Since 1977, I’ve been testing recipes on my beloved husband. All of the recipes on my blog have been Husband-Tested in my kitchen using ingredients I purchase at our community-owned grocery store, Lost River Market & Deli and also at the Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Markets in the beautiful hills of South Central Indiana. I do this as a hobby on a volunteer basis. I LOVE TO COOK!
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Cherry Berry Cream Tart
This tart is divine. First there’s the buttery,
flaky crust. Then there’s the creamy,
perfectly rich pastry cream topped with sweetened fresh berries of the
season. This takes awhile to make, BUT
all the components can be made in advance and then you will be rewarded with a
dessert that is for the gods. You can
make the pie dough as early as a month before your party and freeze it. The day before you plan to make the tart,
remove the dough from the freezer and place it in the fridge to thaw. Roll it out and bake it, the morning of your
party. The pastry cream can be made up
to two days before your party. Fill the
tart with the pastry cream a couple of hours before the party. Keep it chilled until ready to serve. The berries can be sugared and kept in the
fridge the day before the party. Top the
pastry-cream-filled-tart with the sweetened berries just before serving.
Pastry Cream with Cognac*
1 Baked Perfect Pie
4 cups berries (I used about 2 cups blueberries and 2 cups
pitted cherries sweetened with 2-3 Tablespoons sugar.)
Pastry Cream with Cognac
Yield: 2 cups (excluding the whipping cream folded in)
You’ll have more than you will need for one pie. Use what’s left for parfaits or mini tarts.
5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature (if using large eggs, just add another egg
yolk) ¾ cup sugar 3 Tablespoons cornstarch 1 ½ cups scalded milk ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon Cognac 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg
yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce
to low speed, and add the cornstarch.
the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the
mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with
a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don't be alarmed
when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and
beat vigorously. Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard
will come together and become very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla,
Cognac, butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl.
Place plastic-wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.
the pastry cream has chilled, make the sweetened whipped cream. Place 1 cup of chilled heavy cream into the
mixer with the whisk attachment. To keep
the cream from spattering all over your kitchen, place a towel over the
mixer. Turn the mixer on low and then
after a minute, turn it to the highest setting.
Gradually add the sugar and then the vanilla. Allow to mixer to whisk the cream on high
until it looks like whipped cream. Be
careful not to overbeat or you will have butter! Gently fold the whipping cream into the
pastry cream. Place this in the fridge
until you are ready to use it.
Perfect Pie Dough
enough for two 9-inch one-crust pies
the kitchen of Martha Stewart
in Alice’s Kitchen
The secret to making
perfect pie dough is to make sure the ingredients and then the dough itself are
very cold. Baking the chilled pie dough
in a hot oven makes the butter melt so that it creates steam inside the baking
dough. That makes the flaky crust we all
cups all-purpose flour
sticks unsalted butter, chilled
cup ice-cold water
the flour and salt into a food processor with the blade. Cut the ice-cold butter into pat-sized piece
and add to the flour mixture. Press the
pulse button on the processor until you see pea-sized pieces of butter mixed in
to the flour. Don’t over mix. Press the On button of the processor and
slowly drizzle the ice-cold water into the feeding tube. When the dough becomes a ball, stop the
the dough into two equal pieces. (The
dough won’t be smooth. It’ll be
sticky. That’s okay.) Place each piece of dough on plastic wrap and
press into thick disks. Wrap the dough
in the plastic wrap and chill for at least a half hour before rolling it
out. (Place the other piece of dough in
a freezer bag and freeze for another pie. Thaw in the refrigerator before
the dough disk from the fridge. Lightly
flour the counter. Starting from the
center of the disk, gently roll out the dough into a circle that is about 2
inches larger than the dish you plan to use.
Lightly sprinkle with flour as you roll out the dough. Flip the dough over occasionally for easier
rolling. Before placing it in the 8 or
9-inch tart pan or pie dish, brush the excess flour off with a pastry
brush. (Too much flour on the dough
makes it tough.) Fold the dough in half
and place it in the dish. (Do not
stretch the dough because that will make it really shrink.) Fold the extra dough under or over the edge
and crimp. Prick the dough with a fork
on the bottom and sides of the dough.
Place the plastic wrap back over the dish to keep the dough from drying
out. Put the dough in the refrigerator
while the oven is preheating.
the oven to 450F degrees. Remove the
dish from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Place a piece of foil
that is larger than the dough inside the dish and then pour about 2 cups of
dried beans into the dish over the foil.
Place the pie dough in the hot oven and set the timer for 12
minutes. (The weight of the beans keeps
the dough from puffing up.)
the timer beeps, carefully remove the foil and beans from the dish. (Keep the beans in a glass jar and reuse them
as pie weights.) Place the dough back
into the oven and continue baking until it is golden brown all over. Since ovens vary, you will need to check
every two minutes or so. Remove from the
oven and allow it to cool on a baking rack.
the pie dough is cooled, fill it with Pastry Cream with Cognac* and top
with your favorite fresh berries or fresh peaches.