Saturday, June 13, 2009

Raspberry-Lemon Shortbread Tart

I love bargains. How could I resist it when I showed up at "The Farm" (at closing time) and I was offered a flat (that's 12 containers) of organic Driscoll raspberries for $1.00 each? Answer: I bought them.

Once I got home, I had a reality check and a dilemma. You see, I have an apartment-sized refrigerator (hangs head in shame). It's what came with this house, and I've learned to deal with it by being a slave to twice a week cleaning and rearranging of food. Yes, fellow foodies, I am cursed with a small refrigerator and I am pitching to my husband that this is pure torture for me.

My personal challenge: I'm not really wild about raspberries, naked and in the raw, that is . They're pretty and I love the color. I do like raspberry coulis sauce, raspberry jam and raspberry-filled treats, but my work schedule didn't allow for me to make these until the weekend (which was six days away). With that said, I resorted to freezing most of the raspberries into my upright garage freezer. Some of them will become raspberry sherbet.

My boys like raspberries, so they chomped on them for a day. Still, I knew that I needed to make something with these, fast-- or they'd go south in a hurry.

Then I remembered... a few years ago, my husband bought for me Rachael Ray's first issues of her magazine "Every Day Rachael Ray". Bear with me, those of you who groan at her voice or perky smile. I like her recipes. While her prattling can put people off, she uses easy-to-find ingredients and no canned soups or cool whip. That works for me! However, Rachael Ray admits she doesn't like to bake. So, I was surprised to find a recipe for "Raspberry Lemon Shortbread Tart" in an issue. Of course, this was written by one of her folks who writes for the magazine. I have to tell you, that this recipe is a winner. I've made it multiple times, but I've always used olallieberries.

Please allow me to rant about "dumb recipe instructions". Why are ingredients listed as "1 and 3/4 cups flour, divided? Now, I'm pretty good at math. BUT... it annoys me to have to stop and figure out how to divide it. In half? What? That's exactly what happened when I made this-- somehow, I messed up with the shortbread. I should have gotten a clue, when I blended the crust ingredients together and it was soft and sticky. Hmmmm...

The dough turned out to be a buttery pool of "ick". Great. Almost two cubes of butter wasted. See?

Since I had already prepped my ingredients (which I always do), I had to start over with the crust. Arrrrrrrrgh.


I've solved the problem by re-writing the recipe, the way I prefer-- which is "For the crust", "For the filling". I hope you like this version. I know that I do! Moving along...

This is a very quick and easy recipe (once I re-wrote the ingredients for frazzled minds), just like the rest of RR's recipes. It's very pretty, too. I used a spring form pan. You can easily substitute for most any kind of berry, and it would turn out delicious.

First, to make the crust, I use my food processor. If you want to mix the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers-- have at it. Personally, I think my Cuisinart is much faster and easier.

Pulse still crumbly and kind of dry looking (as opposed to soft and sticky), and then press into a non-stick spring form pan (or a tart pan with a removable bottom will do just fine).

Bake this at 400F for about 20 minutes. Then lower the oven to 300F.

Next, you place your berries (you can use fresh or frozen) on top of the crust. I didn't let it cool, so this saves time.

I love lemon zest, so I used two lemons, which is added to the custard mix:

You'd have to pry my microplane out of my cold dead hands--I have a collection of them...

The custard is super quick and easy to make, because you whisk it together and pour it over the berries. Bake this for 30 minutes and cool.

This tart makes a very pretty presentation, especially when dusted with powdered sugar. I also like to serve it with a dollop of whipped cream.

It's sweet and tart. The lemon is very pronounced, so you can tone it down by using only one lemon. My family loves lemon, so I use two of them.

The crust has a wonderful crunch that compliments the chewy custard and the softness of the berries. I really like this recipe a LOT.

At least the raspberries are safely stored in my freezer. I have earmarked some of these for a panna cotta with a rasberry coulis sauce. I'd like to make some raspberry jam, so I'll be searching for an easy way to make this. This tart lasted two days-- some, I brought to work. The rest, my boys devoured and gave this recipe a double thumbs up. That's all that matters to me.

By the way, I am ramping up my pleading for a bigger refrigerator. How I long to have extra drawers and bells and whistles-- yes, a french door refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom. It's not cheap, but it's time! My birthday is six weeks away, so I'm working on getting the green light from my husband.

Raspberries on Foodista



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10 comments:

Frieda said...

I do agree with the 'dumb' instructions! I usually modify recipes to put the ingredient in the ACTUAL order that they are used! Remember old recipe cards with instructions on the other side? I used to have one that had a note on the back to change one of the ingredients...ughhh!

Great post!

Monica H said...

Instructions like that don't really bother me, but they do require extra attention. I do modify the instructions on my blog though if they are like that, just so they're easier to read.

This tart is so pretty! I'm not a huge fan of raspberries either, but i would so eat this.

There's a recipe floating around called Berry ripple coffee cake (or something like that-Better Homes and Gardens) that looks delicious. Raspberries would be great in this, because it has a cooked filling.

Kristen said...

I like easy to follow too. I find it makes more sense that way (in order preferably) - great looking dessert and deal!

Stacey Snacks said...

That's why I only bake simple cakes.....too much effort to divide the flour, one egg, blah blah.
You should've stuck w/ the raspberry buttermilk cake I made, it took like 5 min to put together, and no mixer needed!

PS I have 3 microplane zesters too! Why? I don't know.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Stace, I'm going to make your raspberry cake recipe...and thanks for pointing out that I spelled raspberry WRONG a billion times. I fixed it!

Love ya,
Deb

Culinary Wannabe said...

Beautiful!! I don't like that divided language either, and have messed up quite a few recipes by just seeing "flour" and dumping in the whole thing without reading more carefully. Glad the tart turned out though, it really is pretty. And I'll sign a "Debby need a bigger fridge" petition! :)

Michelle said...

This looks gorgeous, perfect for summer! I bet the lemon and raspberries are great together, and I love a shortbread crust.

LadyJayPee said...

LOL on pulling your microplanes out of your cold, dead hands comment! I only have one but love it! And this dessert looks fabulous! It reminds me of a mini-raspberry custard tart I used to get at a place called LaMadeleine's in Dallas. Divine!

Foodelf said...

Hi, Deb: I made the tart, which came together very simply, however, the custard was significantly undercooked. I wonder if my suspicions about my oven being on the cool side are true. This was entirely my fault as I failed to test the doneness of the custard before I turned off the oven. At a guess, I think it could have used an extra 10 minutes baking time. I did find that the crust required about 10 extra minutes, too.

I was surprised that there wasn't any milk or cream in the custard recipe - I usually make a clafoutis.

I'll definitely try this again and be more vigilant about temperatures and testing. Time to get an oven thermometer, I think.

I'm enjoying your site and recipes, Deb - this is a really nice recent find for me.

Foodelf

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Oh, Foodelf... I'm sorry that you custard was under baked. I've had that happen to me, with other recipes, and it's such a disappointment! I've made this recipe at least a half dozen times, with no problems in the custard. Of course, I blew the tart as I posted. LOL

It's a good idea to calibrate your oven. Fortunately, mine is pretty true to temps.

Thanks for sharing your results!