This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Cristine of Cooking with Cristine: quick classic berry tart. It’s a well known fact that I procrastinate and often make the TWD recipe on Monday. This week, instead of actively deciding to stress myself out by waiting until the last minute to bake I actually forgot I needed to make the tart! It occurred to me on Sunday night luckily but then Monday wound up being much busier than expected so I was racing against the clock to get this one done before the sun set. The fact that it had “quick” in the title gave me hope it would be possible.
The tart consists of three main components – the shell, pastry cream and fruit. The shell is made from Dorie’s sweet tart dough, which I’ve really grown to love. I’m not the type of person who has a lot of “go-to recipes” but Dorie’s sweet tart dough is on the short list. I used to dread making tarts because the dough would shrink in the oven and look really hideous but I haven’t found that to be a problem with Dorie’s recipe. I know I overhandle the dough (I can’t figure out how to press it into the tart pan without overhandling it!), but it always tastes wonderful and has the perfect texture, so I don’t stress it. The tart shell does need to be frozen before it is baked, but since I was short on time I froze it just briefly (definitely less than the 30 minutes Dorie recommends) and it still turned out well. As usual, I scaled the recipe back and made minis – I only baked one 4″ shell but I’ve got a second in the freezer waiting for me. I found that 15 minutes of covered baking time and 5 minutes uncovered yielded a nicely browned shell.
Pastry cream isn’t something I make very often both because it scares me and because I’m not really a fan. For me it falls into the pudding category and things in the pudding category generally only get made around here when they’re required for a baking group. I made 1/3 of the pastry cream recipe and perhaps for that reason, it didn’t behave as expected. Dorie says to bring it to a boil and then continue to boil for a minute or two before taking it off the heat. Mine never came to a boil but it thickened like crazy (maybe too much, I’m not entirely sure?) so I just took it off the heat anyway. After chilling it, I spooned some into my tart shell and then topped the cream with my fruits of choice – strawberries and blueberries. I took a ton of pictures of the tart before realizing I’d forgotten the glaze, which is just a combination of jam (I used raspberry) and water. The tart does look beautiful with the glaze – it gives it a nice sheen – so I was glad I threw it on at the last minute.
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for pastry cream, I really did enjoy this tart! It’s a gorgeous dessert for a fairly small amount of work. I probably wouldn’t go so far as to call it “quick” though. I’m psyched we made this one before berry season is in full swing because now I know exactly what to do with all of the beautiful, fresh berries this summer! I can’t help but think how fabulous (and dangerous) this tart would be if I filled it with whipped cream instead of pastry cream so there’s a good chance I’ll go in that direction next time! Thanks to Cristine for hosting this week! You can find the recipe on her blog or on page 377 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.