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Posts Tagged ‘best fruit tarts’

4th of july pie4th of july pie closeHere in California, we’re at the peak of berry season, and there are deals to be found on berries each week at the grocer’s.

When the prices are really good, I stockpile them and the kids eat huge bowls of berries morning, noon and evening. As a general rule, I don’t believe in eating unlimited amounts of fruit because of the high sugar content, but berries are the exception offering the greatest nutritional punch for the least amount of sugar.

To be very honest, I planned to post this recipe the morning of July 4–Independence Day for Americans (in case you’re not from the U.S. or UK), but one of our cats became very ill and required immediate attention. Cabana (our “old kitty”) has had ailing health for a while, but my husband found her as a kitten on the streets of New York City 17 years ago, and that toughness has kept her going far longer than we expected. Despite having to rush her off to the vet in a nearby town, I still managed to take the kids to the parade and whip up this tart for dinner guests. I just couldn’t manage to post it.

It’s been dubbed the “4th of July tart,” since I make it nearly every July 4, but I also make it throughout the summer, whenever I want something fast, pretty to look at or easy to make in advance. It’s very similar to my luscious strawberry tart, but even easier. Like the strawberry tart, it’s low in sugar–even lower in sugar if you don’t add on the glaze, which I didn’t here. The berries are so sweet right now, they really hold their own, and a glaze would only distract.

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup almond flour (I like the texture of the Honeyville brand)

4 tbsp cane sugar, divided (or regular granulated)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled

2-3 tbsp ice cold water

1 container mascarpone cheese (approximately 8 oz)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 cup fresh strawberries

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/3 cup fresh raspberries

Powdered sugar for dusting, optional

 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk flours, salt and 2 tbsp sugar. Combine until there are no lumps from the almond flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the dough in in pea-size lumps. Sprinkle in a little of the ice water, and cut in with the pastry cutter. Continue until the dough is still very crumbly but looks like it could hold together. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch tart pan with fluted edge and removable bottom. Using your fingers, press the dough into the bottom and sides of pan to form your tart crust. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, vanilla, lemon juice and remaining 2 tbsp sugar. Blend thoroughly. Using a rubber spatula, carefully spread the cream mixture on the bottom and just slightly up the sides of the cooled crust. Arrange your berries (you may not need/use all the quantities I listed above) as you wish, and voila, your tart is ready. You can dust it with a little powdered sugar if you like or drizzle a basic glaze over it. (Please see my glaze recipe here.)

Serves 8-10. Takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Cheers to independence wherever you might reside!

 

Non 4th of July version with berries sprinkled around, glazed and dusted.

Non 4th of July version with berries sprinkled around, glazed and dusted.

 

 

 

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cherry tart abovecherry tart side close

Right now, the stores and farmer’s markets here are overflowing with plump, sweet cherries. The kids eat a huge handful every day, as I think they’re best served fresh and unadorned. However, another great way to use cherries is to cook them into a dessert, such as a tart or clafoutis (recipe for the later coming soon).

Unlike the Luscious Strawberry Tart I recently featured, the fruit in this recipe gets cooked inside a shallow layer of simple custard-like filling. I usually make this recipe with apricots, but cherries or raspberries also work well. The crust recipe is the same half whole-grain crust I use for the strawberry tart.

Ingredients

8 tbsp organic butter, chilled (or coconut oil)

1/2 cup whole-grain spelt flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour)

1/4 cup coconut flour

a pinch of sea salt

2 tbsp evaporated cane sugar, divided

2-3 tbsp ice water

2 tbsp finely chopped almonds with skins (I use my mini-Krups processor)

Approximately 2 cups fresh cherries

1 large egg

1/2 cup cream

1/2 tsp pure almond extract

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp raw honey (If your cherries are really dark and sweet, you may only need 1 tbsp. If using apricots, use 2)

1 tbsp superfine flour

Method

For the crust: Heat the oven to 375 F. Mix the flours, salt and 2 tbsp of sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the chilled butter or coconut oil until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in a little ice water and continue to mix until the dough just barely starts to come together but is still quite crumbly. Do not overmix or your crust will be tough. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Prick the bottom with a fork. Bake for 15-17 minutes until the crust is golden and slightly puffy.

While the crust is baking, prepare your cherries by washing and drying them before cutting them in half lengthwise and removing the seeds. Set aside.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg. Whisk in the cream, honey, vanilla and almond extracts and superfine flour until thoroughly blended.

Sprinkle the finely chopped almonds over the bottom of the crust. This will help keep your crust from getting soggy. Place the cherry halves, cut side up, on the bottom of the tart, making concentric circles, starting on the outside edge and working your way in to the center. Spoon or carefully pour the cream mixture evenly over the cherries.

cherry tart ringcherry tart ring above

cherry tart above pour

Place the tart back in the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes or until the “custard” is set. Let cool and serve at room temperature. For a fancier presentation, dust the tart with a little powdered sugar before serving. I knew this tart would be sweet enough without the additional sugar, so I skipped it.

Enjoy!

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