This week my mom had us over for dinner and for dessert she made blackberry tarts. I was thoroughly enjoying them until she told me the tart shells were made from lard. My mom is lactose intolerant so I knew there wasn’t any butter in the shells. I was already trying to block out the fact that I was eating vegetable shortening (have you ever read the ingredients in that stuff?), but as much as I appreciate lard for its “real food” status, as a vegetarian I don’t go there. Rendered pig fat just isn’t for me. I guess I shouldn’t have asked.
I love that my mom always bakes from scratch though and so I was inspired to take a picture of them. Ta da! Notice the interesting bicycle design I made especially for her? That’s a piece of pottery I made about 10 years ago. Oh, and please note that the Cool Whip (can you tell?) is my mom’s secret vice, not mine. I like the taste of it, but no, I don’t buy it. It’s up there with the scary ingredients of vegetable shortening. Ick.
I decided to make my own berry tarts. They were just going to be plain, old strawberry tarts, but I decided to use a handful of cherries I had in the fridge as well as one apricot. Thus they became my strawberry, apricot, cherry tarts. I encourage you to use whatever summer berries or fruits you have for this easy tart recipe, which because of the honey isn’t too sweet. Just how I like it. Oh yes, and the crust? So yummy! Like almond shortbread. I loved it!
The tart shell recipe came from Simply Recipes. I modified it to suit my own tastes.
Strawberry, Apricot, Cherry Tarts
Butter Crust with Almonds
- 2 cups organic all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour
- 16 Tbsp (2 sticks) organic or raw unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping teaspoon organic dry sweetener
- 3 to 6 Tbsp ice water
1) Cut butter into cubes and place in freezer for at least 15 minutes. While butter is freezing, grind almonds in a food processor to make “almond flour.”
2) In a large food processor, combine flour, almond flour, salt, and sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again. (I ended up having to do this part by hand as my food processor wasn’t large enough to get at the butter. A pastry cutter works just as well.)
3) Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into 2 discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
4) Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Using the mouth of a large glass, cut 12 circles into the dough. It might take you a couple times of rolling the dough out again. This crust can also be used as the bottom part of a pie and the second disc in the fridge can be used for later or for more tarts.
5) Bake at 350° for 20 minutes until tart shells are golden brown.
6) Add fruit filling.
- 3 cups of organic berries or ripe summer fruit
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup raw honey
Dissolve cornstarch in water. Place in saucepan with mixed fruits and cook on low-medium heat until mixture thickens. Add honey at the end. Mix well. Add more to taste as needed. Spoon 1-2 Tbsp of the mixture into cooked tart shells.
Serve hot with real homemade whipped cream and enjoy a delicious gooey mess like we did (you should have seen her dress!), or wait for the tarts to cool first and eat politely with a fork.
Linked up at Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Friday Food at Momtrends, Food on Friday at Ann Kroeker, Wholesome Whole Foods at Health Food Lover, Family Food Fridays at Get Healthy Cheap, Recipe Swap at Grocery Cart Challenge, Two For Tuesdays Blog Hop at A Moderate Life.
Welcome to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays! Where we’re not just Meatless on Mondays, but all week through! Hi! My name is Melodie and I’m a long time vegetarian who’s into real food, holistic nutrition, and healthy living but suffers from a sweet tooth! (I love homemade baked goods and ice cream). To learn more about why I became a vegetarian or why I choose to raise my children vegetarian please click on my links.
- You do not have to be a vegetarian/vegan or have a vegetarian/vegan blog to participate.
- Your dish must be completely meat-free (no meat based broths, etc). Eggs and dairy are fine. Desserts and other baked goods are welcome as are vegetarian friendly food-related and health posts.
- Please link back to the carnival in your post.
- Please use your best carnival manners.
- Please try to visit others’ posts.
- Have fun!