Since we went berry-picking, we have lots of berries to use now. I’ve been eating them (fresh and frozen) with yogurt, granola/cereal, and honey for breakfast. But one day, I woke up to a sweet and nutty fragrance permeating our apartment. Following my instincts, I stumbled blearily into the kitchen. Even without my glasses, I could see that something wonderful had occurred while I was asleep: Hide had baked a berry tart.
He’s baked two of these now, and I’ve been asleep every time. In addition, I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten more of them he has. I guess life isn’t fair sometimes.
According to my interrogation of him, here’s how he does it:
Prepare pie crust.
Hide uses this recipe from King Arthur Flour (KAF), but you can use any pie crust recipe you like, including simply buying pre-made pie crust from the store. There is also a simpler KAF recipe for pie crust.
Transfer pie crust to pie plate.
When the pie crust is ready (if you’re making your own, you’ll probably need to chill it for some number of hours), roll it out and press it into a pie plate (we use a 9-inch one).
Fill with berries!
Or another natural candidate for fruit tarts, like stone fruit. Fill the plate, leaving about a quarter inch gap from the top. This gap is a safety margin to prevent your filling from bubbling over (that would mess your oven and waste berry juice — tragic!).
Stir together the rest of the filling.
The rest of the filling depends on your taste and what fruit you’re using. For additional sweetness, add sugar or honey. Honey also gives the filling additional richness and tastiness. For additional tartness, add lemon juice. To help the tart set, add one to two tablespoons of corn starch. How much depends on how much fruit you’re using; Hide tries to use enough so that all the berries are lightly dusted. Stir it a bit, but you don’t need to be too thorough (it’ll bubble and mix together in the oven anyway).
Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes.
The reason Hide adds this topping halfway through the baking is because he doesn’t think it needs to cook for very long. If you use a different topping (like a streusel) that needs more time, by all means put it on before you throw the pie in the oven. Hide’s topping is about a cup of cereal and a couple tablespoons of butter (and sugar if your cereal is unsweetened) stirred together. Our cereals are usually closer to granola than Lucky Charms; they have names like ‘oats and honey’. You could always use a real crumble topping, but I think the cereal topping is really tasty, and it’s a great way of using old cereal that might be stale.
Bake until done (about another 25 minutes).
The pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, but not too vigorously (if you didn’t add enough corn starch, though, the filling will not be thick enough to tone down the bubbling).
Let cool and eat!
Can be served room temperature or warm from the oven.