Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's raspberry time!

Raspberries have just come into season here in the Pioneer Valley within the last week or two. Our CSA has a nice grove of raspberry bushes, where share holders can pick their own. We're having a party this weekend and I wanted to make a fruit dessert, so I was super excited to see the beautiful red berries aplenty when I headed down to the farm yesterday. Raspberry tarts it is, I decided!

Before we get to that recipe, though, I just have to say how much I've really enjoyed the u-pick crops at the farm this year. It's my 20-30 minutes every week to just kind of let go of all the stresses of life and focus on being in a huge field, often all by myself, carefully hunting for the perfect juicy strawberry, the plumpest peas or the sweetest raspberries. Being out there is almost like a form of meditation for me. I didn't expect this at all - but it really rejuvenates me. So, I'm looking forward to (hopefully) a couple more weeks of my raspberry picking meditations.

Now let's get on to the yummy tart recipe. These are actually little bite-sized tarts, made using a mini muffin pan. So easy, yet so good!

Mini Raspberry Tarts
(Makes 12-16)

For the crust:
1 stick butter
1 1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. vanilla-infused sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 Tbsp. cold water

For the filling:
3/4 c. raspberries, plus another 1/4-1/2 c. reserved
vanilla-infused sugar to taste

To make the crust, start by cutting the butter into small chunks, about 1/2" thick. Put it in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, pulse together flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.
When ready, put chilled butter into the food processor and pulse until mixture is crumbly (butter chunks should be pea-sized or smaller).
Slowly add cold water 1 Tbsp. at a time, just until dough holds together when pinched.
Shape dough into a disk and refrigerate while you make the filling.
For the filling, mash 3/4 c. raspberries to a fairly smooth, jam-like consistency. Add vanilla-infused sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time until raspberry mixture is sweet enough for your taste (I like it sweet, so I use about 3 Tbsp.).
Now preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Take the dough out of the fridge and tear off a small hunk to fill the muffin pan about 2/3 of the way up. Press your thumb in the center of the dough to make a center and push the dough up the sides of the pan. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
Spread the filling mixture evenly between the crust cups you've created. Top each one with 2-3 fresh raspberries.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes until crust is set.
Let cool at least 15 minutes before removing from pan (filling will be very hot!).


LK- Healthy Delicious said...

rhose tarts are gorgeous!!

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Wow, yum! I love your description of the meditative picking time. So valuable even just to have a few serene minutes a week. And thanks for another use for my mini muffin pan!

Jessie said...

cute tarts! I love that first photo too it is so pretty to look at

Joelen said...

Mmm, that buttery tart dough looks like a great recipe and I love the use of fresh raspberries! My friends recently gave me a generous pint of fresh raspberries from Michigan so I just might have to make this soon!

CheapAppetite said...

Very cute tart. I like that you leave some fresh raspberry to top the tart. Makes it look so yummy.