Monday, July 15, 2013

Berries with Buttermilk Pastry Cream and Cornmeal Tart and a New Stove

It was a good range.  We bought it right after we moved into the house because the old one in the house caught fire a week before Thanksgiving.  We went to Sears and got what ever was in stock, that we could pick up and take home.  I had Thanksgiving to get ready for.

We didn't have it but three weeks and someone cleaned the top with an abrasive cleaner so the top got all scratched, then collected grease that just wouldn't come off.  A few years later one of the burners quit working, my dad changed it out for me.  The another burner wouldn't heat up to high.  Finally a third burner went out and when I couldn't get a pot of water to boil, Dave took me to the store.
I love my new stove!  Nice feet reflection.

During the life of that range it cooked 11 Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, countless family meals, birthday treats, hundreds of loaves of bread, thousands of cookies, and cakes and pies galore.   It made pots of spaghetti, soup, oatmeal, barbecue sauce, moose stew,  pans of bacon and hash browns.  It was a great companion as I cooked and cried as each child grew up and moved away. And while it did it's job, I'm happy to see it go because we did upgrade a bit (BIG smiley face here).

I have an electric range, not the most wonderful thing for cooking, but it is what I have.  What I am excited about is I got a convection oven with my new range!  I have wanted one for so long and now I have a whole new excuse to bake (like I ever needed an excuse).  I don't even care that it is 87° outside (keep in mind we don't have air conditioners in Fairbanks) and with the oven on, it is 97° in the kitchen.  I am loving it!

It also has one of those flat tops.  I did purchase the extra warranty, so when I drop a pot (I am a little clumsy) and the top breaks, it will be covered for replacement.  It is so cool, Dave turned it on and it actually got hot in about 5 seconds.

I needed something special for the first baking.  I decided on a berry and cream tart.  It does take several steps, but it is worth it.  The tart is fresh, light, and the perfect finish to a summer meal.  Now is the time to make this, while the berries are fresh.

Buttermilk Pastry Cream
from Food Network Magazine, July 2013
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons buttermilk
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Cornmeal Tart Dough
from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook
1 cup flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar, measured then sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup medium-grind cornmeal
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 pint strawberries
2 pints raspberries
1/2 pint blueberries
2 Tbsp. raspberry jelly
2 Tbsp. apricot jelly
1/2 lemon, juiced

 Combine the milk, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk 1/2 cup buttermilk, the egg yolks, cornstarch and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, whisking, until thick and bubbling, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Lay plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate 45 minutes.

For the Tart
In a bowl, sift flour twice, then set aside.
In a bow of an electric mixer with a paddle, combined the powdered sugar and the butter.  Mix on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes, until mixture is pale and fluffy.  Scrape down the bowl and paddle with a rubber spatula.
With the mixer on low, add the almond meal, cornmeal, and salt mixing until combined.  Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix.
With the mixer on low, add the four in 3-4 additions and mix just until combined.  Do not over mix.

Gather the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight before using.

Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Place on floured work surface and roll out into a 13 inch circle.  This dough is not very flexible, if it cracks or breaks you can seal any cracks or tears after it is in the tart pan.

Ease the dough gently into the pan.  Don't stretch the dough or it will shrink when baked.   Gently push the dough into the groves of the tart pan and remove the overhang.  Press the top of the dough to be sure the top of the dough is straight at the top of the pan.

Blind bake the crust.  Lay a piece of parchment paper over the crust, fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Check crust, it should look lighter in color and not shiny.  Remove pie weights and parchment and bake for 6-8 minutes longer.  Don't over bake, it should be a light color.

Remove from oven and let cool completely before adding pastry cream.

Add pastry cream to tart, top with berries.

Melt 2 Tbsp. raspberry jelly and 2 Tbsp. apricot jelly, add a good squirt of fresh lemon juice.  Brush over the top of the berries.  Refrigerate for a least 1 hour before serving.

July 15, 2013   Sunrise 3:45 Sunset 11:57*  Temp. H 81/ L 61ºF

*On a sad note, today is the first day of summer where the sunrise and sunset are in the same day.  Great big sad face here.  We are losing over 6 minutes of sunlight a day.

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