Made with pasta frolla (short-crust pastry), this Italian tart is as beautiful as it is delicious, whether topped with uniform raspberries or a mix of any fresh berries in season. Buon appetito!
For the crust
¾ cup (6oz/185 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup (3 oz/90 g) granulated sugar
2 cups (8 oz/250 g) cake (soft-wheat) flour
For the custard
3 cups (24 fl oz/750 ml) milk
8 egg yolks
¾ cup (6 oz/185 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (1 oz/30 g) cornstarch (cornflour)
2 cups (8z/250 g) raspberries or other fresh berries, such as blackberries, hulled strawberries, or blueberries
Confectioners’ (icing) sugar for dusting
To make the crust, in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, combine the butter, egg and granulated sugar. Add the flour and mix until a homogenous dough forms. Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter a 9½-inch (24-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 10-inch (25-cm) round 2-3 mm thick. Remove the tart pan bottom, lay the dough round over it, and trim off the overhanging dough. Place the dough-lined bottom back into the pan, Gather up the dough scraps and roll into a rope long enough to encircle the pan. Lay the rope along the inside edge of the pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides to a height of ¾ inch (2 cm). If desired, use a knife to create a zigzag along the top edge.
Line the tart shell with parchment (baking) paper, fill with dried beans or pie weights, and bake until the crust is pale and dry, about 30 minutes. Remove the beans and paper. Continue baking until golden, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Carefully transfer the crust from the pan to a serving plate.
To make the custard, in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until small bubbles start to appear around the edge of the pan, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and cornstarch until pale and creamy. Whisking constantly, slowly add about ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the warm milk to the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the remaining milk in a saucepan to cook, whisking constantly, until it thickens and begins to bubble around the edge of the pan, 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir, about 1 minute longer. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl. Let cool slightly, stirring occasionally, then pour into the tart crust, using a spatula to distribute it evenly.
When the custard has cooled completely, arrange the berries on top in a single layer. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serve. Buon appetito!
Recipe Source: A Taste of the World Cookbook
Martine’s Notes: I’m not typically a custard type of person since I prefer eating and baking cakes but I enjoyed making this creamy Italian dessert. It was fun to venture out of my comfort zone.
Creating a zigzag along the top edge was a bit challenging for me to make neat and pretty, however I had fun trying something new. If you make this tart, to make slicing easier I suggest putting the tart in the refrigerator to cool after arranging your raspberries on top, but before sprinkling sugar. Dust sugar before placing it on the platter you’d like for it to sit. This way you will not have sugar all over your platter. Slice, serve, enjoy!