortment of berries (Dorie says you could also use slices of lightly poached fruit)
1/3 cup red currant jelly mixed with 1 tsp of water, for glazing



Smooth the pastry cream by giving it a couple of strong turns with a whisk. Spoon enough pastry cream into the tart crust to come almost to the rim, then even the surfact with a rubber spatula. Carefully lay the berries on the cream, arranging them in any pattern that pleases you. If you are using strawberries, either halve them from top to bottom or slice them, depending on the size of the berries and your whim.


Bring the jelly and the water to a boil in a microwave oven or on the stovetop. Working with a pastry brush or a pastry feather, dab each berry with a spot of jelly. Or, if you like, you can glaze the entire surface of the tart, including the bit of pastry cream that peeks through the berries.


Pastry Cream
Makes about 2 cups


Storing: The pastry cream can be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature


Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.


Meanwhile, in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk- this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get into the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.


Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold, or, if you want to cool it quickly - as I always do- put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.



Sweet Tart Dough
Makes 1 9" Crust


Storing: Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, I prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer - it has a fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes to the baking time.


Playing Around: Sweet Tart Dough with Nuts: This dough has a slightly more assertive flavor than the Sweet Tart Dough, but you can use the two interchangeably. For the nut dough, reduce the amount of flour to 1 1/4 cups and add 1/4 cup finely ground almonds (or walnuts, pecans, or pistachios).



1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 TBSP (9 TBSP) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk


Put the flour, confectioners sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in - you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each- until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change- heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.


Butter a 9" fluted tart pan with a removeable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don't be too heavy-handed - press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.


Preheat the oven to 375. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon.


Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. (I dislike lightly baked crusts, so I often keep the crust in the oven just a little longer. If you do that, just make sure to keep a close eye on the crust's progress- it can go from golden to way too dark in a flash.) Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

57 comments:

♥ Cari said...

This looks AMAZING!! I'm so making it! Thanks for sharing :)

Marthe said...

This was a great pick, thanks for choosing it Christine!! I know how long it took before your turn came and how difficult it is to narrow it down to only one recipe in the end... My pick is up for June 1st :)

This was absolutely delicious! I made two-bite minis and everyone raved about them!

Grumpy and HoneyB said...

This is a recipe I will definitely have to make this summer (if it ever gets here!). Looks delicious...great choice Cristine :)

Babette said...

Nice work--makes me see I didn't let my pastry cream get thick enough, but...it's so close to my photo, for a second I thought...hey, my photo! Thanks for picking this one. My DD declared it best ever.

Flourchild said...

Thank you for hosting this week and for your gret selection of recipes! I piled the fruit on just like you! It was so good!

Mary said...

This was a great pick--thanks! Yours looks just like Dorie's! I used blackberries and mangoes and we rally enjoyed it.

SiHaN said...

This certainly was a quick fix for a dessert. Thanks for picking!

Romaine said...

I can only imagine how hard it must be to pick a recipe. This was fun and also delicious. Yours looks irresistible.

The McBride Family said...

Oh my goodness I remember you talking about how your turn would be in 2010 and I thought that was SOOO far and now look!!! That looks amazing! I want some right now!!!!

Nickki said...

Thank you for such a wonderful choice! I've been waiting for someone to choose this tart for sooo long! It was so worth the wait, what a delicious recipe! :-)

Valerie said...

Thanks Cristine! This was the perfect choice for Spring. I'm jealous that you were able to find raspberries. :)

Natalie... said...

What a great recipe :) this looks so delicious and perfect for spring/the start of summer! All the fruit on top looks so tasty!

Rachel said...

Thanks for the yummy pick. It was perfect for Mother's Day! :) It was delicious.

Ingrid said...

HOw exciting! And what a good choice! I'm not in the group but that looks amazing and going to have to make it for us. My berry lovin' kiddos will love it!
~ingrid

Mary said...

Great pick...the perfect mother's day treat. I know what you mean about how hard it is to pick the TWD recipe!

Erin said...

Great pick this week. Your tart looks great.

Congrats on finishing 60 of the Insanity workouts.

Anne said...

This was such a great choice- we loved it! I agree that it still tastes awesome for leftovers. I like to eat a slice for breakfast the next day when I make this but this time there wasn't any left at all!

Pam said...

What a great tart! I can only imagine how delicious it is!

Leslie said...

This was a super pick, Cristine! I had to take a few shortcuts but we loved loved loved it. I think I almost like it better when the berries bleed a little into the pastry cream. Thanks for hosting this week and congrats on making it to your turn to pick!

thymeandspace said...

Thanks for the great pick, Cristine. We loved, loved, loved this one! Besides being so delicious, it'll be a nice low-stress recipe to serve dinner guests.

teresa said...

gorgeous!

The Mortensens said...

I love this tart! Thanks for a great pick, Cristine!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Your torte look beautiful! Fantasitc TWD pick!

Tia said...

thanks for a great pick! Yours looks wonderful with the whole ton of berries on it ;)

Mimi said...

Your tart looks fabulous. Thanks for a great pick this week.
Mimi

Lauryn said...

Great, great pick!! This really does how a WOW factor to it. Your tart looks gorgeous!! This was fun to make!

Katrina said...

Gorgeous, delicious perfect looking tart! Great pick, Cristine. I played around a bit to keep it a little lighter, but will definitely make it with the pastry cream sometime!

alvarosa said...

I thought about skipping this, because the recipe recommands to eat it as soon as possible, and I had to bring it to work. But in the end it was too tempting, and I, too, think it didn't harm to have it stored some hours. Thanks for this spring-like choice!

natalia said...

Ciao Cristine ! Thank you so much for hosting ! And for choosing such a nice recipe !!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Isn't it great that when your turn (finally) came, there were still wonderful recipes left to choose? This one definitely has "sex appeal", especially all dressed up with that glaze, and it's so yummy too. Great pick!!

Jodie said...

This was a winner at our house! Thanks for the great pick!

Kayte said...

Thanks, Cristine, this was a huge hit at our house and one I will make time and again when all the fruits are just hanging around begging for just such a use! Yours looks absolutely beautiful.

Clivia said...

Delicious choice! Perfect for Mother's Day.

Jencrafted said...

Excellent pick! Your tart looks wonderfully delicious and I agree, it tastes just as good the next day!

Sweet and Savory said...

I am so sorry, I did not get to make this but the week got ahead of me. It looks like I have to make this one up, though. Yours is a beauty.

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

Mmm, great pick! I love the fresh berries on top.

Pamela said...

Thanks for a delicious recipe choice! Nice job, Cristine.

Teanna said...

Thank you for the fantastic choice! I loved this one! It was a huge hit!

Teanna said...

Thank you for the fantastic choice! I loved this one! It was a huge hit!

dorie said...

Cristine your tart looks fabulous and I'm thrilled that you and so many other TWDers loved it. It's a standard at my house and if the weather ever warms up I'll be serving it often.

Juliana said...

Wow, nice tart...everything looks perfect the crust, the cream and the berries..beautiful!

Raelynn said...

Great choice!! Will defiantly be made again in my house!!

Di said...

Mmm, this was wonderful. We changed it up & used chocolate pastry cream (yes, I'm raising a couple of chocoholics). =) Your tart looks beautiful.

natalia said...

Ciao Cristine ! Thanks to Tia I realized my stupid brain had me write the wrong host !! Sorry and thanks again !!

Annette said...

Thanks for hosting this week! We really enjoyed the tart!

TeaLady said...

It is amazing how hard it is to pick. Mine came up in December and I thought about it for weeks ahead. But you made a great pick. It was easy, delicious and perfect for Mom's Day.

Yours looks beautiful.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

it may have been a tough choice, but you picked a great one! your tart looks wonderfull all piled high with berries!

Virginia Taylors said...

Lovely post. Do you think this is a recipe for a first time tart person...I just got a tart pan! Or would you suggest another of your tart posts?
http://love2cooksweets.blogspot.com

Piggy said...

Thanks for the great pick! The tart is absolutely delicious!

Nichi said...

Yours looks fantastic! Great pick this week.

Tracey said...

Thanks for hosting this week Cristine! Even though I'm not a huge pastry cream fan, this tart won me over :) It was so nice to use the fresh berries. Your tart is beautiful!

Meg said...

Your tart looks so beautiful with all of those berries! Thanks for the great pick!

Eliana said...

What a great pick you made for this week :)

lola said...

Cristine, Your tart looks wonderful and thanks for the great selection. I loved this tart and made it twice. Unfortuantely, when I added my link to the LYL comment page, it did not post - I am not sure what happened?? But, I wanted you to know that I participated. Please check out my blog when you have a minute. Thanks, lola

Carol Peterman said...

Your tart looks spectacular! I'm so late in posting, but not because this tart wasn't great. I added a bit of rhubarb and a little Tasmanian pepperberry to mine.

Vicky said...

I wanted to make this recipe but the only heavy bottomed pan I have is a 5 quart dutch oven. Do you think it's worth making the pastry cream using a dutch oven, or can I just use a regular stainless steel saucepan?

Cristine said...

Sorry it took so long to reply, Vicki. You can use a regular stainless steel saucepan for the pastry crem. :) That is what I used!

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