Mixed Berry Fruit Tart + 5 Quarantine Desserts for Mother’s Day

“My mother had said to me, “All right, you’ve been raised, so don’t let anybody else raise you. You know the difference between right and wrong. Do right. And remember – you can always come home.” And she continued to liberate me until she died. On the night she died, I went to the hospital. I told my mom, “Let me tell you about yourself. You deserved a great daughter, and you got one. And you liberated me to be one. So if it’s time for you to go, you may have done everything God brought you here to do.” Maya Angelou

I started baking again after several months of not having the energy to do so.  I spent those months focused on two graduate courses in applied behavorial analysis and autism therapies.  I’m happy to be baking again.  Writing will come when it comes.  It is such  peculiar being.  I will wait it out.  I have before.  The stories are still simmering.  I hope you enjoy this fruit tart.  Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay sane.  Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Mixed Berry Fruit Tart

Serves 8

Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated

Pastry Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup ½ + ½

1 cup whole milk

½ cup of sugar

Pinch of Kosher Salt

5 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons of cornstarch

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cold, cut into 4 pieces

1 + ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Zest of 1 orange

Directions:

Using a medium saucepan heat the half and half, whole milk, and 6 tablespoons sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally.  In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined.  Whisk in remaining sugar (2 tablespoons) until creamy and the sugar has begun to dissolve, about 15 seconds.  Next whisk in cornstarch until the mixture is pale, about 30 seconds.  After the milk and cream mixture reaches a simmer, slowly whisk a bit of the milk mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly as you go to temper.  Then add all of the yolks to the milk/cream mixture.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, orange zest, and vanilla extract.  If the pastry cream looks lumpy, strain it over a fine mesh strainer over a bowl.  Press a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until very cold, 3 hours or up to two days.

Tart Shell

Ingredients:

1+1/3 cups of AP flour

¼ cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt

10 tablespoons of unsalted butter

2 tablespoons of water

Directions: Pre-heat your oven to 350F.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.  Set aside.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook until you see dark brown solids forming in the pan, about 1 to 3 minutes.  Remove saucepan from heat and add water.  When the bubbling stops, pour the butter into the flour mixture.  Stir until completely combined.  Add the tart dough to a nine-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Press the dough evenly along the sides and across the bottom of the tart pan.  Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Rotate the pan halfway through baking time.  Once crust has cooked, cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.  The cooled crust can be loosely covered in plastic wrap and sit at room temperature for 1 day.

Fruit

2 pints fresh blueberries

1-pint strawberries

1-pint blackberries

Wash and dry the fruit.  Slice as you wish.  Set aside.

Apricot jam: In a small bowl, microwave 2 tablespoons of apricot jam with 1 tablespoon of water.  Mix well.  Set aside.

Assembly:

Once the tart shell has cooled, add the pastry cream, spreading evenly.  You may not use all of it.  Save the remainder for fresh fruit or just to eat by the spoonful!  Place 8 blackberries evenly around the shell.  Next, add the remaining berries in a decorative pattern.  Once the tart is covered with berries, lightly brush jam over the fruit.  Place fruit tart in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 1 to 2 days.  Enjoy!

5 Quarantine Baking Recipes for Mother’s Day

If mom is craving chocolate check out these simple and satisfying recipes: chocolate cream pie, outrageous brownies, and chewy chocolate chip bars.

Vegan carrot cake by Forks Over Spoons is sure to win Mom’s approval whether she is vegan or not!

Looking for something light and bright to make Mom?  Try making Wild Wild Whisk’s lemon cupcakes.  I can’t wait to try this recipe!

 

Peach Blueberry Streusel Pie + 5 End of Summer Pie Links

DSC_7264DSC_7270DSC_7285

Septemeber is a month of transitions.  We say goodbye to summer without fully realizing it’s gone.  An extra blanket suddenly becomes necessary.  Leaves slowly make their descent leaving pops of red, orange, and yellow on the sidewalk.  We move on once again to the next season with both hesitation and relief for a change.  A noticeable ache is present when summer transitions into fall, another reminder of time moving forward.

Soon we will turn to stews, chilis, lasagna, and hearty meals to warm our bones.  Slow cooker recipes will get us through the crazy school and workweek.  One day will melt into the next.  Before we allow for any of this to happen, lets pause and savor summer one last time.  My peach and blueberry streusel pie adapted from the cookbook Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski pays homage to the beauty of summer fruits.  I hope you enjoy it.  Happy Labor Day.

Peach Blueberry Streusel Pie

Serves 8

Recipe adapted from Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski

Ingredients for Pie Crust:

2 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks of unsalted butter, chilled

½ cup ice-cold water + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Ingredients for filling:

2lbs ripe peaches, sliced

3 cups blueberries

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup tapioca starch

¼ cup light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger

Ingredients for streusel:

2 cups fine yellow cornmeal

1 cup old fashion oats

2/3 cup light brown sugar

14 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

Directions for pie dough:

Using a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and salt.  Place sticks of butter in the middle of the bowl and coat with flour mixture.  Using a bench scraper, cut the butter into small cubes.  Cover each cube with flour, then using the bench scraper cut the cubes in half again.

Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut the butter while also turning the bowl with the other hand.  Continue to blend the butter and flour until the pieces are the size of peas.  Next, add the water/vinegar mix.  Using the bench scraper, scrape the dough from one side of the bowl to the other side until the liquid is absorbed.  Now, scoop up the mixture with your hands and press back down onto the whatever remains in the bowl.  Turn the bowl, scoop the mixture with your hands, press back down, and repeat.  Once all the flour at the bottom of the bowl is gone it is time to stop.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.  Using the bench scraper cut the dough in half.  Pat each dough ball into a two-inch disc.  Seal any broken edges.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.

The pie dough will last in the refrigerator for a few days and in the freezer for up to 1 year.  Thaw in the refrigerator for one full day if frozen.

Next, blind bake!

Pre-heat the oven to 450F with the rack on the lowest level.  Remove pie dough from fridge and place on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough starting from the middle out, rotate 45 degrees and roll again.  Repeat this process until the circle of dough measures 9 inches.  Place dough in the pie pan, crimp as desired, and place the pie dough in the freezer.  Allow to freeze for 20 minutes.

Remove frozen pie crust and cover with aluminum foil.  Fill the crust with dried beans.  They should come all the way up to the crimps!  Place pie on baking sheet pan and place in oven.  Bake until the crimps are light golden brown, about 25-28 minutes.  Check for doneness by peeling back a bit of the foil.  Remove pie crust from oven and cool on a wire rack for 6 minutes before removing foil.  The pie is now ready to be filled!

Directions for filling and streusel topping:

Using a large bowl, add peaches, blueberries, ginger, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, and tapioca starch.  Mix well.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, oats, brown sugar, salt, and butter.  Combine with your fingers until it resembles wet sand.  Set aside or refrigerate in an air-tight container until ready to use.

Pie Time!

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Pour filling into blind-baked pie crust.  Sprinkle streusel topping all over the fruit, covering it completely.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place pie on baking sheet and place in the preheated oven.  Bake the pie for 60 to 90 minutes or until the fruit juices are bubbling and the streusel topping is a rich golden-brown color.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 4 to 6 hours.  Pie is ready to eat when it is at room temperature.  Serve alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

The leftover pie will keep at room temperature for 2 days.  Be sure to cover well with plastic wrap.

5 End of Summer Pie Links

Savor peach season and make Smitten Kitchen’s peach pie.

Looking for a gluten-free summer pie option?  Head to Joy the Baker for her gluten-free peach and blueberry pie recipe.

This pie by Vanilla Bean Blog combines summer and fall flavors in one delicious pie.  Curious?  Check it out!

If you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with head to The Awesome Green blog for a sweet and savory tomato pie recipe that will not disappoint!

Pumpkin-flavored everything season has started.  Embrace it and make Love and Olive Oil’s s’more pumpkin pie recipe!