Passing Judgement….


There are very few times when I get judgmental in life. Having dessert in a restaurant is one of them. Oh I don’t mean your mom and pop type place, I mean any place that actually has a pastry chef on staff. I went to lunch with my friend J the other day. She ordered a blackberry and lime tart(I went for the peach cobbler with spiced bourbon ice cream). When it came out it looked throw together as if we had come at the mad rush time and had not actually ordered it at 2 pm when us and six other people are in the restaurant. This bothered me immensely. You see, if we were at someone’s home, I probably would not have noticed. But this, this is a restaurant, one I frequent often. And I hold restaurants in a different standard. J, actually liked the taste of the tart very much, but food snob me just could really not get past the presentation. I mean the tart cream was smeared everywhere and down the sides all glopped up. I’m quite sure that my 3 year neighbor could have put it together better.
Coming home after lunch it was still bugging me. So when I saw that we were doing the lemon cream tart for Tuesday’s with Dorie, I knew that instead I wanted to try my hand at the blackberry and lime tart. There really aren’t that many modifications. I used lime juice instead of lemon and did not discard my zest. When the lime cream was done, I simply took out half of it and added 10 blackberries(fresh ones) to the blender and let them whirl with the remaining half of the lime cream. Simple as that.
Not being a huge tart/pie fan I must say that I really enjoyed this tart. Of course it could be the LARGE quantities of butter that is used that won me over. I would definitely make this again, as well as serve it to others.
Thanks to Mary of Starting From Scratch for this great pick! See all the other TWD participants here.

The Most Extraordinary Blackberry and Lime Tart

For the crust
1 ¼  cups all purpose flour
¼ cup almond flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked

To make the crust, put the flours, icing sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.
Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is coarse, around the size of oatmeal and/or peas.
Add the egg yolk a little at a time, pulsing after each addition and then processing in 10-second pulses once the whole egg has been added until the dough forms clumps.
Turn the dough onto a flat work surface and lightly knead the dough until all dry ingredients are just incorporated.
Butter a 9 inch fluted removable-bottom tart pan. I used smaller tart pans of various sizes.
Press the dough into the pan evenly. Freeze for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit it tightly against the crust.
Bake for 25 minutes. 15 minutes for the smaller ones.
Carefully remove the foil, and press the dough down gently if it has puffed using the back of a spoon.
Return it to the oven for another 8 minutes, or until it is beautifully golden brown.


For the lime cream:
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 4 limes
4 eggs
¾ cup lime juice (4 limes)
2 sticks + 5 tbsp (10.5 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
For the cream:

Before you start the lime cream, have a candy thermometer, a strainer and a blender at hand.
Simmer a little water in a saucepan.
Put the sugar and lime zest in a large heatproof bowl.
Off the heat, rub the mixture together with your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and aromatic.
Whisk in the eggs and then the lime juice.
Set the bowl over the pan of water and whisk continuously until it reaches 180°F
As it gets close to temperature it will start to thicken. This can take up to 10 minutes, so be patient!
Remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the blender.
Discard any solids. Let the cream stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes, or until it cools to 140°F.
Turn the blender(or food processor)on high, and add the butter a few pieces at a time.
Scrape down the sides to incorporate the butter.
Keep the machine on for 3-5 minutes once the butter is in to ensure a perfect lime cream
Pour into an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (it will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days).

Assembly:

When you are ready to assemble the tart, whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell.
Serve the tart or refrigerate as needed.

Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Comments

  1. That looks deliciously appealing! I love the two colours together. Reminds me of when I lived on the banks of the Georgian Bay and spent long late summer afternoons blackberrying in the bush. Your pastry looks very crisp. I came here looking for lemon tart and got an extra bonus! Well done!

  2. OMG – lime and blackberry?!? I think I’m in love!

  3. I feel the same way about restaurants with a resident pastry chef – they need to be up to snuff. :)

    What a great combination you’ve made. Beautiful as always.

    Julius from Occasional Baker

  4. Fabulous Peabody.

  5. What a wonderfull idea to use blackberries.

    And I agree, although there are tons of butter in the recipe I’ll serve it again, perhaps with blackberries :-)

  6. I don’t blame you for being judgmental about how unacceptable that dessert looked – I’m judgmental about ALL meals at restaurants; especially ones with renowned chefs (remember my experience with the salty, unpalatable vegetable dish at Jean-Georges in NYC, that I blogged about? haha). All I can say is that YOU should be a pastry chef!! Show them how it’s done!! As you’ve done with that blackberry & lime tart (which truly IS extraordinary)!

  7. this is so beautiful….i really like your variation. we have a favorite restaurant here that has state of the art pastries, so when I go anywhere else I just compare and judge! hey, if i’m paying for it instead of making it myself, it better be good!

  8. That actually looks and sounds better than the lemon to me. How inventive and delicious!

  9. What a gorgeous presentation, as usual! And the colors are so vibrant, great variation!

  10. Wow. I really have to say this is my FAVORITE recipe of yours. Hands down.

  11. Your tart looks like the dessert your friend should have been given, Pea. Just beautiful!

  12. I hear you about the restaurant’s presentation. If I am going to spend good money on a fancy dessert, it had better look beautiful – like yours does. The blackberry was a stroke of genius!

  13. Congratulations! You won an award for being excellent. Check it out on my blog…

  14. How adorable to see the two colors and flavors together. Love it!

  15. As always, beautiful job. I love the combination and that you went with limes! I agree about the restaurant. I think for me it has to do with the fact that if I can make it, and I’m going to pay them to make it instead, it should be worth my money so I get a little thrill from ordering. There are desserts that can be ugly and it fits them, but a tart is definately not one of those things!

  16. oh that sound like a delicious combination! Great idea! Beautiful pictures as always!

  17. Wonderful idea, and great presentation!

  18. that looks more elegant and beautiful and delicious than most professionally-made desserts i’ve seen. kudos to you! :)

  19. Delicious looking. You are right in saying that presentation is key since after all, we eat with our eyes firt. The first sense awakened.

  20. Holy yum! That looks amazing. I so want to try it. Beautiful Peabody!

  21. I love that you made up for your disappointment by making your own lovely tart… and as usual, your presentation is flawless.

  22. Well your presentation is pretty darn fantastic. I am the same way. I expect it to look nice if its a fancy place.

  23. I think that your presentation sets a pretty high bar for restaurants to have to follow (is that a mixed metaphor?)

  24. This is the same cream I used for the last DB challenge – it is my absolute favorite!

    And your presentation looks amazing!

  25. I’m sorry, did someone say “spiced bourbon ice cream”?

  26. It looks fabulous…and those cookies in the previous post…YUM!!!!

  27. I keep telling myself that I need to buy some tart pans, and this recipe is just one more reason to add to the list. When I get my pans, I have some savory and sweet tarts that I will have to try. I could really use a piece of that right now… want to send it to my office in Chicago? ;)

  28. what an adorable tart, Peabody! The cream looks delicious.

  29. Even though I’m not a baker, I also have high expectations of restaurant desserts. I think my hopes have been raised by all of the wonderful dessert presentations I see on blogs like yours.

  30. I think the two colors look great together. We absolutely loved this tart. Frankly, I was really surprised at my husband’s extremely enthusiastic response. I had to freeze it so that we both would stop eating it!

  31. How pretty! and double the dessert for the same calories, you’re a genius :)

  32. I’m with you on restaurant desserts… if I’m paying $6-10, I expect something more than my toddler nephew could produce (*without* a recipe, since he’s not yet reading).

    I’m also in agreement that just about anything’s better slathered in butter. :D

  33. I’m definitely judgmental when I’m out to eat but I find a lot of my friends are not so much so I try to keep my comments to a minimum cause I think I just come off as snobby. But come on- I hate when a restaurant sticks a strawberry on top of a dessert when it’s not strawberry season and it tastes nothing remotely like a strawberry. I know I’m not the only one who thinks this!

  34. This looks marvelous! Lime and blackberries sound like a mouth watering combination, yummy!

    btw…I would have gone for the for the peach cobbler with spiced bourbon ice cream too ;-)

  35. i am passing judgment – this looks extraordinary and i am loving the flavor combination!

  36. Tarts = love. Especially in spring, with all the fresh fruits… I don’t know how you held yourself back from spilling blackberries all over these little cuties. I know I would not have stayed my hand! I think after the flavorless winter, I’m slightly tipsy off of all the fresh fruit. :)

  37. By the way, I hope you don’t mind me adding you to my blogroll. I love your blog and I’m tired of having to look for the link everytime! :D

  38. Wow, the two creams in one tart looks stunning.

  39. My god I feel exactly the same!!! Was in a restaurant recently and ordered a pear and almond tart, while the presentation was nice it was like cement!!! Horrendous!!! I could have made better in my sleep!!! There is no excuse for shoddy desserts when there’s a pastry chef on staff, if they can’t make it let me in the kitchen, pay me, and I’ll do a damn good job!!!

  40. courtney says:

    Sounds great, but I love just about anything with blackberries.

    As to your restaraunt experience, I could see if the cobbler was messy as when they are warm they are goey and hard to dish neatly, but the tart? Yeah that just seems lazy.

  41. I’m still working on my tart right now (crust in the freezer right now) but have to say that yours is beautiful and mine will look nothing like it!

  42. The pastry chef probably left the building when he/she saw you come in the restaurant! So it could very well be the dishwasher who had to make that tart for your friend.
    See? You put them to shame.
    Smashing tart, Peabody.

  43. Oh wow. You never fail to amaze me. This is absolutely gorgeous and I bet it was delicious.

  44. what a lovely tart, so creamy and delicious looking. love the two flavors, i’m sure it was a great combo. and you should hold restaurants to a higher standard! but too many people simply take what comes out of the kitchen without any pause, and so they don’t bother. but glad it gave you the chance to make such a beautiful tart at home!

  45. I love it! Such a beautiful combination!

  46. Its a 2for! I love 2fors. A 2for tart can’t be bad right?!! :)
    Clara

  47. Holy macro! Your pics are amazing. And despite my fear of diabeetus, dare I say, delicious looking!

  48. Your tart looks magnificent! I will have to try this when my parents come for a visit.

  49. Wow, that looks amazing! I love that combination. It looks beautiful and delicious. And I hear you on presentation at restaurants :)

  50. beautiful job…and fantastic combination

Trackbacks

  1. [...] how they just threw it all together. So much so that I ranted about it on my other blog and made my own blackberry and lime tart just to show them how it was done. I have since been back and had no issues. So I am hoping it was a [...]

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