Monday, June 08, 2009

Project #150 - Shortbread Berry Tarts

It's berry season in the neighborhood and I want to stand under the trees and eat them ALL. Down the street, next to the neighborhood playground are a half-dozen mulberry trees, and one generous wild cherry tree. That's FREE FOOD just waiting for someone to take it and eat it, otherwise the ripe ones end up crushed on the sidewalk.

It was raining this afternoon, but I spent about half an hour plucking berries and putting them in my basket/my mouth. I don't think many other people on my street pay much attention to them. MORE FOR ME! IT'S MINE! ALL MINE, I TELLS YA!

The berries that made it home were combined with the day's strawberry harvest and ended up as the filling for shortbread tarts. That's all fruit that came from within three blocks of my house, FOR FREE.

The filling is similar to my filling for strawberry rhubarb pie, but with a lot more sugar proportionally because the cherries were still a little bitter.

Filling Ingredients:

  • ~1 cup of assorted berries
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of tapioca pearls
  • 2 tbsp flour
Combine and set aside until you're ready to bake the crust.

The recipe for the crust was inspired by a href="">this recipe<\a>, which is fantastic on its own, and doesn't call for the use of tart pans. I adjusted the ingredients to suit what I had in my cupboard and my own personal taste.

Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of chilled, diced, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of chilled water
Mix the dry ingredients and use a fork to cut in the butter until the mixture looks like graham cracker crumbles and there are no pieces of butter bigger than a pea remaining. Add the water slowly and while rolling up the dough into a ball. Separate into four pieces and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough into 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick disks touching them as little as possible with your hands. Place each disk on a cookie sheet and add a few heaping tablespoons (or more) of berries into the center of the circle and fold up the sides (see picture above).

Ideally, you would chill the cookie sheet in the fridge for a little while, but everyone wanted dessert ASAP so I popped mine right in the oven and baked for 25 minutes. They melted a little in the oven, but it was only a cosmetic flaw.

Mmmm, so yummy. Plus the ingredients only cost a dollar or two when you factor in the free scavenged fruit. I am going to eat so much butter this summer!

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posted by Alison 6/08/2009 10:20:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

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