Summer is here, with its fresh produce. I look forward to visiting the farmers’ markets, although Joel and I tend to look more than to purchase. Perhaps this weekend we will get him one of the sausages from the vendor in down town Minneapolis.
Sunday afternoon, our 8 mile walk around Lake Katrina in Baker Park Reserve near Maple Plain, MN yielded 6 black raspberries. We passed through shade and sunlight, and the wind was pleasant. Only a short stretch of our time was contaminated by the obnoxious conversation of three women on the horse trail parallel to the walking path.
Summer will pass quickly. Jen Martin asked for the following recipe. The first time I tried it, the pasty cream was runny ( I probably didn’t follow it exactly). This time around it turned out great. Take advantage of the fresh fruit in season!
Pastry Cream 1 (Le Cordon Bleu: Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen)
Yield: about 1 1/8 qt
Milk 1 qt
egg yolks 4
whole eggs 2
cornstarch 2.5 oz
sugar 4 oz
butter 2 oz
vanilla extract 1 T
1. In a heavy saucepan or kettle, dissolve the sugar in the milk and bring just to a boil.
2. With a whip, beat the egg yolks and whole eggs in a stainless-steel bowl.
3. Sift the cornstarch and sugar into the eggs. Beat with the whip until perfectly smooth.
4. Temper the egg mixture by slowly beating in the hot milk in a thin stream.
5. Return the mixture to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
6. When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat.
7. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Mix until the butter is melted and completely blended in.
8. Pour out into a clean, sanitized hotel pan or other shallow pan. Dust lightly with sugar and cover with waxed paper to prevent a crust from forming. Cool and chill as quickly as possible.
Pate Sablee ( Crust for Tart Shell )
Butter, softened 6 oz
Confectioners’ sugar 3 oz
Lemon zest, grated 1/2 t
Vanilla extract 2 drops
Eggs, beaten 1 oz
Pastry flour 9 oz
1. Cream together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and pale.
2. Add the eggs a little at a time and beat well between each addition.
3. Add the flour. With a plastic scraper, carefully blend into a soft dough.
4. Wrap in plastic film and flatten out. Chill until firm before use.
I don’t remember which cookbook’s instructions I used to bake the tart shell. I rolled out the dough and laid it in a tart pan. Then I lightly pinched it to fit the crimp-shaped edges. I scored the dough with a fork and before baking it, I lined the crust with waxed paper and filled the pan with dry beans to weigh it down. 450* for 10 minutes??? Until lightly browned.
After the tart has cooled, remove from the pan to a serving plate. Spread with pastry cream. Garnish with fresh fruit of your choice. If you don’t mind the extra sugar, you can glaze the fruit with a simple syrup or solution of diluted fruit jelly to make it sparkle.