There are 3 things I can always make in a hurry when I have a last minute guest coming over that I want to force-feed my baking: 1. Cupcakes; 2. A fruit tart; and 3. A mess.
#3 always happens whether I want it to or not, and this past weekend I decided to go for a fruit tart, because honestly, it’s super hard to f-k up fruit.
Because it’s the end of summer, and because I love raspberries, I thought: “Let’s make a raspberry tart…wait, wait, wait. No…Let’s make a raspberry tart with CREAM CHEESE and more cream stuff, and vanilla beans, and let’s cap that off with some ultra-fancy lavender honey. YES.”
[*Side note: I’m having this weird thing with lavender right now-I want it in my Earl Grey tea, I want it in my face masks, my body lotion, and now in my tarts. Is this a sign that I’ll be 30 in a few months? Does this mean soon I’ll start salivating over prunes and writing checks to buy groceries? #30Year-OldQuestions.]
The crust is a pâte sucrée, or a sugar crust, used for a lot of fruit tarts, especially somewhat acidic fruits. The crust is still very buttery and flaky, however, and between the slight buttery sweetness, the cold vanilla cream, and the lavender honey-drizzled raspberries, all the flavors and textures come together to make one hell of a tart.
I tried to make the raspberries do this really cool circular thing with almond slivers, but that failed hard, so I just piled it on with wild abandon; which leads me to my final thought: Just remember: even if your baking doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to, you will always have one thing ready for your guest: A huge mess 😉
I found this recipe in Gourmet and modified it a smidge. It’s supposed to make 6 servings but my friend and I ate it in about 3. Mmmmm.
- 9-inch fluted round tart pan [1 inch deep] with a removable bottom
- Pie weights or raw rice
- Dough blender or food processor
- Electric mixer
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 7 Tbl. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large egg
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche [I used the Madagascar vanilla bean kind. If you can’t find this at your grocery store, just scrape the beans out of one vanilla bean and add].
- 3 1/2 Tbl. lavender honey [same applies here. If you can’t find lavender honey, add about 1/4 tsp. lavender extract to about 1/4 cup of honey].
- 4 cups raspberries [18 oz]
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds [optional]
Make crust: Pulse together all crust ingredients in a food processor just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Or, if using a dough blender, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter using a dough blender until the mix resembles coarse crumbs. Using your hands [I use disposable gloves to disperse heat] mix in the egg.
Put your tart pan on a baking sheet and press the dough evenly onto the bottom and up the side of the tart pan with your fingertips. Chill the shell, covered, on the baking sheet until firm, about 30 min.
Put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the shell with a buttered sheet of aluminum foil [buttered side down] and fill shell one third of the way up with pie weights.
Bake on the baking sheet until edge is pale golden, about 20-25 min. Carefully remove the pie weights and foil, then bake until the edges and bottom are golden, about 20 min. more. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. [*Note: Tart shell can be made 1 day ahead, but keep it in the tart pan and wrapped in plastic wrap at room temp.]
Make the filling: Beat the cream cheese in a bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and 1 1/2 Tbl. lavender honey and beat until well-combined. [*Note: Filling can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.]
Spread the filling evenly in the shell and let cool in the fridge about 30 min-1 hour. Top the tart with raspberries and slivered almonds. Heat the remaining honey in a very small saucepan or microwave on low heat for about 30 seconds until liquefied. Drizzle honey over the raspberries and almonds. Serve with additional melted honey on the side.
Tart with a view