Irresistible Flavors of Summer – a Crispy Crust, Velvety Smooth Custard and Market-Fresh Berries
Luscious, just picked raspberries were the highlight at this weeks farmers’ market and the centerpiece of this recipe. Local raspberries tend to be a little smaller and sweeter than the imported variety in the supermarket. I’ve made a buttery crust with a little cream cheese to make this Gluten-Free Crust taste like the traditional kind – you will never know it’s Gluten-Free!
The dough comes together quickly – I mix by hand with a pastry blender – a food processor, I feel, is harder to control. Your favorite Gluten- Free All Purpose Flour will work nicely, “cut in” the butter and cream cheese (leaving them in large bits), then fold in a beaten egg. Bring together with a fork, then your hands. Portion the dough into four pieces, roll and simply pat into the 4 3/4″ false bottomed tart pans. Prick with a fork and bake until very golden.
The Pastry Cream might sound heavy – yet it’s whole milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla – ricotta cheese gets whisked in after the stove-top pastry cream is set. Fresh ricotta cheese is preferable – much lighter and naturally tastier than commercial types. This recipe has less sugar than most dessert tarts, I simply feel it’s ample enough with out being cloyingly sweet. A small amount of gluten-free flour thickens the custard, although you can use flour in both of the recipes if you desire a classic version.
Use any fruit you fancy for the tarts, sliced ripe mango, banana sliced with toasted coconut, fresh figs…. your imagination and taste preferences; what’s available at the market will dictate.
I love sugar plums, and they are available now in late summer. What a show-off shade of magenta color underneath their petite, slightly sour exteriors! Slice them over the pastry cream, or mix and match with fresh berries.
The tart shells and ricotta pastry cream can be made a head of time – fill when your guests arrive, or when you are ready to experience a summer berry-liscious treat!
Enjoy this tart – it’s a celebration of the season – baked and topped in a crust.
Enjoying the joyous treats of summer,