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Tag Archives: tart

Blackberry Lime Tart

19 Jul

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There is so much to love about summer, but the one summer thing I find myself singling out every single year is all the gorgeous berries that pop up at the market, in our garden, or sometimes by the side of the road. Portlanders, you know what I am talking about there. It’s just about time to go blackberry picking.

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As I imagine it is with most people around here, I have a seriously tense, love/hate relationship with blackberries. Himalayan blackberries are a scourge to gardens and yards all over the city this time of year, their prickly vines and tentacle-like roots popping up and taking hold every single place you don’t want them to be. These blackberry vines have been known to destroy public parks, obliterate native plants, and—god help me—produce some of the most delicious free fruit you’re likely to taste on this side of the country.

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I know, I know. Blackberry plants are a pain in the rear. But, if you can find a patch of blackberries far, far away from your own yard, a public park, or any other place that needs space to cultivate a healthy garden or place to play, there are few things as enjoyable as spending an afternoon picking berries, eating berries, then coming home and making whatever blackberry-laden dessert your heart desires. This year, my heart and mind were set on a combination of blackberries and limes, thrown together in a cool, creamy dessert that would carry me through a long week of hot weather. This tart is a summer dream, hitting all the right notes with its zingy lime zest, perfect berries, creamy mascarpone and yogurt filling, and a wonderfully crumbly, barely sweetened crust to pull everything together. Invasive, destructive plant life aside, this is a blackberry dream worth having.

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Last Year: Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad with Mint and Tangerine Zucchini Bread

Blackberry Lime Tart

 Crust:

Generous 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs (from about 16 graham cracker squares)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest

pinch of salt

Filling:

¼  cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lime zest

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon flour

¾ cup plain yogurt

3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) mascarpone cheese (you could also use cream cheese)

3 large eggs

pinch of salt

1 to 2 cups of blackberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, lime zest, and salt. Stir until the butter is completely incorporated. Press the crumbs into a 10-inch tart pan, trying to keep the thickness of the crust as uniform as possible (if you can’t don’t worry—an uneven crust has never brought a pox upon anyone and their family). Bake the tart crust in the oven for 10 minutes, until it just begins to barely brown at the edges. Remove and set aside while you make the filling.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine lime juice, lime zest, sugar, flour, yogurt, mascarpone or cream cheese, eggs, and pinch of salt. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour the filling into the tart crust, and bake in the center of the oven until the top of the tart has puffed up and the middle has set, about 30 to 40 minutes, checking the tart consistently after the 30 minute mark to make sure it doesn’t burn. The top should be just touched with golden spots.

Remove the tart from the oven, then immediately sprinkle on the berries. The top of the tart will sink a bit, and the berries will gently sink in along with them.

Refrigerate the tart until chilled through, at least 2 hours, or overnight. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Makes 1 10-inch tart, enough to serve 8 to 10 people.

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In Praise of Pie

20 Nov

Though I have previously stated that the best part of a Thanksgiving meal is the plethora of side dishes, I have to confess that, upon further consideration, it has become very clear to me that that statement is simply not true. Because I forgot (I know, what?) about the pie. Of course! The best part of Thanksgiving dinner (or any dinner, should you be so lucky) is the pie. Whether you decide to lean in the direction of traditional (apple pie) or not-so-traditional (lime coconut tart), here are some pie and tart recipes from the Savory Salty Sweet archives that will stoke your dessert fire and get the pie train rolling.

Pear Nougatine Tart:

Dutch Apple Pie:

Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Tart:

Lime Coconut Tart:

Sour Cherry Pieyou’ll have to hunt down some frozen sour cherries (which are not terribly easy to find), but the effort will be totally worth it:

Sky-High Apple Pie:

Easiest Skillet Fruit Pie–this is a great pie for beginning pie-makers, or for people who are looking for a more casual dessert entry.

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Pear Nougatine Tart

21 Dec

Overlooking the obvious can lead to rather surprising results.  Sometimes those surprising results are of the pleasing variety, like when you realize that the only reason you get food from an otherwise sub-par taqueria is because of the fact that they have a salsa bar that offers the world’s most incredible habanero salsa.  When you realize this, you then go home and make your own batch of habanero salsa, freeing you from the clutches of the not-so-great Mexican food you’ve been eating just to serve as a base for the salsa in question.  Problem solved!  (And the you in question is, in fact, actually me, in case anyone didn’t pick up on that right away.)

Other times, overlooking the obvious can lead to surprisingly disappointing results, like when I decided to make a particular tart that was so named for the fact that it was topped with candy, not fully realizing that, lady, you’re about to top a tart with candy, which means that things are going to get really, really sugary around here.

Yes, when I first made this tart, I lamented the fact that it was far, far too sweet for my tastes.  At first I couldn’t figure out why, because I was too focused on the tart’s other, more pleasing, qualities (like, for instance, the shot of lemon that wakes up every other flavor, or the small splash of cream that I added to the pear caramel to round everything out), but then, looking back on the recipe, and, you know, its name, it suddenly occurred to me that I had just made a tart topped with candied nuts.  So, that’s going to be sort of sweet.

Because of this, I actually debated whether or not to share my experience with this recipe, not being sure if I wanted to highlight something that I thought needed its sweetness dialed back so severely.  In the end, realizing that the rest of the recipe is fairly delightful, it seemed like the recipe did need to be shared, albeit in a somewhat less-sweetened form.  And even though I swapped out the original recipe’s call for apples with my own penchant for pears, and I ever-so-slightly altered the pears’ cooking method in order to get a more usable sauce in the end.  Okay, so there is a fair amount that I changed about this recipe, but only because I had a hunch that what I found to be almost perfect could, with a bit of fiddling, be made to shine.  And at the risk of sounding like a weird pageant mom, I think that bit of polishing has rendered this tart now ready for its close-up.

Pear Nougatine Tart

Adapted from Tartine

Fully baked 10-inch tart shell (recipe here, only for a fully baked tart shell, bake the shell for a total of 30-35 minutes, 20 minutes with pie weights, and 10-15 minutes with the foil and weights removed, until the crust is golden brown)

Pear filling:

3 pounds just ripened pears (over-ripe pears will fall apart when cooked, so make sure your pears still have a bit of firmness to them), peeled, cored, and sliced into quarters

¼ cup (4 tablespoons, or 2 ounces) unsalted butter

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) sugar

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons heavy cream

lemon juice and grated zest of ½ a medium lemon

Topping:

1 cup sliced almonds

¼ cup sugar

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place fully baked tart shell on a baking sheet and set aside.

Have a large bowl ready to hold the sautéed pears.  You will be sautéing the pears in 4 batches, so divide the pears as needed.  In a heavy sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and allow it to just caramelize with the butter, turning a medium brown.  Add 1 batch of the pears to the pan in a single layer.  Saute until soft, turning a few times with a spoon.  If the sugar begins to darken too dramatically, reduce the heat to low.  The pears should become quite soft and caramelized as they cook, but still hold their shape.  The timing of this will depend on the ripeness of your pears, but it should not take more than 5 minutes.  When the pears are caramelized and soft, transfer them to the waiting bowl.  Add another tablespoon of butter and sugar to the pan, not cleaning the pan between batches.  Add another batch of pears, and cook as you did the first batch.  The second batch should not take as long as the first.  Continue with the remaining batches of butter, sugar, and pears, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the caramel in the pan from burning.

When all of the pears have cooked, the caramel remaining in the pan should be quite dark.  Increase the heat under the pan to medium high, then deglaze the pan with 3 tablespoons of water, scraping up the bubbling caramelized bits with a wooden spoon or a wire whisk.  When most of the bits from the pan have been loosened, add the heavy cream and continue to stir or whisk until the liquid has reduced by about 1/3.

Pour the reduced caramel and cream mixture over the sautéed pears, then toss to combine.  Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt to the pears, then toss once more.  Pile the pears into the baked tart shell.

To make the topping, combine the almonds, sugar, egg whites, and salt in a small bowl.  Stir well to combine.  Spread the almond mixture evenly over the pears, extending the topping all the way to the edges of the tart.

Bake the tart on a baking sheet, in the middle of the oven, until the topping is browned, about 30 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

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