Saturday, January 2, 2010
Kind of Excited
I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. I find goals easier to achieve when they’re broken down into smaller steps and written on a list, so you can put a big red line through them once they’re done. It’s particularly satisfying. This year’s list includes making jam, harvesting something (anything!) from my little vegetable garden, learning more about Middle Eastern cuisine, finally organising a passport and travelling overseas and having many more eating adventures with the Sydney food bloggers. I’m also attempting to take a photo each day again – I hope to make it past April this time! I’m kind of excited.
But this also marks the end of one project, and the beginning of another. This one is my final recipe in the Tartine Cookbook project. I really enjoyed it, and it was a great way to get to know this beautiful book better. Huge thanks must go to Mark from No Special Effects for taking the journey with me, I hope he got as much enjoyment from it as I did. I would like to do the same thing again in the New Year, but with another book from my collection. More about that towards the end of the month!
I adapted the recipe from the Blackberry Tart on page 63. It was originally served with a rose geranium cream, but I swapped this for a vanilla bean, and replaced the blackberries with strawberries and blueberries. I also didn’t add heavy cream to the pastry cream, because I thought it was perfect the way it was. I also liked that it used whole eggs, and didn’t leave me with half a dozen extra egg whites like many custard recipes do!
This is one of my favourite desserts in the world, so simple and yet so delicious. Sweet, buttery pastry, creamy vanilla bean spiked crème patisserie and topped with a tumble of sweet summer berries. It sure was a delicious start to 2010, and a great way to finish the challenge. I brought it along to New Years Day lunch at my Grandmother’s house, and there wasn’t a crumb leftover!
Summer Berry Tart
Adapted from Tartine
Makes 1 9-inch tart, 8-12 servings
Sweet Tart Dough (makes 2 x 9-inch tart shells)
• 255g unsalted butter, room temperature
• 200g sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 500g all purpose flour
Vanilla Pastry Cream
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 115g sugar
• 30g cornflour
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 55g unsalted butter
• 570g mixed berries (including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or whatever you like the most)
• Icing sugar, to dust
1. To make the sweet pastry, combine butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until smooth, and then add in 1 egg. When combined, add the remaining egg and mix until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour all at once and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
2. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. While dough is chilling, make the pastry cream. In a saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla bean and seeds and salt. Place over a medium heat and bring to just under a boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 1 hour.
4. Have a heatproof bowl and a fine mesh sieve ready. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornflour. Add the eggs and whisk until evenly blended.
5. Remove the vanilla beans from the milk, return the pan to medium heat and heat until just under a boil again, whisking occasionally. Take the pan off the heat. Add about one third of the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Add another ladleful of the hot milk to the eggs and whisk again. All at once, pour the egg mixture back into the pan with the hot milk. Place back over medium heat and whisk until it is as thick as lightly whipped cream. Remove from the heat and pour through the sieve into the waiting bowl.
6. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the butter into 1-tablespoon pieces. When the pastry cream is ready, add the butter bit by bit, whisking in each addition before adding the next one. Let the pastry cream cool for a few minutes, and then cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the cream to stop a skin forming. Let cool for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate until chilled (at least 2 hours.)
7. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured work surface until about 3mm thick, working quickly to prevent the dough becoming warm. Carefully transfer to a tart pan, easing it into the bottom and sides, and then pressing gently into place. Trim the dough level with the top of the pan with a sharp knife. Place pastry shell in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until it is firm.
8. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Dock the bottom of the tart shell with a fork, making tiny holes about 5cm apart. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool completely on wire racks.
9. When cooled, spoon in the pastry cream, scatter mixed berries on top and dust with icing sugar, if desired. This tart is best eaten the day it is made.