Saturday, September 6, 2014

Raspberry Crumble Tart with Speculoos

Yesterday it was 41⁰C. 41!!  It was sweltering hot and I loved it but then it made me absolutely dread winter. Sorry I couldn't help it, I had to bring up that horrid word. I'm not excited at all for my thick puffy coat, or having to scrape ice off my car, or those awful bitterly cold gusts of wind numbing my face. I'm only mildly excited to make butternut squash soup and wear cozy sweaters and leather boots. Please please please weather-people, make winter short and bearable this year. 

In an ode to summer, I made this tart. The recipe caught my eye right away, it seemed easy enough, no pastry dough required, the tart layer is the same as the crumble topping. I wanted to bake using summer fruits before they all disappear. I also tweaked the recipe just slightly to make it my own: I browned the butter before mixing it into the cookie base and spread a layer of Speculoos to compliment the tart base before adding the raspberries on top (I bet Nutella would be a delicious substitute/addition too). 

The tart comes together easily, the hardest part for me was evenly pressing the cookie base to the tart pan and ensuring the sides also had a good layer of dough. This takes a certain level of patience that I don't normally have, but I kept telling myself I wanted to make it look good, so I kept pressing on (pun intended).

The tart is a beautiful tart to look at and to eat. The browned butter really sings in the tart base, giving the whole thing a lovely caramelized flavour. The tart also has sandy texture from a mixture of brown and white sugars, reminiscent of a raw shortbread cookie. After I finished wolfing down my first slice of tart, I carefully cut pieces from the remaining tart sides to nibble on it...and then I kept picking at the crumble topping for a solid 5 minutes before I shamefully decided to stop. The cookie base was the perfect vehicle for the sweet raspberries. I'd reuse the tart base for another recipe, like a chocolate ganache or a lemon curd filling.

Also, as the recipe warned that this is best eaten within the first couple of hours after it's done. The tart bottom soaks up the raspberry juices, making it soggy. I ate it the next day, it wasn't so bad and tastes even better with some thick Greek yogurt. Mmm...summer!

Raspberry Crumble Tart with Speculoos

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
1/4 to 1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, gently rinsed and patted dry

Place an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the butter and toss with your fingertips until moist crumbs form. Dump 2 1/4 cups crumb mixture into the pan and firmly press it into the bottom and up the sides. Reserve the remaining crumb mixture (about 3/4 cup).

Spread 1/4 cup raspberry preserves over the tart crust. If you feel the need for excess raspberry deliciousness, slather the crust with up to 1/4 cup more preserves. Then top with 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups raspberries—as few or as many as you please—and then sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture.

Bake the tart until the crust and streusel are a deep golden brown, 25 to 45 minutes. Let the tart cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan if you can. Slice the tart and serve it warm from the oven. (Seriously. We mean what we just said about serving it within an hour or two of coming out of the oven, as the crust becomes quite soggy if left to set for more than a couple hours, though we’ve yet to hear of any complaints about making the tart disappear in time.)

Recipe here!

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