I think I ate my own body weight in blackberries last summer. Behind our flat in Chelmsford were miles and miles of blackberry bramble, and it seemed like we were the only ones picking them. All-you-can-eat blackberries! I was in heaven. Thinking about it now, Chelmsford seems like some kind of mythical promised land - not the land of Milk and Honey, but of berries and rosemary:
|Foraging was also a great way to avoid doing homework.|
Anyway, I thought this tart would be an appropriate tribute; not only because of the blackberries, but because of the curd base (the English are more into curd desserts - lemon, passionfruit, etc - than we are, I think). It's basically just a less cream-heavy version of custard. More fruity, less rich. Still sweet (of course, of course).
Makes about 4 large tarts, or 1 pie
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups juice from fresh (or frozen & thawed) blackberries
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup butter
Combine all the crust ingredients until you have a wet-sand texture. Press evenly into a pie plate or tart shells, and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 7 minutes. Allow to cool completely while you make the curd.
Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan - gradually whisk in blackberry juice until well mixed. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Bring this mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly and making sure nothing burns to the bottom of the saucepan. Once it's reached a boil, cook for 1-2 minutes - still whisking - until you have a thick pudding consistency. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until smooth.
Pour the curd into the tart shells or pie crust, then refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or until completely cold and set. Serve with lots of fresh berries and a grating of orange zest - lemon zest would probably be good too.