• Apricot Cherry Crostata

    Welcome!! I hope you all survived this weekend’s heat wave by not leaving the house, it was the only way to survive. At my house, we spent the majority of Saturday inside, making brownies and playing Clue, which for once, didn’t end in fighting! We went mini golfing at night and were promptly attacked by bugs, but the ice cream afterwards made it all worth it. Sunday we spent the day at the beach, where the waves were very refreshing but I was pinched by not one, but TWO crabs. You can’t win them all I guess.

    ANYWAY, today’s recipe is another one of those ones pulled from my childhood memory vault, one that my Grandpa used to make in the summer when we were over for dinner. Whenever we would spend time at their house, the first thing we’d peruse was my grandpa’s stack of Bon Appetit magazines, which went years and years back. Come to think of it, I’m almost sure that is what sparked my interest in food in the first place. My grandpa was and still is an amazing cook, but with time, it’s gotten harder for him to make elaborate meals. So, last weekend, after saying for years that I would dig out this Apricot Cherry Crostata recipe, I did! I finally got to present it to my grandpa for dessert, and I’ll be honest I teared up when he saw it. He has always had a huge influence on what I cook and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders since the beginning, gosh I love him.

    This tart is the perfect summer dessert, its relatively quick, very easy, and it LOOKS so glamorous. Apricot Cherry Crostata, it even SOUNDS fancy. It’s best with peak-of-summer apricots and cherries, but my grandpa always made it with dried tart cherries and it was just as incredible. Nestled in a crisp, buttery crust, and topped with the shiniest apricot glaze, it looks so professional you might have to show your friends the dishes to prove you made this and didn’t buy it.

    OH ALSO. Something I have to mention, I met a real hero of mine this past week. If you’ve been around Sweet D for long enough, you’ve seen that I make a lot of recipes from Erin McDowell. She’s a food blogger and writer and so so cool. Well, this past week, I got to take a cake decorating class in the city taught by, you guessed it, HER. It was everything I dreamed it would be. We decorated chocolate cakes with macarons and other treats, and she remembered me and Sweet D and I almost cried. Life made.

    Me trying to keep it together

    Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!!
    ONE. A peach so juicy you have to eat it standing over the sink.
    TWO. Meeting your heroes.
    THREE. Baseball games in the summer.
    FOUR. A weekend with no plans.
    FIVE. Turning over a new leaf.

    Let’s bake!!

    Apricot Cherry Crostata

    Honey-sweet apricots, dark cherries, a buttery crust, sealed with a shiny jam glaze, this is the most impressive and deceivingly easy tart you'll ever make!
    Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
    Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
    Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: apricot, cherry, summer tart
    Servings: 8 people

    Ingredients

    Tart Crust

    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 Tbsp white sugar
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt
    • ½ cup unsalted butter; chilled and cut into small pieces
    • 2 Tbsp ice water

    Fruit Filling

    • 7 large apricots
    • 1 cup dark cherries; pitted and halved
    • cup white sugar
    • ½ cup apricot preserves

    Instructions

    Tart Crust

    • Blend together the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add in the butter and pulse 10-12 times, until the butter is pea-sized and evenly distributed.
    • Blend in the water by the tablespoon until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten to a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes before working.
    • When the dough is chilled, roll between 2 sheets of parchment paper to slightly larger than the size of your tart pan, about 11 inches. Carefully remove the top sheet of parchment and invert the dough into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
    • Gently press the dough into the pan, folding the excess into the tart pan so that the sides are double thick. Pierce the dough all over with a fork and freeze for 20 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven to 375°F.
    • Bake the tart shell for 25 minutes until set but still pale, and allow to cool before filling.

    Filling and Assembly

    • Blanch apricots in boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to ice water. Peel, halve, and pit each apricot, then slice each half into 3 to 4 wedges.
    • Arrange the apricot slices in the tart shell as desired, then top with the pitted cherries. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top and bake the tart until the apricots are tender, about 50 minutes.
    • In a small saucepan, heat the apricot preserves until warm and pourable. Strain through a mesh sieve so that only the smooth jam is left.
    • Using a pastry brush or a spoon, cover the tart with a layer of the apricot jam. Remove the tart from its pan and serve warm or room temperature, preferably with ice cream!

    Looking for more summer fruit desserts? Look here, here, and here!

  • Black and Blue Buttermilk Tart

    Okaaaaaaaaay hello! Happy Tuesday, how was your weekend? Mine involved a trip to the gardens with a dear friend, a family viewing of Toy Story 4 in which I bawled my eyes out, and…COOKING! Specifically a baked pasta and this gorgeous summer tart recipe. *Cue the fake shock lol* I go through this weekly Sunday dilemma where I spend all day wondering what to cook for Sunday dinner. I have an instagram folder full of recipes I’ve saved and yet when the time comes, I can’t think of anything. This week I was saved by Smitten Kitchen, with this summery pasta bake. The best part is, remember that garden I mentioned a few weeks back? Guess where all the herbs came from?? I felt like fricken Ina Garten strolling right outside and cutting herbs for myself. All that’s missing is the Hamptons house, but that can’t be far behind right??

    Anyway, for dessert I made this GORGEOUS summer tart recipe, which I literally found by chance. I haven’t picked up a magazine in my house in ages, but I happened to open up a new Southern Living magazine on Saturday afternoon and was immediately drawn to this recipe. Originally made with a Ritz crackers crust, I changed it to a chocolate cookie crust because why not, plus I thought it complemented the berries nicely. I was particularly proud of how this looked with all the berries on top, feel free to call me for all your food styling needs in the future lmao. The filling is rich with a little tang, almost like a cheesecake but in tart form, so really what’s not to like?

    I warn you all to not make the same mistake I did though. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fool who often fails to read a recipe through before diving right into them. Do we remember this? Good. So I was about halfway through the filling of this tart when !!!! I noticed that it has to chill for approximately 8 hours before serving. Keep in mind this was at 3:30 when dinner was at 6. Yeah. I’m a fool. Miraculously, chilling the filled tart in the freezer for 45 minutes and then into the fridge until serving seemed to work just fine, but I would always recommend following the recipe if time allows.

    Don’t forget about your 5 things to be happy about today, share them with your friends and strangers!!
    ONE. Your favorite TV show starting a new season.
    TWO. Finding a silver lining in something that felt hopeless.
    THREE. Having a second chance at something.
    FOUR. Hair masks.
    FIVE. Playing cornhole in the backyard during a barbecue.

    Let’s bake!

    Black and Blue Buttermilk Tart

    The most perfect combination of chocolatey crust, rich cheesecakey filling, and the season's ripest berries, this summer tart recipe is one you'll want to make over and over.
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time20 mins
    Inative Time8 hrs
    Total Time8 hrs 50 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: blueberries, summer, summer recipe, tart

    Ingredients

    Chocolate Cookie Crust

    • 2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs ex: chocolate wafers or oreo cookies
    • 4 Tbs unsalted butter melted

    Black and Blue Buttermilk Tart

    • ¾ cup heavy cream
    • 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • tsp unflavored gelatin from 1 pouch
    • ½ cup white sugar
    • 12 oz. cream cheese softened
    • ¾ cup buttermilk
    • blueberries + blackberries for topping

    Instructions

    Chocolate Cookie Crust

    • If using chocolate wafers, pulse the cookies with salt in a food processor until they are even crumbs. If using oreos, separate the cookie from the filling and then do the same. Measure out 2 cups of crumbs and add to a medium bowl, along with the melted butter.
    • Stir until the mixture is evenly moistened, then pour into a tart pan with a removable bottom. Using your hands and a small dry measuring cup, press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, and then allow to cool completely before filling.

    Black and Blue Buttermilk Tart

    • Pour heavy cream and scraped vanilla bean + pod (or vanilla bean paste) to a saucepan, and mix. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the mixture and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and heat on medium until the sugar and gelatin are dissolved.
    • Transfer mixture to a food processor, then add the cream cheese a little bit at a time. Pour in the buttermilk and process until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a cooled tart crust and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, up to overnight. Before serving, top with berries. YUM!!!
  • Fresh Fruit Tart

    So ever since we’ve had a minimum of one nice day a week, I have convinced myself that the warm weather is here to stay, and with that comes an overpowering desire to bake with summer fruits, you know? I’ve been waiting for the rhubarb to arrive at the farm since practically last spring, but thanks to the stubborn cold weather, it won’t be for sale for around another month. A MONTH. I am devastated, as you can imagine, so to try and fill the void left in its wake, I made this tried-and-true fruit tart last weekend and I am happy to say that there was not a crumb left after dessert.

    It begins with a buttery tart shell with just a hint of sweetness, topped with vanilla pastry cream that is literally so good that I ate the leftovers out of the bowl with a spoon, and an artfully disheveled pile of fresh fruit on top. The best part about this is that you can really use whatever fruits you feel like based on what’s in season- blueberries and blackberries alone would make a gorgeous and dramatic looking tart, pitted cherries or mango or some stewed rhubarb- it’s totally up to you what fruits should be featured. For this one, I settled on what I could find at the store because it’s technically not berry season, so I was going to take what I could get, but I would love to hear your flavor ideas as well!

    I’m posting this on a Saturday because this week just got away from me, but hopefully this will give you an excuse to try your hand at this tart right away. As for me, I will be looking for any excuse to use a blowtorch so I think I’m seeing a meringue pie in my future. Happy Saturday!

    Tart Shell Ingredients
    from 
    The Fearless Baker, by Erin McDowell

    2 cups All Purpose Flour
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    10 tablespoons salted butter, very cold and cut into cubes
    ¼ cup ice water

    Pastry Cream Ingredients
    from 
    The Fearless Baker, by Erin McDowell

    3 cups whole milk
    ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    ¾ cup granulated sugar (divided into ¼ cup for milk mixture and ½ cup for egg yolk mixture)
    2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract), or ½ vanilla bean (seeds and pod)
    5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
    1/3 cup cornstarch
    3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

    Plus assorted fruit and berries, to top

    Steps

    1. Using a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is coarse and the butter is in small, pea-sized pieces. If you don’t have a food processor, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt, and then cut in the butter with a pastry blender or mix with your hands until the butter is incorporated in the same way.

    2. Move the mixer from the food processor to a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the ice water into the middle and knead with your hands until the dough comes together and looks smooth. At this point, it should not be overly sticky or too wet. Wrap this dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

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    All ready to roll!

    While the dough is chilling, start your pastry cream here.

    3. Combine milk, salt, and ¼ cup of the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the vanilla (extract or paste), or add the seeds and the pod of the vanilla bean to the mixture. Heat to a simmer over medium heat- do not let it boil!

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    Confession: I forgot to capture the pastry cream I was making this time, but this is what the beginnings will look like!

    4. Meanwhile, in a glass bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup of sugar and the cornstarch so that they are evenly mixed without lumps. Whisk the egg yolks into this bowl until all is incorporated.

    5. When the milk is simmering, remove the vanilla bean there is one and turn the heat to medium-low. Slowly, and whisking constantly to prevent scrambled eggs, add a little of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture to temper. Then, pour the bowl of egg mixture back into the pot with the rest of the milk and return the pot to the stove, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula until the mixture is thick and just about to bubble, about 5 minutes.

    6. Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter until incorporated. Chill in the fridge until cold and set, pressing plastic wrap directly to the surface to prevent a skin forming.

    Back to the tart dough!

    7. Let your dough rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes so that it rolls out easily. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll your dough into one large circle, about 2 inches wider than your desired pan on all sides. Make sure to check periodically to make sure that the dough isn’t sticking to your work surface, and re-flour as necessary.

    8. Very carefully roll the finished dough over the rolling pin, and then drape into your tart pan, pressing it into place and allowing the extra dough to hang over the side. If you’re using a metal fluted pan (like I am), you can roll your rolling pin over the top of the pan, and the excess dough will be cut off, leaving you with a perfectly neat tart.

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    Look at those perfect edges!

    9. To blind bake this crust (bake without a filling in it), cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than the pan size and place it in the pan on top of the crust. Fill this with dried beans, rice, or pie weights and bake like this for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust starts to turn golden.

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    Ready for blind baking!

    10. Remove the parchment paper and weights from the shell and return the tart to the oven, baking for another 10 minutes until it’s evenly golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with 1 egg white- the heat of the shell will cook the egg white and seal the tart to prevent a dreaded soggy crust. Let it cool completely before removing from the pan.

    11. When the shell has completely cooled, fill with the chilled pastry cream, and top with your desired choice of berries and other fruits. Now, eat the whole thing in one sitting and never look back.

    xoxoxoxoxoxD