Today, Howard and I are celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary. My, how time flies! Seems like just yesterday…
We went to Maine and celebrated with a special dinner out last night at Fore Street in Portland. Tonight, on the actual day, we treated ourselves to a home cooked meal: steaks on the grill dotted with leftover rosemary butter, fresh corn on the cob, green beans (dotted with more of the rosemary butter), and a salad.
As I describe it to you, I realized the meal was a locavore’s dream. The steaks were from a steer raised by my brother-in-law’s father, the corn was from our favorite farm stand in Maine, the salad fixings were from this week’s CSA share, and I picked the green beans myself at the CSA. It was our favorite kind of home cooking, perfect for celebrating a homey event.
For dessert, Howard wanted a bumbleberry pie. It’s a mixed berry pie topped with a crumble topping. We often get one at the farm stand in Maine. We stopped there on our way out of town, but they were sold out of that flavor. Howard was very disappointed. To make it up to him, I put together my own interpretation when we got home.
I prefer making tarts instead of pies. I’m not sure why. I think it’s their elegant shape and how most tarts look like they could have come from a bakery. So, I made a bumbleberry tart for dessert. We have tons of berries in the freezer from picking earlier in the summer. I think you could make this with fresh berries but I didn’t try it.
I tossed frozen raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries with some sugar and cornstarch. I filled the tart shell with berries and topped it with an oatmeal streusel topping that I use for fruit crisps. The cornstarch thickened the berry juices as they bubbled in the oven. The topping turned golden brown.
Howard’s verdict? Thumbs up! Happy Anniversary, Honey!
Makes a 9-inch tart
Pastry crust for a 9-inch tart (use my favorite or your own)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
3 cups frozen berries (a mixture of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries is nice)
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp flour
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup + 1 Tbsp rolled oats (not instant)
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 10-inch circle. Fit the rolled dough into pan and fold the edges back to the base of the tart to reinforce the sides. Prick all over with a fork and chill for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet optionally lined with parchment paper (the paper will make it easy to move the finished tart to a rack).. Line the tart shell with parchment paper or buttered foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. We are partially baking the crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and carefully remove the liner. (You can do this up to a day in advance.)
While the pastry bakes, make the topping (or you can do this a few days ahead). In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter and process until clumps start to form (10-15 seconds). Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the oatmeal, and use your hands to combine. If you are making this in advance, store in the refrigerator.
Preheat (or turn down) the oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together, removing any lumps. Add the berries and stir until most of the sugar dissolves. Transfer berry mixture to the tart shell. Sprinkle oatmeal topping over the berries.
Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes, until the berries are bubbly and the topping is browned.
Transfer the tart to a rack to cool. After 10 minutes, remove the rim of the tart pan. You can serve this warm or let it cool to room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Fruit tarts are one of my favorite desserts, so I was excited about making the Sable Breton Galette with Berries this week for French Fridays with Dorie. This tart is homemade summer simplicity at its best. A cookie crust is topped with lemon curd and fresh berries. That’s it!
The crust is made from a soft cookie dough. It’s similar to shortbread, but the egg and baking powder made it a little lighter, perfect for eating with a fork. The cookie base is pre-baked so, if you plan ahead, you can assemble this impressive dessert on a moment’s notice. The base is pressed into a flat disk rather than forming edges which made for a fun presentation.
The lemon curd can be homemade or store-bought. I wanted to try making it, but didn’t want lots extra, so I made a half batch which was the perfect amount for topping the tart. You whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice and a smidge of corn syrup then melt butter into it, whisking as you go. I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t come out thick or smooth, but after just 3 minutes, I had created a jar of lemony delight. I’ll be making this again.
For berries, you can use whatever you like. Local strawberries have finally arrived in these parts, so I topped my tart with strawberries and blueberries. I loved the color contrast.
When I was previewing this week’s Dorie recipe at home, Howard wasn’t wild about the idea of lemon curd, so I brought this to work to share. I brought the tart into a meeting, and I thought we’d serve it and eat while we met. I admire the self-control of the person this was in front of. The tart sat in the center of the table for over an hour before someone asked when we would be eating it. We cut it into 12 slices, and everyone enjoyed it.
This is definitely one of my favorite recipes in the book so far. I know this will make several appearances on our table this summer. For Howard, I will try spreading a matching berry jam on the cookie instead of lemon curd. I think that will be a delicious variation.