Friday, July 30, 2010
My mom lives a mere 40 minutes from me, so we have dinner every 2 weeks or so. Like many gene-sharing people, we often have difficulty communicating. Throw in an extra language, and it's double the trouble. Mom called me the night before our dinner to ask that I bring "2 pies." I couldn't understand why 4 people needed so much dessert. Between her repeated proclamations that it was "only 2 pies!" And moments away from a fight I realized she was saying "vegetable side dish" in Chinese, which just happened to sound like "pie." As tension dissolved into laughter, we settled on a compromise of 1 vegetable dish and 1 pie.
Now, "what to bring?" was the question left on my mind. Fresh, succulent summer fruit and cream came the immediate answer (yes, I talk to myself ^_^). Hardly what pops up when most people think of "comfort food." But waist-deep in the middle of a sticky D.C. summer, that's exactly what this magical and refreshing duo is for me. And since we'd already swapped veggies for pastry, I figured no one would pick the nit between tart and pie. Fortunately for my figure, the "cream" in the latest evolution of this pairing turns out to be rich yet low-in-fat Greek yogurt and light sour cream. What's more, 3 varieties of nuts bring complex texture and flavor to the crust, but also heart-healthy unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. What's not to love? And let me assure you that 1 measly tart was more than enough for 4 diners, including seconds. 8p
Fresh Berry Tart with Toasted Nut Crust [Printable Recipe]
Slightly adapted from Vegetarian Times
XIAOLU'S NOTES: I loved this combination of nuts, but feel free to substitute other nuts for 1 or all of the types in the recipe. Buy 1 orange for this recipe and you'll have more than enough zest and juice. If you don't have Greek yogurt, you can make a substitute from a cup of regular yogurt by draining it over a strainer lined with cheesecloth/paper towel/coffee filter for several hours. Make sure to measure the 1/2 cup for the recipe after you drain the yogurt. I always "make" my own brown sugar using white sugar and molasses, about 1 1/2 T molasses per cup of white sugar. That's one less ingredient in my overcrowded [as in, constantly on the verge of avalanche] pantry, and no problems with hardened old brown sugar.
1/4 cup each almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 T cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg yolk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray or a flavorless vegetable oil. Spread nuts on baking sheet, and toast in oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until browned.
Pulse nuts, flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until nuts are ground to powder. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk, and pulse until moist clumps form.
Press dough into bottom and sides of prepared pan, about 1/4-inch thick, and pierce with fork. [If the dough is too soft to press, freeze it at 5 minute intervals until it's easier to handle. I pressed the dough with a floured juice glass.] Freeze crust for 30 minutes.
Adjust oven temperature to 400°F. Bake crust 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden. Let cool.
1/2 cup light or regular sour cream
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 to 3 T light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp grated orange zest
1 1/2 to 2 cups blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 T orange juice
Whisk together sour cream, yogurt, brown sugar, vanilla, and orange zest in small bowl. Toss berries with orange juice in separate bowl.
Spread sour cream mixture in crust with spatula. Spoon berries over top a little at a time, until sour cream mixture is evenly covered.
Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes before serving.