This colorful, refreshing tart is bound to be a hit, especially after long sultry days spent in the sun. The creamy, chilled custard and sweet, juicy fruit makes for a treat that’s opulent without being too heavy, and a dusting of fresh herbs lends it a hint of savoriness.
Get the perfect flaky pastry with one of our ready-to-bake frozen pie shells from Blue Duck Bakery, and if you want to keep the filling simple as well, a dense whipped cream can be substituted for the custard below—but we think its deliciousness justifies the extra effort it requires.
A generous garnish of chopped herbs offsets the sweetness of ripe berries and elevates this tart to sublimely summery heights; we chose rosemary and thyme but any green herb with a woodsy aroma would lend itself nicely to this dish.
And as the local berry season peaks, we’ll continue to have batches of ripe local berries arriving weekly, including organic strawberries grown in the Hudson Valley region and beautiful blueberries from New Jersey that are perfect for assembling into this tart.
We assure you that plates will be licked clean, and no crumb will be left behind with this scrumptious taste of summer!
Summer Berry Tart with Rosemary & Thyme
1 Union Market Blue Duck Bakery frozen pie shell
1 quart whole raw almonds (or substitute dried beans or pie weights)
5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1½ cups whole milk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp Cognac
1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp heavy cream
1 cup whipped heavy cream
1 quart strawberries, destemmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 pint blueberries
1 cup blackberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 sprigs rosemary, destemmed and roughly chopped
4 sprigs thyme, destemmed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Remove the pie crust from the freezer. If using anything other than almonds as pie weights, place a piece of parchment paper over the crust first. Spread the almonds evenly over the bottom of the crust and bake for 20 minutes or until a light golden brown. (The almonds will infuse the crust with flavor—plus you’ll have freshly roasted almonds for snacking on later!)
Let the crust cool completely before removing almonds.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggyolks and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Turn the mixer to low and add in the cornstarch, beating until combined. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.
With the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture to combine. Then pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Try to prevent the mixture from curdling by removing the pan from the heat if it starts to boil. If curdles happen to form, remove from the heat, and beat vigorously to eliminate any curdled bits.
Continue to gently cook the custard mixture over low heat, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes, or until custard becomes very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla extract, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream.
Pour the custard through a sieve into a very wide bowl or small casserole dish (a wider, shallower container will allow the custard to chill faster). Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard and refrigerate at least an hour, until chilled.
Place the strawberries and blueberries in separate bowls and stir in 1 tbsp of granulated sugar to each bowl of fruit. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
Remove the custard from the fridge and stir the whipped cream slowly into the custard.
Pour the custard-cream mixture into the crust.
Drain the berries of any liquid. Place the strawberries on the outer edge of the tart, filling in the center with with blueberries. Top it all off with blackberries and garnish with thyme and rosemary. Drizzle the olive oil over the berries and herbs before just before serving.
Keep chilled if not serving immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers.