Growing up, my parents had a raspberry bush in the back yard. I used to love going down to eat them right off the bush. I even picked them and sold them in a mini-road side farm stand. It was all on the honor system and no one took advantage of me. Someone did eventually steal the Fisher Price picnic table that I used for displaying the produce but they may have assumed it was sitting out for the trash. Unfortunately, the raspberry bush is no longer there (it reached it’s fruit producing lifespan and my parents opted to not replace it) but my love of raspberries is.
On my first visit to France, there was a small bakery across the street from our hotel. The first couple days I partook of the hotel’s continental breakfast but was not particularly impressed. I went to the bakery for breakfast instead and settled on the raspberry tart. My French is practically non-existent but by a combination of half remembering framboise and pointing I was able to get what I wanted.
It may be the haziness of memory, but it was good. Really good. I did a little more traveling in France and couldn’t find anything similar. I’ve looked elsewhere and never found something quite as good. I found a raspberry tart in San Francisco but it used a lemon curd base which wasn’t what I was looking for.
A while ago, I had decided that I would make myself a raspberry tart. I may not be a pastry chef (I don’t have the patience for that) but what better way to make something that you like? Aside from inertia, the main reason I had never attempted to make one before was simply that raspberries were expensive and I didn’t want to waste them by making a bad tart.
The other day, I was walking by Farm Boy and noticed they were advertising a half-pint of raspberries for $1.00. That was too good of a deal to pass up (regardless of the unknown provenance of the raspberries).
I really haven’t made any tarts before so it was an issue of figuring exactly what to use in making it. A tart consists of the tart shell, the cream used in the shell, and then the topping. I settled on pâte sablée and creme pâstissière because they seemed closest to what I’d had in the past and they both seemed fairly simple and classic. I’m not entirely sure it was the right choice.
The tart was good. Quite good. But the creme pâstissière seemed to overpower the raspberries a bit. The pâte sablée also didn’t have great structural integrity so the creme pâstissière started spilling out and making a mess. I ended up having to eat it with a fork.
This recipe may need a bit more work but it’s still good. It isn’t overly sweet. It would make a good afternoon snack.
Tartlette aux Framboise (Raspberry Tart)
- Pat the dough into 3 four inch mini tart pans. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place a layer of aluminum foil over the tart pans. Place pastry weights on top of the aluminum foil.
- Place the tart pans on a baking tray and bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove the tart pans from the oven, remove the pastry weights and aluminum foil, and return to the oven. Bake for 7 more minutes.
- Remove the tart pans from the oven and allow to cool completely. Remove the tart dough from the tart pan.
- Rinse and dry the raspberries.
- Place a layer of crème pâstissière in each tart. Cover with the raspberries.
- Chill completely and serve.
Makes 3 mini-tarts.
Pâte Sablée (Shortbread Dough)
Adapted from The Roux Brothers on Patisserie
250 g flour
200 g cold butter (about 7 tbsp), diced
100 g powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
- Sift the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the center.
- Place the butter in the well and work with your fingers until it is very soft.
- Add the powdered sugar and the salt to the butter and cream them together with your fingers.
- Add the egg yolk to the well and mix well.
- Slowly incorporate the flour into the butter mixture. Mix until it is just homogeneous.
Crème Pâstissière (Pastry Cream)
Adapted from The Roux Brothers on Patisserie
6 egg yolks
125 g sugar
40 g flour
500 ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Place the egg yolks and 1/3 of the sugar in a bowl. Whisk together until pale ribbons are formed. Whisk in the flour.
- In a sauce pan, combine the flour, remaining sugar, and vanilla extract. Heat over high heat.
- When the mixture begins to bubble, remove from the heat. Temper 1/3 of the milk mixture into the bowl with the eggs, stirring constantly. Pour the milk and the eggs back into the sauce pan, stirring constantly.
- Heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.