Once I got home, I had a reality check and a dilemma. You see, I have an apartment-sized refrigerator (hangs head in shame). It's what came with this house, and I've learned to deal with it by being a slave to twice a week cleaning and rearranging of food. Yes, fellow foodies, I am cursed with a small refrigerator and I am pitching to my husband that this is pure torture for me.
My personal challenge: I'm not really wild about raspberries, naked and in the raw, that is . They're pretty and I love the color. I do like raspberry coulis sauce, raspberry jam and raspberry-filled treats, but my work schedule didn't allow for me to make these until the weekend (which was six days away). With that said, I resorted to freezing most of the raspberries into my upright garage freezer. Some of them will become raspberry sherbet.
My boys like raspberries, so they chomped on them for a day. Still, I knew that I needed to make something with these, fast-- or they'd go south in a hurry.
Then I remembered... a few years ago, my husband bought for me Rachael Ray's first issues of her magazine "Every Day Rachael Ray". Bear with me, those of you who groan at her voice or perky smile. I like her recipes. While her prattling can put people off, she uses easy-to-find ingredients and no canned soups or cool whip. That works for me! However, Rachael Ray admits she doesn't like to bake. So, I was surprised to find a recipe for "Raspberry Lemon Shortbread Tart" in an issue. Of course, this was written by one of her folks who writes for the magazine. I have to tell you, that this recipe is a winner. I've made it multiple times, but I've always used olallieberries.
Please allow me to rant about "dumb recipe instructions". Why are ingredients listed as "1 and 3/4 cups flour, divided? Now, I'm pretty good at math. BUT... it annoys me to have to stop and figure out how to divide it. In half? What? That's exactly what happened when I made this-- somehow, I messed up with the shortbread. I should have gotten a clue, when I blended the crust ingredients together and it was soft and sticky. Hmmmm...
The dough turned out to be a buttery pool of "ick". Great. Almost two cubes of butter wasted. See?
Since I had already prepped my ingredients (which I always do), I had to start over with the crust. Arrrrrrrrgh.
I've solved the problem by re-writing the recipe, the way I prefer-- which is "For the crust", "For the filling". I hope you like this version. I know that I do! Moving along...
This is a very quick and easy recipe (once I re-wrote the ingredients for frazzled minds), just like the rest of RR's recipes. It's very pretty, too. I used a spring form pan. You can easily substitute for most any kind of berry, and it would turn out delicious.
First, to make the crust, I use my food processor. If you want to mix the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers-- have at it. Personally, I think my Cuisinart is much faster and easier.
Pulse still crumbly and kind of dry looking (as opposed to soft and sticky), and then press into a non-stick spring form pan (or a tart pan with a removable bottom will do just fine).
Bake this at 400F for about 20 minutes. Then lower the oven to 300F.
Next, you place your berries (you can use fresh or frozen) on top of the crust. I didn't let it cool, so this saves time.
I love lemon zest, so I used two lemons, which is added to the custard mix:
You'd have to pry my microplane out of my cold dead hands--I have a collection of them...
The custard is super quick and easy to make, because you whisk it together and pour it over the berries. Bake this for 30 minutes and cool.
This tart makes a very pretty presentation, especially when dusted with powdered sugar. I also like to serve it with a dollop of whipped cream.
It's sweet and tart. The lemon is very pronounced, so you can tone it down by using only one lemon. My family loves lemon, so I use two of them.
The crust has a wonderful crunch that compliments the chewy custard and the softness of the berries. I really like this recipe a LOT.
At least the raspberries are safely stored in my freezer. I have earmarked some of these for a panna cotta with a rasberry coulis sauce. I'd like to make some raspberry jam, so I'll be searching for an easy way to make this. This tart lasted two days-- some, I brought to work. The rest, my boys devoured and gave this recipe a double thumbs up. That's all that matters to me.
By the way, I am ramping up my pleading for a bigger refrigerator. How I long to have extra drawers and bells and whistles-- yes, a french door refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom. It's not cheap, but it's time! My birthday is six weeks away, so I'm working on getting the green light from my husband.