Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday Farmer's Market Brunch for Ten... Part Five: Almondberry Tarte

Potato Leek Gratin, Farmer's Market Quiche, Almond Berry Tarte, Nectarine/Plum Pound Cake, Herb Infused Breakfast Meats.  Served on vintage, hand-painted, artistan signed plates from the Tonalo region of Mexico, 1940' s green Seneca Driftwood glasses, vintage Coorsite ball pitchers, crystal cake pedestals all from my collection.  All vintage wares come from my spelunking on ebay and in flea markets for a fraction of their worth. Shall I blog about my spelunking???(Ikea flutes bought on sale for less than $1 each... I have about 50 stored away for parties.)

 I should have made two of these Almondberry Tartes because this one dissappeared faster than I could blink!

No, there is no such thing as an Almondberry, so don't bother googling it!  The berry farmer at the farmer's market was kind enough to let me sample his berries Sunday morning.  The blackberries were tart, the blueberries were mild, and the raspberries were just right.  I decided to take a basket of each of them home, not quite sure what I would do with them.  I'd also purchased a lovely little plastic container from the Almond growers, filled with naturally sweet, fresh ground almond paste.  I didn't know what I would do with that either.  But I knew that marzipan was one of the austrian's favorite things from back home.

This pie/tarte looks pretty on the table, but I must warn you that structurally, you won't be eating this in neat little wedges because it falls apart.  You'll have to serve it with a spoon.  The berries are made into a compote then layered over a cream cheese/sour cream mixture, with almond paste in the very bottom.


Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries   You'll need about 6 cups total, and you can use any combination of the three, two, or one kind of berry.  Demerara Sugar  I try not to use white granulated sugar when I can avoid it.  If you can't find Demerara or Turbinado sugar, the same amount of regular granulated will work as well.  Vanilla  I used Vanilla Bean Paste which you can find in most larger Whole Foods or other gourmet shops.  You can also use the same amount of pure Vanilla Extract.  Flour Pie Crust I don't mind making my own crusts when I have the time, however, you can also get perfectly good ready made pie crusts in the refrigerator section where you find the cookie dough, biscuit, croissant doughs in those tubes.  The one I use is not frozen, and is sold in a box with two crusts ready to go into your favorite pie dish or tin.  Sour Cream 1/2 cup.  Cream Cheese  Get the spreadable kind in the tub.  You'll need 8 oz. for this recipe. Egg  You'll need one egg... farm fresh?  find them at your local farmer's market! Almond Paste You'll find this almond paste sometimes in the form of marzipan in some larger grocers, almost all middle eastern, mediterranean, or international grocers.  Or use the links above to purchase online or make your own a day or so ahead of time...

Prepare your crust by placing it in a tarte dish/pan and turning in the edges so that they don't hang over the edge of the pan. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spread the almond paste into the bottom of the pie crust and press into place with your fingers and smooth and place the dish on a cookie sheet covered with foil. 
In a medium size sauce pan cook berries, 1/2 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of cinnamon over medium heat. 
While berries are cooking, make the cream cheese filling.
In a mixing bowl combine egg, cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla until well combined.  
Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the almond paste in the pie crust. 
Your berries should be cooked down and a syrup formed.  Don't over cook, you want them to be softened but not completely broken down. 
Spoon the berries over the top of the cream cheese mixture. Save extra berries and syrup for serving at the table or use at another time over pancakes or waffles.

Bake your tarte for about 40 minutes, until crust edges are nice and golden. 

Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.  

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