By Chris Williams
I’ve been making this berry tart for about 30 years, and it gets better every time. Dive in and make the creamiest, most colorful fruit tart you can. Always mix up the berry selection depending on what’s available at your local farmer’s market. If you shop at a large grocery store, try to find the organic produce because the fruit really does taste better.
The best thing about this tart is that it’s not loaded with sugar—so you can eat it till your heart’s content. I use raw honey, and I like to try different varieties of honey with different combinations of fruit. That always keeps the dessert tray exciting!
- 1 1/2 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup of raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 9″ or 10″ pan with a removable fluted rim
- a bag of beans (or a cup of rice) to weigh down the pie crust
- mixing bowl
- tin foil
Make It Happen
Place butter and raw honey into your mixing bowl. You can blend these two ingredients with your electric mixer. Add the salt and the vanilla extract. Then add the flour and blend the mixture until it turns into a dough when you press it together.
Pour the crumbs into the tart pan. Form the crumbs into a pie crust by pressing the bits of dough firmly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork to make indentations. This will keep your pie crust from bubbling.
Line the crust with tin foil, placing it on top of your crust. Then add the beans onto the foil to weigh it down. This last trick will really keep your crust flat and prevent it from buckling!
Chill the shell for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the shell from the refrigerator and put it into the preheated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes take the shell out of the oven and remove the beans and foil carefully. Now put the shell back into the oven for 10 more minutes or until golden.
When it’s done, let the shell cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Remove the side of the pan and let the shell cool completely. The shell will be very crisp and cookie like. That’s the pie crust you’ll love! So don’t eat it before you finish the rest of your tart.
Vanilla Pastry Cream:
- 2 cups of organic whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean halved lengthwise and seed scrapped or 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
- 4 large egg yolks (set aside in a large bowl)
- 1/4 cup of raw honey (sweeten to taste, add a little more if necessary)
- 1/4 cup of organic corn starch
- fine sieve (strainer)
- medium saucepan
- heat-proof bowl
- parchment paper
Bring milk and vanilla bean seeds and pod (or vanilla extract) to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, then cover and let it stand for 25 minutes.
Whisk egg yolks in bowl until smooth.
In medium saucepan combine honey and corn starch. Gradually add the cooled milk mixture (or milk and vanilla extract). Keep whisking the mixture over medium heat and stir it constantly, until it thickens and begins to bubble. This should take about five minutes.
Whisking constantly, gently and very slowly pour 1/3 of the milk mixture into the egg yolks. Pour the remaining mixture into the saucepan with the honey and corn starch.
Cook over medium heat. Continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a full boil. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This should take about 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a heat-proof bowl, and toss out the solids.
Cover with a parchment wrap and press it directly onto the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled or firm, at least 2 hours.
Before using, whisk the mixture again. This will soften it.
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 cup of raspberries
- (you can add blackberries or other fruits)
Rinse berries and let them air dry for 5 minutes.
Take your pie crust and remove your cream from the refrigerator. Now you can pour your cream into the pie crust.
Arrange the berries carefully into your own delicious looking design. Beautiful!
Eat and enjoy—and share with your family, neighbors and friends.
Chris Williams is a homemaker who has been cooking traditional Southern recipes, New York style dinners, baked goods, and her signature dishes (like lasagne, beef stew, baked salmon, and chicken with broccoli) for decades.
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