Thursday, April 8, 2010

Berry Tart My Easter Dessert

This year Easter was going to be a little strange for my wife and I. None of our 3 children would be home for Easter, our first childless holiday in 26 years. But then out of the blue we get an email from my best friend from college. She is bringing her husband, 2 children and one of their friends to Durham to check out colleges and they wanted to get together for dinner. So I got to make a big Easter dinner after all. Our dessert was this berry tart. I made it several years ago and it was very good. The recipe os from Perfect Light Desserts by Nick Malgieri, yes he wrote a healthy cookbook.

Berry Tart

Sweet Pastry Crust

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbs unsalted butter, cold and cut into 6 pieces
1 large egg
1 tbs cold water

Combine the dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to mix ingredients.

Add butter and pulse 12 times.

Add the egg and water and pulse until dough forms a ball.

Pour dough onto a floured surface.

Form the dough into a disk. Then wrap it in plastic.

Refrigerate for 3 hours to 3 days. You can use immediately but dough will be a little soft.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Before you use the dough unwrap it and gently knead it on a floured surface. Then form it into a disk again and roll it out into a 11 to 12 inch disk. Transfer to a 8 or 9 inch fluted tart pan. Press on bottom and sides and cut off any excess dough.

Poke holes in bottom of tart with a fork, about every 1/2 inch. Place tart on center rack and bake for 15 minutes, or until it just starts to turn golden brown. Do not over bake or crust becomes very hard.

Cool tart on a rack.

Pastry Cream Filling

1 cup fat-free milk, I usually use 1%
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs unsalted butter, softened

Combine the milk and 1/2 of the sugar in a small nonreactive saucepan. Bring to boil over low heat. Combine rest of sugar and the flour in a small mixing bowl and whisk together to mix. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. When the milk boils whisk in 1/3 of the egg mixture. Return the rest of the mixture to a boil. Whisking constantly add the rest of the egg mixture in a slow steady stream. Keep whisking until the pastry cream thickens and comes to a boil with large bubbles bursting at the surface. Whisk for 20 seconds longer and remove from heat. Add the vanilla and the butter. Pour the filling into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the cream so a film does not form. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the tart.

Finishing the Tart

3 1/2-pints of raspberries or a mixture of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
2 tbs powdered sugar

Pour the cream in the tart shell and spread evenly. Arrange the berries on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


  1. Gorgeous tart! That must have been amazingly good :)

  2. I especially like the way the crust held its shape, raspsberrie are my favorite...the only thing I would have added was a shot of chambord over mine, lovely dessert, I could eat this whole thing!

  3. Chambord does sound good. I think the whole thing turned out well considering I don't like to bake.

  4. What a beautiful tart! And it must be really tasty! I love that cream filling. I actually don't use the butter, usually. I don't think it adds much to this particular recipes except the calories.
    Love all these berries and your photos!

  5. Looks fabulous! Yummy fruits!

  6. A man after my own heart. I would eat a tart over chocolate ANY DAY. :-)

  7. Any pastry chef would be impressed. Your kids really missed out this year!

  8. Beautiful tart! Love fresh berries.

  9. wow ! Sounds Delicious .Perfect dessert for tonigt :-)

  10. This looks fabulous! I sent you a little buzz since you left my mouth watering! Have a fabulous weekend!