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Today's recipe was not composed by me, but it comes from a book that I gave my mom for Christmas this winter: The Tassajara Bread Bookby Edward Brown. I have not tried many recipes from it, but I did cook this Fresh Berry Tart from it before I actually gave the book to my mom as a present. It came out so lovely that the four of us (Mama, Alex, Gary, me) nearly devoured the whole thing in one sitting. Predictably, when Gary's birthday rolled around, I got a humble hint that it would be lovely to have this treat again. So, this Saturday I got the pleasure of playing a perfect housewife, worrying about nothing but the dough in the oven.

This recipe is made completely from scratch and it takes on the order of 4 hours to complete. By far the most time-consuming part is the crust. The dough is prepared by chopping butter together with flour until it turns into coarse crumbs. This can get frustrating (especially when the weather is hot and the butter melts too quickly, and when one is making a double portion as I was this time). However, the recipe turned out to be forgiving and the crust tasted great, despite being a little too brown on the edges. The cream for the filling is fairly easy to prepare, but does take a small stretch of undivided attention.

It is probably not permissible for me to re-print the recipe, so here is an excerpt from Google Books. I used the first Short Pastry For Tarts (p. 156) recipe, and the Vanilla Pastry Cream (p. 152) recipe for the filling (though I also added some Amaretto for a bit of almond aroma). Edward describes a very nice trick: brushing the berries arranges over the pie with warmed up fruit jelly. This is much easier than making your own glaze, and I found that this works great for other pies as well. See the recipes here:

And was it tasty! I hope you can find the time to make and enjoy this desert while the summer is still with us and the berries are juicy and sweet.
Tags:    baking berries challenging cookbook dessert
Summary: a dessert recipe
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