You need to take advantage of your berries. In a couple of month berries will go back to their smaller, less flavorful, slightly sour, sad selves. I’m trying to be more of an optimist so let’s focus on the fact that we have at least two whole months of berry consumption ahead of us.
This summer my baking has taking a small hiatus. The oven makes the house extremely hot and frankly the desire to bite into a flaky pastry has diminished, taken over by the desire to scoop up bowls of ice cream and frozen yogurt. There is however one tart that has withstood the heat of summer and pleased some barbecue goers or two. This little, lemon raspberry tart right here.
It is a personal quest of mine to master pastry as if I was born into a patiserrie owning family in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. I want to be able to make dough with ease and have it come out of the oven, flaky and buttery and really freaking good. It isn’t an easy feat, one that has given me much grief in the past. It will require lots of practice and even more butter.
Fruit tarts are especially great in the summer, for obvious reasons. Berry tarts are the absolute best. I can eat raspberries and blackberries until I am sick to my stomach. In Spain we would pick blackberries on the dusty paths that led to our grandparents’ house and sometimes make them into jam. In our little suburb we don’t have the pleasure of wild grown berries so I had to make do with the raspberries I found at the market. They were ripe and sweet, ready to be put on top of this tart. This particular recipe combines the sweet taste of raspberries with the tartness of lemon, a perfect combination for the summer sweet tooth.
Fair warning to those who only like a small amount of lemon zest in their desserts. This tart has a strong citrus flavor because you use the whole lemon, the juice, the flesh, and the lemon zest. The raspberries balance out the tartness very nicely. I got the recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s blog, but instead of scattering the berries on top of the crust, I placed them on top of the lemon custard.
Lemon Raspberry Tart
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan adapted from Cafe Boulud Cookbook
1 partially baked pate brisee pie crust (traditional pastry crust).
2 medium lemons
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups raspberries
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F.
Finely grate the zest of both lemons; set aside. With a small knife, cut off the top and bottom of each lemon and then carefully cut away the cottony white pith and a tiny bit of flesh from each lemon—the juicy sections of lemon should now be completely exposed. Lay the lemons on their sides and cut each lemon crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; remove the seeds.
Place the lemon slices, eggs, yolks and sugar in the container of a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the reserved zest and the cream. Give the bowl a good rap against the kitchen counter to debubble it—if there are bubbles in the cream now, there will be bubbles in your tart later.
Pour the filling into the pastry crust. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is set in the center. Transfer the tart to a rack and cool to room temperature. When the custard completely cool you can place your raspberries on the top.