Late Summer Blackberry Tart

 

Late Summer Blackberry Tart

I am sometimes in such a hurry to start cooking with fall ingredients and flavors that I skip right past the wonderful bounty of late summer produce. The zucchini, berries and sweet corn get skipped over for the enticing flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon. Blackberries, however, always have a place in my kitchen!  Our yearly trip to the blackberry farm was a bit of a disappointment this year as many of the bushes had already been picked clean. So I ended up with only one pint of blackberries which is not quite enough to make a pie or cobbler. This tart only requires a small amount of berries for the topping, but you want to make sure and use only the ripest, plumpest berries for the best flavor. I once made a blackberry cobbler that used orange peel in the dough, and ever since then I’ve loved the combination of tart orange with the musky sweetness of blackberries. I decided to bring that flavor combination to this rich, creamy tart by adding orange to the pastry cream. The toasted almond crust is more buttery and nutty than sweet so that the tart isn’t overwhelmingly rich. This is kind of complicated to make, but the crust and filling can mostly be made 1 day ahead so that the tart just needs a little last minute assembling right before serving.

Elements of Late Summer Blackberry Tart ready to be assembled

Late Summer Blackberry Tart

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: About 10 servings

Late Summer Blackberry Tart

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • zest from 2 medium oranges
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
    For the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. In a food processor, grind the almonds until they form a fine meal. Place almond meal in a large mixing bowl and stir in the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Scoop the crust mixture into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and press it out to completely cover the bottom and sides of the pan evenly. Prick crust all over with a fork to prevent crust from bubbling up while cooking. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
  3. For the filling:
  4. In a small saucepan, whisk together the milk and orange zest. Heat over medium heat until just simmering. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and flour until they form a smooth past. Pour the heated milk over the egg mixture in the bowl, whisking constantly.
  6. Return milk and egg mixture the pan and continue to cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens to a loose pudding consistency. Remove from heat.
  7. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a clean mixing bowl and press the pastry cream through the sieve to remove any lumps or pieces of cooked egg. Stir the softened butter, vanilla extract and orange juice into the warm pastry cream. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap right on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
  8. When ready to assemble tart: Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream with a rubber spatula, just until mixed. Pour this lightened pastry cream into the cooled tart crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Arrange the fresh blackberries on top of the pastry cream and garnish with strips of orange peel, if desired.
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