It's been a while since I've posted a recipe on desserts. Maybe some of you have been wondering about this. Isn't the blog entitled 'In pursuit of BAKING' (not cooking really!)? Didn't it say 'a blog of sugar, spice...'? I know I would. Sorry for the long delay. We had to make and taste so many sweet pastries at school that when I got home, I just couldn't go anywhere near sugar. The good news is, I'm starting to get over this shock and am feeling inspired again :)
A few things might have helped along the way. Firstly, I graduated from the 5-month course. Apart from the exposure to new baking techniques, the end of the course came with a 2 week holiday and a super awesome baking book! The book pictured above has a comprehensive collection of bread recipes, quickbreads and some chic looking tarts. It's targeted to professionals but I think any serious home baker will find it exciting too. Plus, it has an English translation for every recipe. Secondly, I also moved apartments. In the process, I had leftover blueberries that had to either be thrown out or consumed.
On most occasions, home baking is the result of free time, loose ingredients and inspiration.
To save time, I made this tart using store-bought short-crust dough (Pate Brisee). This is the second time I did this and even though it's a different brand, the dough still feels greasy and rubbery under my hands. Overall, the tart still tastes good, but the baked shell on its own is harder and less crumbly than a homemade one. So, unless you really have to, I recommend making your own tart dough. In this case, hard work does pay off.
Blueberry & Blackberry Cheese Tart
adapted from Apprenez L'art de la Viennoiserie et Festival de Tartes
makes a 20cm tart
200g short-crust dough
Enough blueberries & blackberries to cover the tart
(I used 1 box of blueberries & 1/2 box of blackberries)
Cottage Cheese Mixture
125g cottage cheese
25g custard powder
25g unsalted butter
30g caster sugar
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
pinch of salt
60g egg whites
30g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
63g all-purpose flour
25g caster sugar
- Make the crumble mixture: Using an electric mixer (or a bowl and a wooden spoon), cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in the flour. As soon as the mixture forms a dough, spread out onto plastic wrap and refrigerate. When the dough is firm again, cut in small cubes/crumble.
- Line a 20cm tart ring with the short-crust dough. Prick holes with a fork and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Blind bake the tart shell for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Take out, egg wash the base and sides of the shell and leave to cool.
- To make the cottage cheese mixture, combine the cottage cheese, custard powder, milk, butter, caster sugar, lemon zest and salt in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and stir the mixture until it thickens like pastry cream. Don't worry if the cheese curdles, it will come together again.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites and half of the sugar to soft peaks.
- Add the other half of the sugar and continue beating until firm peaks.
- Carefully add the egg whites to the boiling cream: Put a whisk-full of egg whites to the cream and mix until it's fully incorporated. Fold in the rest of the egg whites.
- Fill the tart shell with the cheese mixture until 2/3 full.
- Layer the surface of the tart with blueberries and blackberries.
- Place the crumble mixture over the fruits.
- Bake the tart at the same temperature for 35-40 minutes or until the crumble browns.