Folded Berry Tart

July 4, 2007


Here’s a red-white-and-blue way to celebrate the land we love. If you’re lucky enough to pick your own berries, you’ll have double the fun. I like a tart that’s, well, tart. If you like it sweeter, add more sugar. This is a very forgiving recipe. Since it has no raw eggs, you can taste the juice till you get it right. If you don’t have enough berries, add sliced peaches. Happy Fourth! SAM

PS No, the Parmesan is not a misprint. You won’t be able to tell it’s there except for a rich, nuttiness that goes great with berries. And here’s another cheesy tip: instead of cream or ice cream, top each serving with a little melted Brie. It’s a great combination.

For the filling:
5 cups berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
3 tablespoons peach jam, divided
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons cognac
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons light brown sugar or honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream

For the pastry:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons ice water
6 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the filling:
In a mixing bowl, combine the berries, 2 tablespoons jam, lemon juice, cognac, Parmesan, and sugar or honey.

For the pastry:
In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Into a small glass or measuring cup, pour the ice water and oil. Beat with a fork or small whisk to form an emulsion and pour into the flour well. Stir with a fork just until the dough forms a ball. Place in the center of an ungreased 9- or 10-inch inch pie plate and spread with your knuckles until 1/2 inch hangs over the rim, leaving the sides loose.

For the tart:
Pile the fruit mixture in the center of the pastry and fold in the sides, leaving a two-inch center opening. Pour the cream into the opening. Brush the crust with the remaining 1 tablespoon jam. Bake for 1 hour or until browned and bubbly. Top with vanilla ice cream, heavy cream, crème frâiche, or melted Brie [See note above].
Makes 8 servings.

Camembert Salad

June 9, 2007

The only tricky part of this salad is remembering to marinate the cheese. Stick a note on the coffee pot so you won’t forget to do it first thing in the morning. That way, when you get home, everything’s ready for a light summer supper. Maybe serve it with a cold cucumber soup. All you need then is a fresh baguette—or, hey, you could make Last-Minute Dinner Rolls—and best of all there’s plenty of room for dessert! Hmmmm … is there any Carrot Cake left? SAM

PS If all you have in the fridge is brie, go for it. It’ll do just fine.

8 ounces Camembert
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 head Romaine lettuce, torn
1 head frisée, stripped of stalks

Cut the Camembert into 4 wedges and split each in half horizontally. Place in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. Pour the olive oil over the wedges, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon thyme, cover, and marinate for 4 to 12 hours. Drain the oil and reserve. Bake the cheese at 350 degrees F until softened, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly and cube. In a salad bowl, combine the Romaine lettuce, frisée, and cheese. Whisk together the remaining 1/4 teaspoon thyme, vinegar, pepper, and reserved olive oil and pour over the salad, tossing to coat.
Makes 4 servings.