Tag Archives: tart

Summer Berry Tart

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Summer Berry Tart
Berries are quite possibly THE thing I love the most about summer and the presence of berry desserts signals holiday for me more than anything else. As every Russian child that grew up in the city I loved going away to a “dacha” on weekends and getting lost in the garden picking or, more likely, eating copious amounts of plentiful fruits and berries.

I was quite disappointed when I first moved to the States to find that the “berries” were reduced to strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, and perhaps blackberries if you are lucky. In my world there were so much more! What about gooseberries,  wild strawberries. black, red and white currants?

Summer Berry Tart
Thankfully, due to the resurgence of farmer’s markets and people’s general interest in gardening my little summer heros are popping up all over the place which means lots of desserts for me!

Summer Berry TartSummer Berry Tart
Ingredients:

  • Mixed seasonal berries- 600 gr
  • Meringue nests (broken)-4
  • Double Cream- 250 gr/1 cup
  • Creme Fraiche- 125 gr/1/2 cup
  • Icing Sugar- 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla bean (seeds scraped out)-1
  • Rum (optional)- 1 tbsp.

For the tart:

  • Flour-250 gr plus extra for dusting
  • Icing sugar-50 gr
  • Unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)-125 gr
  • Egg-1 large
  • Milk- a little splash
  • Butter for greasing the tart tin

Summer Berry Tart

Method:

First off, if you can find a great tasting all butter pre-made tart and it’s blazing hot outside, go ahead and purchase one! I am all about shortcuts in the kitchen as long as it doesn’t compromise the taste.

If no such tart available here is what you will do:

Mix the flour and icing sugar in a large bowl, add cubed butter and work it in the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add your egg and a bit of milk just to bring the dough together, form it into a ball.  Wrap it in a plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 min.

Sprinkle your work surface and the rolling pin with some flour, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out big enough to fit a 9″ loose bottomed tart tin. Grease your tart tin with some butter, drape your dough over the rolling pin and transfer it into the tart tin making sure it comes up the sides, trim off the extra bits and prick it with a fork all over, cover it with a plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F. Take the tart dough out of the fridge and line it with parchment paper pushing it into the sides, fill the tart with baking beans or rice and bake it “blind” for 10 minutes, take it out, removes the baking beans and parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes longer until firm and golden, cool completely before filling it. (Note: Don’t be tempted to skip the blind baking step, otherwise your tart shell will shrink. I’ve learned the hard way.)

Before serving whip the double cream and creme fraiche with icing sugar, vanilla bean seeds and rum until soft peaks form. Mix it with broken meringue nests and fill your tart with the mixture. Top with mixed berries.

In the last week I’ve made this tart twice!

For this one I used raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

Summer Berry Tart
Then a few days later I went to a farmer’s market and found red currants. So I had to make another Summer Berry Tart using a generous amount of red currants!

Summer Berry Tart
Dust with a bit of icing sugar for extra drama. 🙂
Summer Berry Tart
Note: This recipe was adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie Does Sweden”.

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Eggplant, Red and Yellow Pepper and Feta Galette

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Eggplant, red and yellow pepper galette with feta Not so long ago my friends Scott presented me with a challenge to devise a full-on vegetarian meal – a task not so easy for this meat-loving Russian. Don’t take me wrong, I adore vegetables. I buy them and cook them in every way possible but they are always served as sides. It’s almost impossible for me to go out for a meal and NOT order meat. I am sure all the vegetarians at this point stopped reading but if you are still with me  you’d be happy to learn about this Eggplant, Red and Yellow Pepper and Feta Galette. It’s full of flavour, you won’t miss meat one bit! Galette is a basically a free-form tart, so easy to make and it’s charm is in how rustic it looks, which means there is no need to worry over making it just perfect!

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant-2 medium
  • Bell Pepper-1 red and 1 yellow
  • Feta-150 gr (crumbled)
  • Sundried Tomato Pesto -2 tbsp (Feel free to use Basil Pesto if you prefer)
  • Pre-made pie crust (Jus-Rol or your favourite brand)-500 gr
  • Basil- 5-6 leaves or 1/2 tsp of dried basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil-1-2 tbsp.
  • Egg-1 (beaten)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F/ 200C and take your prepared pie crust out of the fridge.
Slice the eggplants 1/2″ thick, brush the slices with olive oil and arrange them on a parchment paper on a baking sheet. Grill until brown for 12-15 min. until soft all the way through and the eggplant lost it’s spongy texture. Remove from the oven and place it on a plate and let it cool off.
Eggplant, Red and Yellow Pepper and Feta Galette
Grill peppers with skin side up. When peppers’ skins are blackened and blistered, remove from heat. Put the peppers in a ziplock bag and close it, let them sweat. When they are cool enough to handle, take them out and remove blackened skin which should be pretty easy at that point.
Eggplant galette
Slice the peppers.
Here are all the ingredients for your galette. Simple and delicious.
Eggplant, Red and Yellow Pepper and Feta Galette

Dust your work surface with some flour and roll out your pie crust in a circle 14″/35 cm in diameter. Slide it over on the same parchment paper you baked eggplant on and spread pesto on it leaving about an inch border pesto-free. Arrange the eggplant slices overlapping in a circle, then put pepper slices on top in any fashion you like, then spread your torn basil leaves on top and finish with feta cheese. Fold the border over the vegetables while brushing the pleats with a beaten egg to seal it. Then brush the egg all over the crust which will give the galette a beautiful colour. Bake at 400F/200C for 20-30 min until the crust is golden and the cheese is slightly coloured.
Eggplant, Red and Yellow Pepper and Feta Galette
It’s incredibly easy and fast, especially if you use a pre-made crust.
Eggplant, Red and Yellow Pepper and Feta Galette