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Lindsey's Austere Berry Tart

(recipe, Deborah Madison)


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Ingredients

  1. Tart Dough
  2. 3 Tbsp. redcurrant jelly or raspberry jam
  3. 2 to 3 cups berries (or 3 6-ounce cartons)
  4. Kirsch (optional)
  5. Powdered sugar
  6. Softly whipped cream flavored with kirsch or vanilla

Steps

  1. Make the tart dough and use it to line either a 9-inch round tart pan or a rectangular pan measuring 4-by-13-inches. (If using the latter, you will have extra dough that you can use to patch any cracks and/or make a few cookies.) Make sure the base is evenly pressed, as the tart will be completely pre-baked before adding the fruit, and you won’t want any thick, uncooked areas. Chill it while you heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove the shell from the refrigerator, line it with foil and pie weights, set it on a sheet pan, and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil (if it sticks, return the shell to the oven for a few minutes more before removing), then return it to the oven to finish baking, another 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. While the tart shell is baking, lay the berries out on a towel without washing them. Heat the jam in a small pan with a few teaspoons water to thin it. Force any jam through a small strainer so that you have just a clear, sweet, sticky liquid without seeds. Brush about half on the tart shell. Starting with the larger berries, arrange them around the edge of the tart shell, working in towards the center with progressively smaller fruit. Wedge them close to one another, but make just a single layer. If you’re using a rectangular pan, make lines of similarly sized berries.
  4. Return the tart to the oven for 5 minutes to warm the fruit. Reheat the jam again, adding a little water or kirsch if it seems thick; then, using a pastry brush, dab a little on or over each berry.
  5. To serve, remove the tart from its pan, set it on a serving plate, and dust the edges with powdered sugar. Serve with softly whipped cream flavored with a little kirsch or vanilla.