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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Serving this tart is a breeze: Both the dough for the crust and the custard filling may be prepared the day before and refrigerated. On the day you intend to serve the tart, bake the tart shell and leave it at room temperature. A few hours before serving, just spread the custard cream in the tart shell and top with the berries. You may substitute halved strawberries, rinsed and dried blueberries, or a combination of berries for the raspberries.
1. Unwrap the dough and place it on a floured work surface. Knead it lightly to soften it slightly, then form it into a disk. Flour the dough and roll it to an 11- to 12-inch disk. Fold the dough in half and transfer it to the pan, lining up the fold with the diameter of the pan. Unfold the dough into the pan and press it well into the bottom and sides. Sever the excess dough at the rim of the pan with a bench scraper or the back of a paring knife. Refrigerate the tart crust until you are ready to bake it.
2. For the pastry cream filling, combine the milk and half the sugar in a small nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat. Combine the remaining sugar and the flour in a small mixing bowl and whisk well to mix. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. When the milk boils, whisk about a third of it into the egg mixture. Return the remaining milk to a boil over low heat and add in the egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the pastry cream thickens and comes to a boil—large bubbles will burst slowly on the surface. Cook, whisking constantly, for about 20 seconds. Off the heat whisk in the vanilla and butter. Scrape the pastry cream into a glass or stainless steel bowl and press plastic wrap directly against the surface. Refrigerate the pastry cream until it is time to assemble the tart.
3. To bake the tart shell, set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Remove the unbaked tart crust from the refrigerator and pierce it all over at ½-inch intervals with the tines of a fork. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes, or until it is a very light golden color. If you bake the crust too long, it will be very hard.
4. Cool the baked crust on a rack.
5. When you are ready to assemble the tart, spread the chilled pastry cream on the bottom of the tart crust, using a small metal offset spatula. Arrange the raspberries on the pastry cream (I just pile them on every which way rather than making straight rows). Unmold the tart. Right before serving, dust with all the confectioners’ sugar.
Serving: This beautiful tart needs no further adornment.
Always keep berries refrigerated. Fluctuations in temperature cause condensation and can lead to the berries becoming moldy. I don’t wash raspberries, as they become mashed and unappealing.
Storage: For advance preparation, see the headnote. Keep the assembled tart at a cool room temperature for up to several hours before you serve it. Wrap and refrigerate leftovers.
Nutritional information is provided by the author.
Per serving: 236 calories, 9 g total fat (34% of calories), 5 g saturated fat, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 99 mg cholesterol, 138 mg sodium
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