tarte aux framboises

RaspberryTart12

I recently fell head over heels in love with the most stunningly gorgeous blog – Paris in Four Months.  It chronicles the experience of Carin Olsson, an amazing photographer from Stockholm, who initially moved to Paris for four months.  After returning home to Stockholm, she missed Paris so much that she recently moved back.  The entire blog is dedicated to her adventures in Paris and she captures Paris beautifully – the light, the balconies, the fashion, the romance, but mostly, the food.  Her blog has been instrumental in my planning for our upcoming trip to Paris, but honestly, even if you don’t have a trip planned, visiting this blog will make you feel as though you’ve visited Paris, however briefly.

Carin shares with her readers her daily sweets, usually featuring macarons from Carette, Pierre Hermé, Hugo & Victor, Sadaharu Aoki, and Jean-Paul Hévin {she even featured a macaron smackdown – how amazing is that?!}, but on at least one occasion, she featured a raspberry tart from her local boulangerie.  I was completely and utterly inspired.  I first baked small shells using a flaky tart dough and then filled them with a Meyer lemon and vanilla scented pastry cream.  I then covered the tarts with a mosaic of fresh raspberries and finished with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.  They were so simple to make, yet mind-blowingly delicious – the tart raspberries floating on top of luscious, delicately fragrant pastry cream spread over a flaky, buttery crust.  This, for me, is the perfect dessert, and I hope to partake in a few more whilst in Paris!

Recipe continued after the jump>>>

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Recipes

Makes 4 small tarts

Lemon and Vanilla Scented Pastry Cream

Adapted slightly from Tartine

  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • Peel of 1 lemon {removed using vegetable peeler}
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Have a bowl ready for cooling the pastry cream with a fine-mesh sieve resting in the rim.

Pour the milk into a heavy saucepan.  Split the vanilla bean half lengthwise and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the pod halves into the milk.  Add the lemon peel and salt, place over medium-high heat, and bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally and making sure that the milk solids are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar.  Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.

When the milk is ready, slowly ladle about one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.  Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the hot milk and continue whisking over medium heat until the custard is as thick as lightly whipped cream, about 2 minutes.  In order for the cornstarch to cook and thicken fully, the mixture must just come to the boiling point.  You want to see a few slow bubbles.  However, if the cream is allowed to boil vigorously, you will curdle the pastry cream.  Remove from heat and immediately pour through the sieve into the bowl.  Let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release the heat and prevent a skim from forming on top.

Cut the butter into 1-tablespoon pieces.  When the pastry cream is ready {it should be about 140°F}, whisk the butter into the pastry cream 1 tablespoon at a time, always whisking until smooth before adding the next tablespoon.

To cool the cream, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the top of the cream {the plastic wrap prevents a skin from forming on the surface}.  To cool it very quickly, place it in a shallow dish and press plastic wrap directly on top.  Be careful whisking the cream once it is cold.  Overmixing will break down the starch and thin the cream.  Pastry cream will keep, well covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Flaky Tart Dough

From Tartine

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 c. water, very cold
  • 1 1/2 c. flour, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a small bowl, add the salt to the water and stir to dissolve.  Keep very cold until ready to use {I placed it in the freezer for about 5 minutes while I got the rest of the ingredients ready}.

To make the dough by hand, put the flour in a mixing bowl.  Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces and scatter the pieces over the flour.  Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is still in pieces the size of peas.  Drizzle in the water and salt mixture and stir and toss with a fork until the dough begins to come together in a shaggy mess.  Gently mix until the dough comes together into a ball but is not completely smooth.  You should still be able to see some butter chunks.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 2 equal balls and shape each ball into a disk 1 inch thick.  Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

To line a pan or pie dish, place a disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/8 inch thick, rolling from the center toward the edge in all directions.  Lift and rotate the dough a quarter turn every few strokes to discourage sticking, and work quickly to prevent the dough from becoming warm.  Lightly dust the work surface with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking.  If lining a pie dish, cut out a circle 2 inches larger than the dish.  If lining a tart pan with a removable bottom, cut out a circle 1 1/2 inches larger than the pan.  Carefully transfer the round to the pie dish or tart pan, easing it into the bottom and sides and then pressing gently into place.  Trim the dough event with the rim of the pan with a sharp knife.  If you are lining a pie dish, you can trim the dough so that there is a 1/2 inch over-hang, fold the over-hang under, and flute or crimp the edge.

Chill the shell until firm to the touch, 30 minutes to 1 hour, before baking.  This ensures the flakiest crust.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Line the pastry shells with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake the shells until the surface looks light brown, about 25 minutes; to check, lift a corner of the paper.  Remove from the oven and remove pie weights or dried beans and paper.  Return the shells to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.  Note: the cooking time will depend on the size of the tart or pie pans – smaller pans may require less cooking time.

Let the shells cool completely on wire racks before filling.

To assemble:  Once shells have cooled completely, spoon pastry cream into shells until about 3/4 full.  Top gently with fresh raspberries, and if desired, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

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11 Responses to tarte aux framboises

  1. Wowee – they look so pretty. I like the raspberry to tart ratio – very generous 😀

  2. Absolutely beautiful! I must check out Carin’s blog. For me there is almost nothing more delicious than the combination of lemon and raspberries. Your beautiful tarts are an inspiration.

  3. chef mimi says:

    Absolutely beautiful.

  4. Beautiful. Looks perfect for spring.

  5. Darya says:

    Beautiful. And I love lemon + raspberry. It must have been delicious!

  6. Your photographs are stunning! I feel like I just ate one. 🙂 Beautiful.

  7. These tarts are lovely! And now, I am dreaming of a trip to Paris as well!

  8. Stunning. Almost to pretty to eat. Almost. 🙂

  9. Reblogged this on Haute Mom Living and commented:
    WOW!

  10. Pingback: springtime dinner al fresco for my momma’s birthday | { fleur de sel }

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