Today is my good friend Shelby's birthday! I've looked forward to this weekend all month, knowing that I'd be continuing my new tradition of baking for my friends on their birthdays. I decided to go all out for this one, since Shelby holds a special place in my heart.
Moving away from LA to Oregon 3 years ago was an exciting adventure, but being away from family and friends was pretty lonely and isolating at first. Right around the time I started hanging out with Shelby, the loneliness magically started to disappear and I began to feel more at home here. I love having her in my life, and she's one of those people who I know I'll be friends with for a really, really long time.
Happy birthday, Shelbs!
When I asked what she wanted for her birthday treat, she said either a berry pie or a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. Well, I was feeling defiant this week and made neither. Instead, I made variations on both!
First up is a raspberry tart. I know that raspberries are Shelby's favorite fruit, and to tell you the truth, I'm scared of pie crust. So when my friend Julie emailed me a recipe for her favorite berry tart, I decided to make that instead of a pie. This tart is special because the crust is brushed with melted chocolate before adding the filling. I figure that the chocolate will cancel out any disappointment Shelby might have about not having a birthday pie.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Shelby's birthday dessert, my wildly successful cupcake experiment.
Chocolate Raspberry Tart
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3-oz. semisweet chocolate
3 cups fresh berries, divided
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
1. Make the crust: In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg. When fully incorporated, stir in flour and salt until dough comes together. Press dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Roll chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is large enough to cover a 9 or 10-inch round pie tin. Press into pan and up the sides. Poke bottom crust a dozen times with a fork.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until edges just begin to turn golden. Cool completely.
4. When crust has cooled, melt chocolate in a small bowl and use a small offset spatula or pastry brush to brush an even layer of chocolate on the inside base and sides of the crust. Chill until ready to use.
5. Make the filling: Combine 1 1/2 cups of the berries with 3/4 cup sugar in a medium sauce pan. Whisk together water and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir into berry mixture. Cook, over medium-high heat, until berry mixture comes to a simmer and begins to thicken. Stirring occasionally, boil for about 1 minute. Transfer berry mixture to a large bowl to cool to room temperature.
6. When berry mixture has cooled, stir in remaining fresh berries. Pour berry mixture into prepared crust and spread into an even layer.
Refrigerate (up to 2 days) until ready to serve.