Raspberry almond tart

Raspberry Almond Tart: It tastes as good as it looks.

Bernie Mason, for Lee Montana Newspapers

Delicious raspberries have been ripening in my garden for the past couple of weeks, and I have been busy trying to keep up with getting them picked and taken care of.

My two young grandchildren are always excited to see them ripening so they can have fun picking and eating them as well. The raspberries that are purchased in the grocery stores never have the rich flavor of those that are home-grown.

Enjoy those raspberries in desserts, in many different quick breads, in salads, in a smoothie or tossed in with your morning cereal or yogurt. Not only do the raspberries taste great but they are also a nutrition powerhouse. They are low in calories and fats, but a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C.

Since the raspberries have a delicate texture, plan to consume or preserve the raspberries within a couple of days after picking. Savor the flavor of the raspberries this winter by preserving the berries in jams, jellies, syrups, or other products.

The berries are simple to freeze as well. To freeze the berries individually, rinse the berries and drain them well, then spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet that has been lined with plastic wrap. Place the pan in a freezer overnight or until the berries are frozen. Remove the frozen berries from the pan and place in freezer bags.

This raspberry tart is an impressive dessert that tastes as good as it looks. The almond flavor combines well with the tartness of the raspberries.

Raspberry Almond Tart

(Servings: 12)

Ingredients

Crust:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 stick (½ cup) unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons ice water

Filling:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

⅛ teaspoon salt

¾ cup almond flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)

1 whole egg plus 1 egg white

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon almond extract

2½ cups raspberries

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions:

For crust: Combine flour, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (butter will be the size of peas). Add ice water and process until just combined. Pour onto a clean counter and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough into a 10½ -inch circle on a floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, trimming edge. *(If you do not have a tart pan with a removable bottom, use a 9 to 10-inch spring form pan instead.) Refrigerate while making filling. For filling: In a food processor combine butter, ½ cup of the sugar and salt; process until smooth. Add almond flour, eggs, all-purpose flour and almond extract; process until smooth. Toss raspberries with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and the lemon zest. Scatter half of the berries in bottom of tart shell; spread almond mixture (frangipane) evenly over top. Scatter remaining berries over frangipane. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Source: Family Circle, July 2015.

Your breakfast or coffee time will be extra special with this easy-to-make jam made with a combination of berries. The newer pectin developed especially for use when making freezer jams, makes it possible to make the jam using less sugar than the standard liquid pectin.

Fieldberry Feast Freezer Jam

(Makes about five 8-ounce jars)

Ingredients:

1½ cups granulated sugar

1 pouch freezer jam pectin

1 cup crushed hulled strawberries

2 cups crushed red raspberries

1 cup crushed blackberries or blueberries

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and pectin, stirring until well blended. Add strawberries, raspberries and blackberries or blueberries. Stir for three minutes. Ladle jam into plastic or glass freezer jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Let stand at room temperature until thickened, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately if desired. For longer storage, refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year.

Source: Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving, 2006.

This raspberry dessert saves time by using a purchased cake mix. The meringue topping that is baked into the dessert makes this a showstopper.

Raspberry Meringue Shortcake

(Servings: 10–12)

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 pkg. white cake mix

4 egg yolks

1⅛ cups water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Ingredients Meringue Topping:

4 egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

⅔ cup toasted sliced almonds

Filling:

2 cups whipping cream

2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups fresh raspberries

Directions:

Grease and line the bottoms of (2) nine-inch round cake pans with waxed paper or parchment paper. Cake: In a large mixer bowl, combine cake mix, egg yolks, water and oil. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Remove 2 cups batter. Spread it in an extra prepared square or round pan. Bake as directed and reserve for another use. Spread remaining batter evenly in prepared round pans.

Topping: In a small mixer bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually add sugar, beating to stiff peaks. Carefully spread meringue over batter in round pans, sealing meringue to edge of pan. Sprinkle almonds evenly on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Meringue will puff during baking. Cool completely in pans on a wire rack. Carefully remove from pans. *Hint: Loosen edge with a knife then turn cake over on a tea-towel-covered board. Remove paper and turn over right-side up on rack.

Filling:

Beat cream, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla together until stiff peaks form. Assembly: Place 1 cake layer meringue-side down on a serving plate. Spread cream on top. Reserve a few berries for top. Place remaining berries over cream. Put second cake layer meringue-side up over berries. Chill until serving. Store leftover cake in refrigerator.

Source: Duncan Hines Cake Mix Magic, 125 Easy Desserts Good as Homemade.

Bernie Mason has written the Local Flavor column for the Billings Gazette for three years or so. She was Yellowstone County extension agent for 24 years. Mason grew up in Sidney in a family of German and Danish ancestry.

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