A Summer Tart

One great thing about this partnership that Anne and I have in the kitchen is that we each bring a different style to the table (no pun intended), and somehow it just . . . works.

While I get caught up in the science of perfecting a recipe we’ve made a dozen times, measuring out flour to the nearest gram on our electronic scale, Anne just loves to try new things and, when adding ingredients, often says things like, “Yeah, that looks like about a tablespoon, doesn’t it?”

Sometimes this makes me cringe and I implore her to use our measuring spoons, but in the end, this sense of adventure is what’s going to make this blog worth reading – at least we hope.

So we made a fruit tart last night.  We’ve been wanting to take advantage of the seasonal summer fruit, and, well, we both have an insatiable sweet tooth.

Well, neither one of us had ever made a tart, and the recipe required some on-the-fly adjustments, so we had a few of those “differing style” moments:

“It needs more fruit.”  “No, if we add more fruit the crust will be covered up.”  “You should dice those peaches smaller.”  “I think that’s small enough.”  “They should be the same size as the blueberries.”  “I like bigger chunks.”

In the end, we compromised (I think), and the results were fantastic.  So . . .

This recipe comes from food52, a food blog that we like a lot.  We made some minor adjustments (probably because we didn’t know what we were doing).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Then, to make the crust, start by dumping into a mixing bowl: 1 stick of butter that you’ve already melted, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and 1 cup of all purpose flour.

Stir all of these ingredients together until you get a uniformly moistened mixture.  It will be a bit crumbly.

Now press this crumbly mixture into the bottom of a pie pan.  Use the palm of your hand to flatten, working from the middle to the sides.  You’ll find that as you work the dough from the center it will start to creep up the sides, giving you the edge of what is to become the crust of the tart.  We pressed the dough out until it was probably 1/8″ thick on the bottom, which made the sides come about halfway up the pie pan.  Use your finger tips to even out the edges by pinching the vertical edge of the dough and the outside edge of the pie pan with your thumb and pointy finger, rotating the pan as you go along.

Put the pan into the 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or just until the crust begins to firm up.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

In the meantime, rinse 2 cups of blueberries and dice 2 peaches (you decide how small you want them diced), and then toss the fruit with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of white sugar.  Set aside.

Now, for the topping, combine 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup white sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.  Then work in by hand 3 tablespoons of softened butter until it is well distributed (the recipe called for 2 tablespoons of butter, which would give you a drier (and probably crispier) topping, but we opted for a slightly more moist topping).

Now fill the crust by taking out handfuls of the fruit, making sure the peaches are distributed well among the blueberries.  Avoid pouring the fruit into the crust, as extra juices may leave the bottom of your tart soggy.  Also, we ended up only using a little over half of our fruit – more would have piled the fruit over the edge of the crust.  Perhaps in the future we’ll make slightly more crust or use slightly less fruit.

Now sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit, and pop that beauty into the 350 degree oven for . . . well, the recipe called for 20-25 minutes, but we found that it took our tart almost 40 minutes before the crust was browned and the blueberries were slightly melted.

The aromas coming out of that oven were just divine.  We recommend letting the pan cool for probably a good 20 minutes, but we just couldn’t wait.

The original plan was to share a slice.  But we made a test slice before making the photographed slice.  So, two slices on two plates: it only makes sense for each of us to have our own, right?

But we didn’t stop there.  After slice 1 and slice 2 were down, we started eating directly out of the pie pan.  And . . . we ate half the tart.  And yes, I did finish off that little piece in the top left after taking this photo.

Folks, this tart is fun and easy to make and really, really good.  And we didn’t really know what we were doing with the whole crust thing.

We would have probably polished the whole thing off if we didn’t have a wedding to get to in a few days.

Tart Crust

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Tart Filling

  • 2 cups blueberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 peaches, diced (really small)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

Tart Topping

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
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3 Responses to A Summer Tart

  1. Millie says:

    Dear Shoebox Kitchen –
    I have a ripe heirloom pumpkin with your name on it. I realize that it’s a big week for you. Thus you may not have time to roast, puree, and freeze pumpkins, but the offer stands as long as the pumpkins keep coming. We had some delicious pumpkin bread today and are about to enjoy pumpkin soup for dinner.

    • Millie: We would definitely be interested in that heirloom pumpkin – perhaps in about two weeks, if it’s still around. Does it come with a pumpkin bread & soup recipe?

      How cool to have a pumpkin patch right in your front yard!

  2. Pingback: The Summer Tart Reconstructed (or, a Blackberry & Fig Tart) | TheshoeboxKitchen

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