Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tarte aux framboises des bois du Nord

This is a fairly standard French-style berry tart. I followed Julia Child's recipe for crème pâtissière, in this case using vanilla as a flavoring, though if one could buy kirsch in Harmony, Maine, I might have used that instead. Unlike Julia, I do not add sugar to my tart shells, and I use all butter instead of her shortening-butter combination. This recipe does require a prebaked shell, which for a change came out perfectly: not a slump or a bump. Next time I won't be so fortunate.

The raspberries are from my garden, so that's what I used this time, though I've also made good versions with blueberries and strawberries. Julia's tart recipes call for an apricot-jam glaze over the fruit, but I've never liked handling that gloppy mess. So I lightly brushed the berries with local maple syrup, and the result was beautiful: a delicate shine that didn't darken or weigh down the fruit. I'll always do this from now on. I imagine that if I wanted to intensify the maple flavoring, I could beat some into the crème pâtissière. That variation might be a good choice for a summer-apple or a pear tart.

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