Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No TWD, but Raspberry Tart with Chocolate Shortbread Crust

This week, the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers are making Katya's (of Second Dinner) pick, Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake. I was days away from leaving on vacation when the November picks were announced. If this one had been cookies, brownies, muffins or something like these, I could have fit them in. Katya has great taste so her pick was going to require more time than I had. Visit her to see what her beautiful cake looks like.

Those of you who stop by regularly know I don't always come from a rational place. Exhibit A:

Five days before going on vacation, I spotted beautiful raspberries at Costco. Costco, the land of excess, sells them in boxes of 6 clamshell containers. Even though I'm going on vacation in 5 days, I buy them.

Driving home, I wondered what was I thinking??? How was I going to eat six containers of raspberries on my own? Later, I commiserated with a friend, and decide to make my own IQF (individually quick frozen) raspberries. But lining them up on sheet pans to freeze seems exceedingly tedious, so I decided to make a raspberry tart. By this time, two of the containers were gone, but I figured making a 9" tart would leave me with leftover berries, so I made a 10", plus four 4" chocolate tart shells. Then I made pastry cream. Does anyone else enjoy the irony of watching "The Biggest Loser" while making pastry cream? Finally, I assembled the fruit tart before leaving for work the next morning.

I based my pastry cream on Dorie Greenspan's from Baking From My Home to Yours. I cooked it a little too long, based on her instructions to boil the custard for 1-2 minutes. When it started thickening, my instincts shouted "DANGER!" but I ignored them since it had only been 30 seconds. So my custard ended up very stiff. No worries. When this happens, I always whip some cream and whisk it into the pastry cream to lighten it (I'm talking texture, not calories, because this recipe is pretty much a train wreck for your diet).

I used Dorie's chocolate shortbread crust also from BFMHTY, and it was deliciously chocolaty. Once I assembled the 10" tart, I realized I hardly had enough berries for it, with practically none left over for the 4" minis. Instead of stressing about this, I served the tart at work with the minis, thinking someone would snap them up. And they did, before the tart was even half gone.

Even with a new kitchen, I still run out of space

Don't laugh, but this is a quick, easy recipe for a knockout tart. The chocolate shortbread crust recipe can be found in Baking From My Home to Yours. Here is my version of Dorie's pastry cream.

Pastry Cream, adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.
Makes about 4 cups

3 cups whole milk (I only had 1%, so I used 2 1/2 cups 1% and 1/2 cup whipping cream)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
9 large egg yolks at room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch, sifted
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature, cut into butter pat-sized pieces
3/4 cup (or more or less, to taste) whipping cream (optional)

I like the softer texture that adding whipped cream gives. If you like a sturdier pastry cream, skip the whipped cream.

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan; add the vanilla bean and its scrapings, cover and let sit off the heat for 30 minutes. Bring the milk back to a gentle boil.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl or measuring cup and add the hot milk in a very thin stream, whisking constantly. Once a third of the milk has been added, you can pour the rest in without danger of cooking the yolks.

Pour the custard through a strainer into a medium saucepan and cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Set it aside for 5 minutes, then add the pats of butter and whisk them in completely. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent formation of a skin and refrigerate.

Before assembling your tarts, check the consistency of your pastry cream. If it's too firm for you, whip the cream in a clean, dry bowl, and whip it into the pastry cream. I always eyeball this. This time, since I made so much pastry cream, I added another dose of whipped cream.

Because you've added whipped cream, this pastry cream (which technically is more like a Bavarian cream) is not stable for long periods at room temperature.

I'm sorry, Katya, that couldn't tackle your pick before I left on vacation. It looks scrumptious and I hope to fit it in once I settle back in.


Food.Baby said...

That tart looks absolutely divine! How wonderful to have so many fresh raspberries.

Clivia said...

This recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for the great tip on loosening custard. I like to know how to fix my boo-boos.
Have a great vacation!

Megan said...

What a hoot! You started out with one idea and completely changed gears midway. I love it!

I'm guilty of buying all that fruit at Costco too - my freezer was stuffed at one point.

natalia said...

How wonderful ! I loved your story !

Katrina said...

Great looking tart. The raspberries look de-lish! Love the write up!

Anonymous said...

Your tart looks great! I hope you are having fun on your vacation.

Susan said...

Your tart looks so good. I love raspberries and chocolate. Enjoy your vacation!

margot said...

Looks like a yummy dessert! I really like Dorie's chocolate tart dough. If you are ever looking for something to do with lots of raspberries, make David Lebovitz's raspberry ice cream, it's wonderful.

Tracey said...

I wouldn't have been able to resist the raspberries either - they're my favorite!! This tart looks gorgeous. I've never tried Dorie's chocolate tart dough but it's on my (very long) to-do list :)

Oh, and I always watch the Biggest Loser while stuffing my face with something fattening!

Steph said...

I would've been able to eat all the raspberries, I'm obsessed with them! I try to avoid watching weight loss shows when I'm baking or eating.

Anne said...

That tart looks stunning! I love Dorie's pastry cream and the raspberries look like the perfect addition.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I've done the opposite - watching cooking shows while I'm exercising!

On the one hand it's too bad that you left town before finding out that the November TWD recipes could be baked in any order - and there are two ridiculously easy ones - but on the other hand, had you known that we never would have had this delightful post!!

The tart looks delicious and a great way to use up every one of the remaining Costco raspberries.

Di said...

Ooh, totally jealous of your raspberries. I really need to check out Costco. There's one in Austin, but I haven't been there in a really long time. Now that I have kiddos to help eat stuff and I'm baking so much, might make sense to have a membership again.

Got the SB package last night. Thank you!! The bars are yummy, and not something I would have made for myself. Oddly enough, the only Ina book I have has the recipe in it. Oh, and is the filling cranberry? We were trying to figure it out, and that makes the most sense for fall. It's a little hard to tell with all the peanut butter.

Jessica said...

This recipe looks delicious! I love your story about Costco and the rapsberries and the Biggest Loser. Hilarious! I hope you had a great vacation!