Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Though Simon's Tarte aux Pommes is the most beloved and evocative tart from my childhood, Tarte aux Framboises comes second. It's one of my favourite things to buy from the bakeries in town - a slice, with the sides protected by slips of clear plastic, tucked into a white box and carried carefully home.
This is a slightly simplified version. It's made up of a puff pastry base (I've been making my favourite rough puff), barely-sweetened vanilla whipped cream, the best raspberries I can find and a sweet, jammy glaze.
If you don't want to make your own pastry (though I think that this is a great recipe for it, as you really notice the quality in something simple) then do try to find some made with butter. I made one batch of rough puff, trimmed the sides and then divided it into three chunky rectangles of pastry of roughly 160g. I think it's best freshly made but if you wrap each piece tightly in a few layers of clingfilm it can be frozen for a few weeks (defrost it slowly in the fridge, still wrapped up).
I think the best thing about a tart like this is how both the textures (crisp pastry, billowing cream, seedy raspberries, jelly glaze) and the flavours (buttery, vanilla, cream, tart, fruity, sweet) contrast and combine to create a balance. It's a familiar and comforting combination and no lesser for being so.
Tarte aux Framboises
For the tart case:
160g puff pastry (I use homemade rough puff)
a splash of milk
2 tbsp raspberry jam
1 tbsp water
100ml double cream
1/2 tsp icing sugar*
1/4 tsp vanilla paste
24 raspberries (roughly 200g)
Roll the pastry out to a rectangle of roughly 25 x 15cm (10 x 6"). Trim the edges to create a clean rectangle. Cut a 1-1.5cm (0.4-0.6") strip from each of the sides. Score the main piece lightly in a criss-cross pattern. Brush the top of the main piece with milk (not making it soggy, but covering the whole piece lightly without going over the sides). Arrange the strips around the edges, trimming the ends so that they fit. Press the strips down lightly, then brush the tops with milk. Transfer onto baking parchment and onto a baking tray. Chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/390F (fan). Bake the tart case for 20-25 minutes until caramel brown on all sides and the base. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, press the centre down to make room for the filling (so it looks like this).
Put the raspberry jam and water into a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat until combined and liquid. Strain through a sieve into a bowl to catch the seeds. Put the cream, icing sugar and vanilla paste into a mixing bowl and whip until it thickens and just hold shape - the floppiest of peaks - it's important to not over whip it. Spoon into the middle of the case and spread out. Arrange the raspberries on the top. Brush the raspberries with the warm glaze. Best served immediately.
*If your raspberries are on the sour side, increase to 1 tsp.
(Makes one tart, slices into four)
Three other pie and tart posts:
Chez Panisse Almond Tart
Ginger Bourbon Pecan Pie
Tarte aux Pommes