I love making desserts but only do so if having company or if asked to bring something to an event; this weekend it was a neighborhood barbecue and I was dying to make this Raspberry Cream Tart. I wanted something with fresh fruit and this dessert was absolutely wonderful. A friend brought some Anson Mills flour from her trip to SC (sounds weird for a gift but she knows me well) so I did use the ingredients as specified in the recipe and this flour does make an elegant crust!
Raspberry Cream Tart
For the pastry cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 cups half-and-half
- .75 ounces sifted Anson Mills Fine Cloth-Bolted Pastry Flour (about 3 sifted tablespoons)
- 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) European-style butter, cut into 3 pieces, cold
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the pastry shell
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 7 ounces Anson Mills Fine Cloth-Bolted Pastry Flour
- 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) superfine sugar
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted European-style butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, cold
To finish the tart
- 1 cup red currant jelly
- 3 half pints fresh, ripe organic raspberries, unwashed
To Make the pastry cream:
- Combine the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of the half-and-half in a 1-quart liquid measuring cup and whisk well to combine.
- Add the sifted flour and whisk vigorously until the mixture is satiny smooth and free of lumps. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a deep, narrow bowl.
- Heat the remaining half-and-half, the sugar, and salt in a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the mixture reaches a simmer, pull the saucepan off the burner and ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture to warm it.
- Whisk the yolks well. Repeat with another 1/2 cup of half-and-half and whisk the yolks well. Return the saucepan to the burner and pour the warm yolk mixture back into the saucepan all at once, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and vigorously whisking the half-and-half.
- Reduce the heat to medium and continue whisking until the mixture thickens and bubbles burst on the surface, 20 or 30 seconds. Allow it to bubble for 10 seconds. (Unlike crème anglaise, pastry cream is supposed to boil.) The cream should be thick and glossy.Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the cold butter and vanilla into the pastry cream to cool it. The cream will become glossier. Pour the pastry cream into the strainer, scraping the saucepan with a rubber spatula. Knock the cream through the mesh by tapping the rim of the strainer with the handle of a wooden spoon. Press the plastic wrap directly against the surface of the cream and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or overnight.
To Make the pastry:
- Combine the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir with a fork until well blended.
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the surface and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about ten 1-second pulses.
- With the machine running, pour the egg yolk mixture through the feed tube and process until the dough forms a ball that chases itself around the bowl, about 20 seconds.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface; it should be soft and pliable. If it is extremely tacky sprinkle it with up to 1 tablespoon of flour and knead very lightly until incorporated.
- Press the dough firmly into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator; let it stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes until slightly softened. While it is still encased in plastic, rap the dough with a rolling pin to flatten the disk. Unwrap the dough, place it between 2 lightly floured sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and roll it out into a 13-inch round of even thickness. (The dough is delicate, but easily patched.)
- To fit the dough into a 9- to 9 1/2-inch by 1-inch-deep fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, peel off the top layer of parchment or plastic and replace it lightly over the dough.
- Using the edges of the bottom sheet of parchment or plastic, flip the dough round; lift off what is now the top sheet. Using the bottom sheet for assistance, loosely drape and then roll the dough around the rolling pin, pulling away the parchment or plastic as needed.
- Gently unroll the dough over the tart pan. Ease the dough squarely into the corners and against the sides of the tart pan, making sure that there are no areas that are pulled taut. Patch any tears or holes, gently press the dough into the flutes of the pan, then trim away the excess.
- The dough should have a uniform 3/16-inch to 1/4- inch thickness. (The bottom crust should be thinner than the sides.) Refrigerate the dough-lined tart pan until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- Fit a sheet of aluminum foil snugly against the dough, allowing ample overhang. Pour about 1 quart of pie weights or dried beans into the aluminum foil; they should come flush with the edge of the tart pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour.While the weighted-down dough is chilling, adjust the oven racks to the lowest and highest positions. Place a pizza stone on the lower rack and heat the oven to 375 degrees, allowing 1 hour for the pizza stone to heat thoroughly.
- Bake the tart shell directly on the pizza stone until the dough is set and browned, about 30 minutes. Carefully lift out the foil and pie weights, move the tart pan to the upper rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is uniformly crisp and brown, 5 to 10 minutes longer.
- Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- Remove the outer ring from the tart pan. Slip a thin metal spatula between the tart pan bottom and the bottom of the pastry crust, then slide the tart onto a flat serving plate or a 9-inch cardboard cake round.
- Spoon the cold pastry cream into the shell and smooth it with the back of the spoon.Bring the jelly to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook until slightly thickened, but don't allow it to reduce and thicken too much. (If it does, add a teaspoon or so of water and return to a simmer.) Meanwhile, arrange the raspberries on the pastry cream in concentric circles, starting at the center and using the tallest berries; the height of the berries should gradually descend as they move toward the edge of the tart. Using a pastry brush, drip the hot jelly uniformly over the raspberries without striving to paint each berry. The beads of jelly will look beautiful as they gel. For optimal enjoyment, serve the tart within a few hours.
Recipe courtesy Anson Mills
Photo by Kay Rentschler for Anson Mills