Yesterday I had the day off from surgery (YAY!) so Ben and I went down to Bloomington to visit with our families. We had brunch at his parents’ house which is always a good time because his dad makes the best omelets ever. I always like to bring something for brunch if I can and this time I thought I would make a tart. I went to the store with a totally different tart in mind, but when I saw Driscoll’s “three berry packs” on sale, I knew this was the tart to make. This was very easy to make, especially with the help of my trusty Kitchenaid mixer for the crust. This was definitely a hit with everyone at brunch. I especially liked it because it is something sweet but definitely on the lighter side as desserts go. What a great way to take advantage of the abundance of summer berries while they are still in season!

Mixed Berry Tart
1 basic tart dough (see recipe below)

3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2-4 cups mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Make the tart dough according to recipe below. (I rolled mine out, lined the tart pan, covered with foil and filled it with baking beads. I baked it at 375 until it was done, and I’m not sure how long that took – maybe 25 minutes?)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the granulated sugar, flour, cornstarch and egg yolks on medium speed until thick and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and vanilla and bring to a simmer. While stirring, pour half the milk into the sugar mixture until combined. Then pour this mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk and place over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides and corners of the pan while whisking to prevent scorching. Pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl and cover the surface with parchment paper. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 hour.

Basic Tart Dough
1 egg yolk
2 Tbs. very cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside.

To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.

To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.

Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.

To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out until the dough is about 1⁄8 inch thick. Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round or rounds 2 inches greater in diameter than your tart or larger tartlet pans. Use a small, sharp knife or a cookie cutter to cut out rounds 1⁄2 to 1 inch greater in diameter than your miniature tartlet pans. If using a rectangular tart pan, cut out a rectangle 2 inches larger on all sides than the pan. Makes enough dough for one 9 1⁄2-inch tart, six 4-inch tartlets, twelve 2-inch miniature tartlets or one 13 3⁄4-by-4 1⁄4-inch rectangular tart.

To serve, spoon the pastry cream into the crust, arrange the berries on top and dust with confectioners sugar. Serves 8.

Source: Williams Sonoma