As you may have noticed, I try to keep things pretty healthy on the farm blog. After all, Waltham Fields is primarily a vegetable farm, and just about everyone could use more of this food group in their lives. But many of those keen to consume a "locavore" or "mocavore (mostly locavore)" diet are active preservationists, too. I myself began preserving foods just a few years ago, but still find that by the beginning of the next growing season many a jar of preserves, be they sweet or savory, line my cupboard shelves. So what is one to do? Make what I've called a "cupboard" tart. The idea is simple: use what you've got on hand to make a delicious treat.
For this particular pastry, I used my homemade blueberry jam and peaches, both canned in the summer of 2011 using local produce purchased at peak season. Continuing with this theme, the original recipe for the tart crust called for two sticks of butter and buttermilk; since I only had one stick of butter in the fridge and no buttermilk, I swapped in the remaining coconut spread and nut cream I had on hand from a no-bake chocolate coconut cookie I recently made. It turned out wonderfully!
Makes one 11-inch tart
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick of unsalted butter*
- 4 oz coconut spread*
- 1/2 cup sweetened nut cream (I used an almond-cashew blend)
- 1 half-pint jam (I used blueberry)
- 1 quart whole fruit, drained (I used peaches in light syrup, drained and sliced 1/4" thick)
- sugar for sprinkling
To make the tart dough, place the butter and coconut spread in the freezer for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Add the fats and cut in with a pastry blender until the dough is crumbly (dough pieces should be no larger than peas). Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest at least one hour in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer. After this resting, add the nut cream all at once and quickly mix with one hand, breaking up big clumps as needed. Once again, cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest at least one hour in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer.
After the dough has rested, pour the crumbles into the tart pan. Gently push the crumbles into the bottom of the pan and up the sides, creating a crust that is roughly 1/4" thick on the bottom and up to 1/2" thick around the sides. Loosely cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and place the tart pan in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for 30 minutes.
While you wait, you can prep the filling. Open and stir the jam so it's loosened up for spreading onto the crust. If necessary, drain and slice the whole fruits. This is also a good time to preheat the oven with a separate baking sheet inside to 425 degrees F.
Once rested in the pan, spread the jam onto the bottom of the tart crust in an even layer. Arrange the fruits as you please and sprinkle with sugar (coarse is lovely but the regular stuff is fine, too).
Place the tart pan onto the preheated baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes (this should prevent the tart crust from getting soggy). Quickly but carefully remove the tart pan from the baking sheet, returning both to the oven with the tart pan on a rack directly above the baking sheet in case of dripping. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the pastry's edges begin to turn golden brown. If at any point the pastry begins to darken too much, loosely cover the crust with a ring of aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.
|Every little bit counts... extra dough crumbles became a small rustic tart.|
This tart can be wrapped and stored on the counter for up to 3 days, but it best eaten within an hour or so of baking... just ask the farmers!
Images by Rebekah Carter (2012). Tart crust recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.