This tart was made because I bought three packages of fresh blackberries at 99 cents a pack (usually $3) and after we had some for a snack, I realized they would probably mold by the next day, and I would have wasted them. So, looking up blackberry recipes on Martha Stewart Living online, I found a wonderful recipe that calls for a cornmeal crust, a jar of jam and some blackberries. Perfect. And I JUST happened to have the most perfect jar of blackberry jam in my pantry, made by my friends in Seattle, who have an entire acre, basically, of wild blackberry bushes beside their house. I think jams and preserves are one of those treats that should be enjoyed in season. It’s so much more satisfying to get a jar from the literal fruits of someone’s labor, than to just go pick up any ol’ flavor you want at the grocery store. I think eating this way is another way of naturally limiting one’s sugar intake. My friend, Brynn’s dad, makes this blackberry hybrid batch of jam each spring/early summer, and sometimes, there’s no fruit and we’re all sad, and sometimes there’s an abundance and I get one, coveted jar. This stuff is the most amazing jam I’ve ever eaten. So we wait, excitedly, all year for it. Tell me that’s not better for the soul than having exactly the flavor you want, any time of the year? Cook seasonally, bake seasonally, and natural moderation will follow.
My cousin, Kathleen, and her daughter, Hannah, stopped by earlier this week to pick up the disc from a senior session I did for Hannah. Hannah’s boyfriend was with them, too, and when I asked if they’d like a piece of the berry tart I’d just made that afternoon, this precious boy’s eyes lit up and he just said, “uhhhh.” All it takes is one in your group to say “yes” for you to feel comfortable to take a piece, as well! They all stayed and ate and chatted and kept Matt and me company as we started prep for our dinner. I was in my little piece of heaven. Just wish it happened more often. I don’t always have a piece of pie or tart or cookies, but I ALWAYS have coffee. Always. So stop by any time. You might get pie, if you’re lucky!
Blackberry Jam Tart*
For the crust: (I didn’t have enough butter, so I just halved the recipe. It makes two crusts, anyway, so it worked out! I’ll post the full, two-crust recipe. This recipe also uses a food processor, which is easier, but you don’t burn as many calories and you have a food processor to clean up. Sometimes I’d rather pull a muscle than have to clean gadgets)
2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Place the flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar in a bowl and whisk until combined. Add the butter and cut with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add a few tablespoons of water and continue cutting it into the mixture until the dough holds together when pressed between your fingers. Knead it inside the bowl about 10 times until it all holds together in a ball. Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap and press into a nice disc. Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to one day before using.
For the Tart:
AP flour, for surface rolling
half a jar (about one cup) of blackberry jam
12 ounces fresh blackberries (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup toasted, sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the crust into an 11 inch round (about 1/4 inch thick) on a floured surface. Press dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch springform pan. Trim the edges to come 1 inch up the sides using a paring knife. Use the trimmings to patch up any thin areas or holes in the crust bottom. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Prick the tart shell all over with a fork. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Immediately spread jam into the tart shell, top with blackberries, sprinkle with almonds and bake for 10 minutes more. Serve warm.
*adapted from Martha Stewart Living