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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blackberries & Other Things

I am not a baker.  Not even close.  Baking is a little too precise and fussy for me.

This morning we picked up some beautiful wild Madison County grown blackberries at the Farmers Market..  I was torn between the wild blackberries and the huge plump shiny ones that most vendors were selling.  The wild ones reminded me of the blackberries my dad used to pick from the fence rows on his farm. We went wild.

I decided I would make a blackberry tart.  We were  back home in our pajamas by 10:00 am. and I really didn't have traditional ingredients for...well, anything.  Probably why I don't bake or make desserts.  Nothing on hand.  I wasn't going back out in the blazing heat, so I conjured up a little tart with what I did have on hand in the pantry.

I found an unopened box of Lemonade Girl Scout cookies left over from the cookie selling wars and ground them in a food processor with 5 tablespoons of cold butter and a few drops of cold water. Crazy. It felt dough-like.  I plopped it into a tart pan and began pushing the dough toward the edges and up the crimped sides of the removable bottomed pan.  After pre heating the oven to350 and docking the dough., I baked it for 20 minutes until it was almost brown.

Tart shell done.

I had nothing for a filling.  No marscapone or cream cheese.  Not even heavy whipping cream to whip into a gorgeous sweet airy filling.

I did have a huge naval orange, lemons, sugar, butter, and eggs.

  I love lemon curd and tranferred that method over to make  fresh orange curd.  I beat 3 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and the zest from the citruses until frothy.  I slowly heated the mixture over medium low heat and whisked until it thickened.  Once thickened, I immediately put it into a chinois to strain, covered it with plastic wrap, cuts slits to vent, and refrigerated it for several hours.

Once it was thoroughly chilled and somewhat firm, I spread the orange curd onto the lemon cookie tart shell  and sprinkled the tiny wild blackberries over the curd.  We had a jar of Kentucky Proud Windstone Farms all natural seedless blackberry jam in the refrigerator.  I heated 2 tablespoons of the jam until melted and dabbed the tops of the wild blackberries with it for a bit of glaze.  It was surprisingly lighter than I thought it would be.  The fresh orange curd was airy with just a slight hint of orange flavor, complimenting the lemon crust.  The mildly tart wild blackberries were the perfect foil to the buttery creamy curd and crunchy tart shell.
Although very tasty, I'm still not a baker.

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