Monday, February 15, 2010

Lovely but Ugly Raspberry Tart

Today I want to talk about love.

A little late, I know. But yesterday was filled with all kinds of love for me. Yesterday, another man came into my life. His name is Zepp:

And because we love him so much, we spent the better part of yesterday puppy proofing and playing with him - making him feel the like he's part of our little family.

So today, February 15th, I do want to talk about love.

Mostly about the importanace of not judging a book by it's cover. Let me explain.

I bought a bag of frozen raspberries a little while back. I miss summer fruit so much in the winter. Winter in New York has so little to offer.

So I defrosted my raspberries in a medium size pan over medium-low.

It didn't take them long to thaw at all. Then I added some brown sugar, vanilla, and a little bit of cinnamon (OK, maybe a whole teaspoon).

I stirred it very gently - very lovingly - with  a rubber spatula.

Then I let them cool while I rolled out my crust. Use your favorite pie crust recipe - mine came off the internet years ago. It was attached to a cherry pie recipe - the filling I had to tweak A LOT, but the crust was perfect.

Now here's the part where we talk a little more about unconditional love. I only had half a batch of pie crust from a previous endeavor (one that still needed a little fixing), so I cut it in half and rolled two long pieces of dough out.

On the bottom one, I rolled the edges up to make a little wall to hold my filling in.

(Have I ever mentioned that my baking needs work?)

But whatever. This shoe-shaped creation, whose dough may have been rolled a little too thin was not going to fail. It was NOT going to leak in the oven! I pressed on.

Love is about commitment and trust, after all. I couldn't just abandon this almost-tart after all we'd been through together. So I gave him what he needed... his raspberry filling.


He could barely contain himself.
Here's where it gets messy. Here's where we bicker and scuffle... trying to sort out how we are really going to make two incongruous pieces fit together. Not only fit together, how are they going to work together? Both sides doing their part to contain the ooey-gooey filling?

It was a stretch (ha!):

So what if those vents holes were mostly just tears as I stretched the already thin dough over filling that was just about ready to brim over onto the baking sheet? Tarts need vent holes. They also need a little brush with some egg white and cold water and then a sprinkling of sugar. Everyone likes to look nice before a big date.

And we had a big date once this tart came out of the oven.

I am not a shallow lady. Appearance is only so important.


It's what's on the inside that counts.

You can make yours prettier if you want (I will practice for the future), but like love, cooking is all about learning, about trial and error, and always going back for more.


2 cups all purpose bleached flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter cold, cut into 8 pieces (I only had salted and it was fine)
2 large eggs

1 egg white
1 Tbs cold water
white sugar

Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl with metal blade. Mix until combined. You can use a Kitchenaid, a food processor, or a hand mixer.

Add the butter to the bowl and mix until it resembles coarse cornmeal and no large pieces remain.

Add eggs and pulse about 10 times or so until dough forms a ball.

On a work surface, sprinkle a little flour and knead the dough a few times. Divide in half  and form two disks about 6 inches in diameter.

Place in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour until dough is firm.

Roll out.

You only need one disk for this recipe. Freeze your other one until you're ready to use it, or make two!

1 package frozen raspberries (or the fresh equivalent) - you can also substitute pretty much any berry or combination of berries that you want
4 Tbs brown sugar (more if you want a sweeter filling)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add frozen raspberries to a cold medium-sized pan over medium-low heat. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until raspberries being to thaw.

Once there is no ice remaining, add the brown sugar 1 Tbs at a time. Stir to incorporate after each Tbs.

Repeat with the vanilla and cinnamon.

Allow mixture to cool a little while you roll out your dough.

Cut your disk in half. Roll each half into a long rectangle (or as close to that as you can get, for example, a long shoe is also acceptable).

On the bottom half, roll up the sides slightly - about 1/4" - to create a wall for the filling. Spoon the filling onto the bottom crust, spreading it out so that it is even.

Then lay your top crust on top, gently tucking the edges underneath the bottom layer. This creates a nice seal and keeps most of the filling inside (even if your dough is really thin!)

If you're dough didn't tear while you were doing this cut several vent holes in the top crust. Use a sharp knife to make several slits each a couple of inches apart. I had to add two because of where the tears in my dough were.

Beat your egg white and cold water until it's just frothy. Then with a pastry brush (or your fingers) spread the glaze over the top of the tart, then sprinkle that with some white sugar (or raw sugar).

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown around the edges.

Allow to cool for ten minutes, then slice and serve!

1 comment:

  1. Liz,

    The raspberry tart actually looks delicious. Raspberries and a buttery crust, how bad can it be. All you need is a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a piece of good chocolate for a wonderful Valentine's dessert. Looking forward to more ideas.