Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Summer fruit tart, two ways

I had been meaning to try this raspberry custard tart from Tea & Cookies for years, but I never did because the Engineer doesn’t like raspberries. However, as I was looking at it, I realized that the red and golden raspberries, albeit beautiful, are just a suggestion. Tara Austen Weaver actually suggests rhubarb in the spring, maybe caramelized apples or pears in the fall, or other berries in the summer. So I decided to enjoy the peaches, which are fantastic this time of the year here. The crust of this tart contains quinoa flour, which gave it a great flavor (though note that it also contains wheat flour, so it isn’t gluten-free). It should be noted, however, that it won’t keep very long: I made it on a Saturday, and it was great then and still good the next day, but by Monday it was definitely past its prime.

For the crust
6 ½ Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing tart pan
½ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
½ cup quinoa flour
¾ cup unbleached white flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 °F.

Mix butter and sugar until light and add egg. Mix until fully combined. Add flour, quinoa, and baking powder and mix. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

Butter a 10-inch tart pan (I used a 9-inch tart pan and it turned out fine) with removable bottom. Remove tart dough and press evenly into greased tart pan. Place in fridge again, briefly, to chill.

Using greased tin foil (so that it doesn’t stick to the dough) and pie weights, blind-bake for 20-30 minutes, until the center is beginning to brown. Keep an eye on the edges to make sure they don’t get too brown. Place some extra tinfoil around the edge if they get too dark.

For the custard
1 ½ cups lactose-free whole milk
4 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
large pinch of salt

Heat milk in a small pot or saucepan over medium heat until just warm. Set aside.

In a medium bowl add the egg yolks and sugar and whisk until thoroughly combined. Take half a cup of the milk and begin to drizzle into the sugar and egg mixture while you continue to stir. Once the egg mixture has loosened, pour slowly into the remaining milk. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt, whisk to mix, and heat slowly on medium flame stirring constantly. The mixture may begin to bubble around the edges a bit. Keep the heat low until the pastry cream thickens and continue cooking three minutes. (At this point, you can pour or spoon the pastry cream though a wire mesh strainer set over a clean bowl to remove any lumps, but I didn’t bother.) Allow to cool completely and cover with a piece of clean saran wrap or plastic bag pressed against the pastry cream so there is no air in contact with the surface. Refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.

For assembly
5 cups fruit (see note above)
optional: powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Spread the pastry cream in the fully cooled tart shell. Top with berries. (Raspberries and blackberries will bleed into the pastry cream, so if possible, leave them off until just before serving.)

The other recipe I tried is a raw vegan peach Melba tart with “mascarpone”. So, obviously there are raspberries in this, but only a few per piece, so they are easy to push away for people who don’t want them. The crust didn’t hold together very well, perhaps because it was only refrigerated instead of frozen, but it was still very good! Note that the recipe suggests using sliced pears along with figs or cranberries in the fall.

For the crust
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

In a food processor, pulse the nuts into a fine meal. Add the dates, vanilla extract and salt. Pulse until the dates are well incorporated and the mixture begins to clump together. Press into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and refrigerate until needed.

For the mascarpone
1 cup cashews, soaked 2-4 hours or overnight and drained
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp. agave syrup (I used maple syrup)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. lemon extract (turns out I didn’t have any, so I omitted it)
½ tsp. nutritional yeast
½ tsp. white miso

Blend all of the ingredients together until a very smooth, thick texture is achieved (you’ll need a strong blender, such as a Vitamix).

For assembly
5 small peaches
1 cup raspberries

Peel the peaches. (The original recipe recommends the usual spiel of scoring the bottom with an “x” and blanching them in boiling water before peeling them, but I don’t bother. I can’t be the only one who doesn’t have trouble peeling peaches with a regular vegetable peeler, right?) Thinly slice and set aside.

Pour the mascarpone into the prepared tart crust. Add a circle of the peach slices around the edge, slightly overlapping each slice on its neighbor. Fill the center of the tart with fresh raspberries and serve.

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