Monday, May 3, 2010
A sure thing
The best thing in the world happened today! I walked into weshop (campus grocery) and they had blackberries in stock. Weshop is not so good about stocking fresh produce, which makes my life miserable. Their availability isn't seasonal, it's arbitrary. Once a month there's eggplant and about twice per semester I can find parsley. So today, finding blackberries was like a sign. I ate one box and brought three home, and made a blackberry shortbread tart instead of writing a paper.
Most things in my life are messy, especially right now as finals week approaches. If you need proof, take a look at the piles of half-worn jeans on my bedroom floor or the piles of half-read books on my desk.
I have one friend who tries to think of everything in black and white. I tend to think of things in infinite shades of grey, and I firmly believe that a person needs some sort of risk every day. That said, sometimes you just want something to absolutely work out the way you want. This fruit tart is for those days, when you need something definite and steady and simple and, most of all, delicious.
This tart will never disappoint. Make it to impress guests, or make the whole thing for yourself, to eat for breakfast every morning next week. My favorite toppings are blueberry or peach, but apple and pear are great too, and I'm looking forward to trying plum or strawberry when the time is right. I had never used blackberries before today, but I will again and again from now on. The tart berries are too perfect for this recipe, and the purple color was fantastic.
Blackberry shortbread tart
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups plus 2 Tblsp. flour
2 egg yolks
2 Tblsp. sugar
approximately 15 ounces blackberries, halved lengthwise
or, blueberries or strawberries or sliced apples, peaches, pears or plums
or, just about any other fruit you can think of
2 well beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tblsp. milk
1 cup sugar
For the crust, mix the flour, egg yolks, butter and 2 Tblsp. sugar by hand until the dough is the consistency of course cornmeal. Press firmly into a pan. Ideally, you would use a round spring form cake pan. If you're like me and don't have a round spring form cake pan, anything will work that's roughly 9X13 inches and has a big enough lip so that the glaze doesn't spill over.
Cover the crust with fruit- enough for a single layer that almost completely covers the tart surface.
In a separate bowl, mix the beaten eggs, vanilla, and milk, and 1 cup sugar. Pour over the crust and fruit.
Bake 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until bubbling and browned.