First tart of the season – a lesson in summer fruit desserts

Another Farmers’ Market visit brought berries, Japanese eggplant, first heirlooms of the season, purslane and lettuces. The blueberries and other berries went into the tart. Purslane is going into tomorrow’s dinner, and the tomatoes were gone in back to back brunches, caprese with basil from the garden and a pesto oil one day, luxurious deee luxe balsamic the other.

Golden raspberries and keriberries

A tart – pâte sucrée, crazy cream, berries and glaze.

This tart is better looking than the photo would have you believe. Then again, I wasn’t really thinking about photography, just eating. The crazy cream? Improvised with leftover strawberry cream cheese frosting (remember those cupcakes?), a little heavy cream, a little nonfat Greek yogurt. It wasn’t exactly the same as mascarpone but it was time to use up some stuff in the fridge.

Pastry 101 – ish.

You know I’m not so much of a baker, but I have managed to teach myself one or two things. The pie crust lesson came from Elissa and her mother-in-law. Someone asked me the difference between pâte sucrée and pie crust, so I thought a quickie on pastry lesson was in order.

Pie crusts – Whether one crust, or double or lattice top…the key to a good pie crust is lard (relax, lard’s gotten a bad rap) and butter in combination to give you tender flake and good flavor. Distribution of fat throughout the flour is important and not developing the gluten in the flour will help, too.

Blackberry pie with lattice top

Blackberry-gooseberry pie

Tarts – A tart crust, such as pate sucree is like a cross between pie crust and shortbread. It’s firm enough to stand up when the ring is removed, but it provided more crumb than flakes. You still use the smear technique to incorporate the ingredients, and sugar and an egg yolk differentiate the recipe from pie crust recipe.

Crumbles – Like the this one:

are made with a streusel top over baked fruit. Streusal topping usually refers to coffee cakes and muffins. While crumble is used to describe fruit. The topping itself is a combination of flour, brown sugar and butter. I added a few grates of cinnamon to this one. An allspice berry or two will add a nice dimension to the fruit, too.

Cobblers – like crumbles, these have a base of baked fruit. Cobblers have a nice biscuit dough topping. Haven’t made one of these in ages, mostly because of the bread phobia that lurks around here…

~ by jacqueline1230 on July 28, 2008.

4 Responses to “First tart of the season – a lesson in summer fruit desserts”

  1. See now, this is why I don’t like you. You bake. I don’t have the brain for the chemistry or physics of baking. I can make bread (actually, I can make bagels) but that’s where it ends.

    Then again, our front lawn is nothing but purslane, all year. So there.

  2. I love baking bread. Have some ancient sourdough bubbling in the fridge right now. I do think it’s interesting the schism between bakers and cooks. Kinda like math vs. words…Funny you should mention bagels. I just downloaded a recipe. Since i’m into the lox making thing now, thought it was only natural!

  3. Keriberries? That’s a new one to me. They look like blackberries, but pray tell, what do they taste like?

  4. They do look like blackberries but they’re not as deeply sweet, more like a raspberry. They’re shaped like a raspberry, too. My research seemed to indicate Keriberry and that is what the vendor told us – but it seems they’re from Australia so they’re used to growing in warmer climes. That may be why they’re slightly tart. They went so fast!

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