Tonight was another farewell. I hate saying goodbye. I’m much better at saying, “I love you. Here, eat some raspberry truffle tart. Have some fruit tart.” So I played to my strengths. I made two raspberry truffle tarts. And two fruit tarts.
Here is the recipe for my favorite shortbread crust for tarts:
1 1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. butter, softened
Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease and flour 12-inch tart pan.
Mix flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press firmly and evenly against bottom and side of pan. Bake 10-15 minutes or until light brown.
Sometimes I replace part of the flour with finely chopped nuts, pecans and hazelnuts being my favorites.
I don’t like to make my fruit tarts look exactly alike, but they have repeating patterns; I don’t just pile the fruit on willy nilly. I like them to be works of art. I don’t like to put apricot glaze on them. I think it makes a tart look a little sickly. I like the brightness of the fresh fruit. So I typically put the fruit on within 6 hours of serving time and keep them refrigerated until serving. The fruit looks so spectacular on its own, IMO.
I used a mixture of neufchatel cheese and Yoplait yogurt for the filling of these. It’s not overly sweet or heavy.
The truffle tart has a dark chocolate ganache filling with a thin layer of raspberry sauce on the top. I make the raspberry sauce with frozen raspberries (they are usually half the price, or less, than fresh and work perfectly here). I add a little lemon juice, a little sugar and cook it until the berries are mushy. I press it through a sieve to strain out the seeds and return the sauce to the pan and reduce it or add a little water/cornstarch to thicken slightly.
Because it was so hot and humid today and I have been holding out on turning on the AC, I was thinking of making ‘stabilized whipping cream’ rather than regular whipping cream for these. Stabilized whipping cream means adding a little Knox gelatine to the whipping cream. I put 1 tsp of gelatine in a glass bowl with 4 tsp of water, as one recipe suggested and boiled it in the microwave. But when I pulled it out, EEEWWWW!!! The smell of cow hooves and bones was so strong I gagged. They didn’t even smell like particularly clean hooves. I grew up on a farm, I know about cows and their odors. I poured it down the drain. We had plain whipping cream and it got a little loose before the evening was over, but there were no cows walking through the truffle tart. It did not disappoint, as usual. This is one of my most popular desserts.