Welcome to Natasha's Creative Confections! If you have stumbled upon this blog page, then you're in for a real treat! One of my favorite things to do is bake. If you choose to read on you will find pictures and recipes of some of the fabulous treats that I have created. So take a look around and enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mixed Berry Crumble Tart

I've been looking for new things to make for Christmas dessert. I usually do a pie or two but I've been wanting to change things up a bit--have a little more variety. Last year I made a cranberry cake, so this year I decided to go with a tart.

I love tarts. They have become one of my favorite things to make, so I am excited to do this for Christmas. I feel like there is not a whole lot of variety with tarts--lemon or some sort of chocolate tarts are really popular and since there is going to be a chocolate pie my aunt is bringing, and I'm not a huge fan of lemon, I decided to go with berry...mmm.

This tart has a crumbly, streusel topping, which I'm guessing is going to be scrumptious--I don't know yet! I'm writing this entry before I've even tried it :)

Ingredients for the tart crust:
-1/4 c. toasted almonds, ground in food processor
-1 c. flour
-2 Tbsp. sugar
-1/4 tsp. salt
-6 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
-1 lg. beaten egg
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Grind almonds in food processor.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and egg. Add the butter until combined. Add the nuts, vanilla and salt. Mix together with a fork to blend.

2. Work in flour with fork and use hands to form a round ball. Knead the dough gently with fingertips. Wrap the ball of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Unwrap dough on light floured surface and roll out. Butter the tart pan and mold pastry into pan, making it even. Poke holes on bottom of crust. Line with parchment or foil and use beans or pie weights to hold down.

4. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Take out to cool while you work on your filling.

Ingredients for the filling:
-3 (1-pint) baskets fresh berries (I used blackberries, raspberries & blueberries)
-1/2 c. sugar
-finely grated zest of 1 med. orange
-4 tsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

In a medium bowl, combine the berries, sugar, orange zest and flour and stir to blend well. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to scrape the filling into the cooled tart shell.

Ingredients for the topping:
-1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
-3/4 c. sugar
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. pieces

1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the cold butter and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture begins to form clumps the size of small peas.

2. Cover the filling evenly with the topping.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes, until the fruit is soft and bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes before serving. Or, cool completely, then reheat just before serving. Serve with a scoop vanilla ice cream!

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