Okay, this recipe isn't necessarily an autumn recipe but more of a late summer transitioning into autumn recipe. I think it's obvious that I've been pushing the coming of autumn like crazy, I hope you don't mind me sharing with you this little delicacy before all the red currants are gone, unless they already are. Then I regret I did not get this to you sooner.
Really, you could use cranberries for this recipe as well so I don't feel too bad that I used a mid to late summer fruit for them. A summer fruit that I said good-bye to a few weeks ago. They didn't have any at the farmer's market yesterday morning. But they did have freshly picked raspberries. Strange, I know, and I was sorely tempted I assure you. But we are on a budget... and I still spent too much. hehe
We just recently had a new market open up the road from us. It's the Sunflower Farmer's Market. I had mentioned it before, and said they didn't have a supplement section. But I was wrong; they do. I hadn't noticed it when we went the first time.
Anyway, once when I was getting produce there, I saw a magazine on the rack with the most delicious little cranberry tart on the front. I wanted that little tart with it's adorning pastry leaf in my hands at that very moment. I scored the magazine's pages and didn't find a recipe anywhere. I left the store and decided I would find a way to make it. I knew I wouldn't have much trouble, I've made tarts before. I've even made small leaves cut out of pastry crust. For Thanksgiving last year I had baked up a pumpkin pecan pie that had pastry leaves adorning the edges. So I ventured to feed my fix.
The next day on my way home from teaching I stopped by a little farmer's stand. And whad'ya know, they had red currants for sale! I bought a small basket and began dreaming up the little tart I would make. I knew the custard I would use, I'd had that bookmarked for weeks. I decided I'd use a reliablecrust, especially because I knew it was delicious and I wanted to make it soon. All I had to do was figure out how to sweeten the berries.
I made the pastry, with the 1/3 cup of wheat germ divvied between the germ and milled flax seed.
Then I made the custard, and candied the currants. yum.
If you've never made little shapes for your pies and tarts, you definitely should. I usually make cinnamon sticks with all my extra pastry dough, but making these little embellishments get quite a few ooh's and aaah's. Then while others are amazed and ask you how you did it, you're smiling because you know just how easy they are. Either that or you're smiling because you appreciate the compliments after trying over and over again making numberless mini leaves because you kept burning all the others due to a 'lack of working timer'. ahem.
Here's how you do - Using a mini cookie cutter, cut out little shapes. Then using the softer edge of a butter knife, draw in the veins/lines of desired shape. Bake on top of a sheet of parchment for about 7-8 minutes at 400°F (or until when you try to pull/peel them off the parchment paper, they don't bend but come off as one).
You can also set them right on top of your pie edges baking them with the pie and covering halfway through with foil to assure they don't burn.
Glazed Red Currants
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons water
A few drops lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla
3-ish cups red currants (or cranberries or any fruit, really.)
Bring the sugar, water, lemon juice and vanilla to a boil on medium heat. Keep boiling for about 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
Mix with the berries, and voila!
Let cool before setting the berries on top of the custard.
For a 'frosted berries' look, dip the berries in super fine sugar after you glaze them. Super fine sugar is also called Baker's Sugar, not to be confuzzled with powdered sugar. They'll look all frosted and pretty and just so wintery. Although I'm definitely not ready for that yet.
last note: When we ate them they looked great, but I think that I would have gone with a Vanilla infused custard instead of the orange one. The citrus-y custard paired with the tart currants clashed a little. I think making a more creamy custard would have complemented nicely with the tart little currants. Of course that's not to say that Tony's custard wasn't fabulous. I ate a few spoonfuls before they even made it into the tart shells; and after. :)
I also made a little galette with my extra resources. The custard set up nicely when it was baked and it was comparably yummier than the actual tarts. Baking the custard made it more creamy, like I wanted. I baked it at 400°F for about 15 minutes, basically until the edges were browned lightly.
Ooh, and go check out the giveaway I'm hosting right now. It ends Thursday evening!
Soon, there will be another (giveaway), Halloween style. You don't want to miss that!
Also, it's October; National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Support the cause by participating in the Boobie Bake Off. I'll be participating by voting. I hope you either vote or bake. Whichever you choose, please support in some way!