Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Nothing says elegant, sophisticated chocolate raspberry tart like…a pig roast?  I’d like to pretend that this dessert and post was inspired by a lazy afternoon stroll by the local farmer’s market where I stumbled upon beautiful pints of fresh picked raspberries.  But I’d be lying… Yesterday was my best friend’s (see post Strawberry Hand Pies) husband’s birthday.  He is currently in Italy.  But we decided to celebrate his birthday without him.  With a pig roast.  Obviously!

Of course this special occasion (it’s his 30th birthday) called for a delicious dessert…one which includes cooked fruit…which he hates!  My friend suggested something with chocolate and raspberries and after searching on epicurious for some time, I found a chocolate raspberry tart recipe.  I’ve adapted the recipe quite a bit both for economical and flavor purposes (if you stuck with the original recipe you would probably end up spending about $30 on raspberries).  The tart starts with a buttery chocolate crumb crust.  It is then filled with a layer of chocolate ganache, followed by a layer of raspberry mascarpone cream filling.  Finally, it is topped with fresh raspberries.  It is the perfect ending for any elegant dinner party…or pig roast!

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Crust

1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer or Oreo cookie crumbs
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Raspberry Mascarpone Filling

1/4 cup raspberry puree (can use 6 0z. frozen raspberries instead of 12 oz. unless you want leftovers)
1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

2 pints of fresh raspberries

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine cookie crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in processor; process until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake crust until set, about 10 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack.

For the ganache, scald the heavy cream over low heat in a small saucepan.  Pour hot cream over chocolate. Wait one minute and then whisk until combined.  Chill in fridge for one hour and then spread over chocolate crust.  Chill for at least another hour before spreading raspberry mascarpone filling on top.

For the filling, combine the mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and 1/4 cup sugar in a stand mixer. Using a whip attachment, beat until mixture is smooth and stiff peaks form. Fold in raspberry puree. Spread filling evenly over cooled chocolate ganache. Cover and refrigerate tart overnight.


Arrange fresh raspberries in concentric circles atop tart. Remove tart pan sides. Place tart on platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

I have been wanting to make this ice cream for a really long time. The first time I had corn ice cream was at Olive’s in Charlestown (RIP) served on a berry crisp. I was initially a little skeptical of corn ice cream but was soon proven wrong. With the sweet corn flavor, it is slightly reminiscent of cornbread, but in a cold, smooth and creamy form. Paired with tart berries it’s the perfect combination.

This recipe is from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. For those who haven’t tried her ice cream, you are missing out. James Beard Award winning Jeni Britton Bauer has been making delicious flavors, such as salty caramel, goat cheese with red cherries, and sweet corn, since 2002. While her shops are located in Ohio (and one in Tenessee), her ice cream can be found at many national grocery stores (locally can be found at Savenor’s, Formaggio Kitchen, and South End Buttery) and even ordered online. Now that corn is coming into season, this is the perfect summer ice cream! It’s especially great on berry pie (see last post).

Sweet Corn Ice Cream (from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams)

2 cups milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 ear of corn
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened

In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside. Cut kernels off cob of corn and cut cob into large chunks; reserve kernels and cob together. In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; add corn kernels and cob and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl and discard corn solids.
Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture. Pour mixture into a plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place into a storage container and freeze at least 1 hour before eating.

Summer Berry Pie

Happy belated 4th of July!  This 4th of July I was unfortunately had the pleasure of working a 24 hour shift in the emergency room.   Generally, alcohol plus hot weather plus holidays equals lots of trauma (aka drunk people doing stupid things like driving, riding motorcylces, getting into fights or attempting to jump over bonfires) so I was prepared for the worst.  Luckily the shift was relatively uneventful.  So uneventful that I actually had time to sit down and eat dinner (a huge luxury).  My colleagues and I tried to find a BBQ restaurant that would deliver to us on 4th of July but were unsuccessful…so we settled for Mexican food…and pie!  Nothing says “America” like a burrito and a side of berry pie!  This pie uses an all butter crust and is filled with sweet strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  Topped with sweet corn ice cream (stay tuned for my upcoming post), it’s the perfect summer (or 4th of July) dessert!

Summer Berry Pie

Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 tablespoons (about) ice water

Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in processor. Add butter; pulse until coarse meal forms. Gradually blend in enough ice water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form dough into 2 balls; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; chill 2 hours or overnight.
 
Filling
 
5 cups of berries
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs flour
juice from 1/2 lemon
 

Assembly

1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out  a disk of dough on a well floured surface into an 11 inch diameter circle, about 1/4 inch thick.  Place dough into a 9 inch pie dish. 

Fill pie with berry filling.  Roll out second disk of dough and place on top of filling.  Crimp the edges together.  Brush top with egg wash and make several slits in the top to let the steam out while it bakes. 

Tip:  To prevent the edges from burning, I like to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil.  Fold a large square of aluminum foil (to cover the entire pie) in fours.  Cut the center out so that when you unfold it, the foil will cover just the edges and allow the rest of the crust to brown.  (see pictures below)

Bake pie for 40-60 minutes until crust is brown and filling is bubbling.  Let cool for 1 hour before serving.  Enjoy!