Nectarine Huckleberry Tart

I often think way too much about what others think of me.  My decisions, my actions, my thoughts so quickly go toward what the person next to me is thinking.  I get taken captive, in a sense, by the possible judgement or objection of somebody else’s thinking, someone else’s moral compass, someone else’s way of doing things, someone else’s opinion.

I decide things based on what I believe other people would like.  I look for approval. I want someone else’s “okay.”  I look to someone else to validate me.

I was reminded last week that everyone has some kind of ugly baggage that they are carrying around with them.  Or even just a part of their life that they think others might label as wrong or weird or what have you.

I was reminded that those people I am so worried about are just like me.  No better.  No worse.  We are on equal ground.

I can live my life even when someone disagrees.

Sigh.

This past week I decided to make a tart.  This tart took forever to decide upon because I was worried about how it would turn out.  And I was worried about that because I was taking it to a work bbq and I wanted everyone there to like.

I really get ridiculous sometimes.  I mean who doesn’t like a buttery crust topped with fruit?  Someone, I am sure of it.

The crust for this tart is super simple.  Flour, almond, and butter get weighed and measured.  Then lemon zest is mixed into the sugar.  This helps release the oils in the zest which means a more pronounce lemon flavor in the final product.

All of these ingredients are worked together until the flour is completely incorporated and the dough is crumbly. The dough is then pressed into a tart pan.

Just use your fingers thats definitely the best way to do it.

Huckleberries, which I proudly picked myself, are rinsed and dried off a bit.

Deliciously fragrant nectarines are split open and cut into small wedges.

Take a minute to admire the gorgeous fruit!  Such brilliant colors…

Huckleberries go in first.  Nectarines are layered on top.  I start around the outside edge first and move toward the center.  It doesn’t have to be perfect… quit caring about what other people will think. (I’m talking to myself here)

Now, bake that beauty!

I absolutely love the colors of this tart after its been baked.  Deep purple, mauve, and taupe.  Perfect.

I have to say this tart was a success.  There is a thick layer of lemony crust, which I greatly appreciate.  A touch of cinnamon adds a warmth to the sweet nectarines and tart huckleberries.  A scoop of gelato is a nice touch… just a suggestion.

And yes, the co-workers thought it was delicious.

Nectarine Huckleberry Tart

Recipe from Pease Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed or use almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 nectarines, pitted and quartered
  • 1/2 cup huckleberries
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter or spray a 9 1/2 inch removable bottom tart pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl mix the lemon zest into the sugar until its incorporated well.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix in the almonds and sugar.
  4. Add the butter to the dry ingredients.  Using your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture and continue to mix just until flour is incorporated.  Dough should be clumpy not one solid ball.
  5. Dump the dough into the prepared tart pan and press dough into pan using your fingers or the flat bottom of a cup.  The dough should be flush with the top of the pan.  Place tart crust in freezer while you prepare the fruit.
  6. In a medium bowl, gently mix together the nectarines, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Let sit for a few minutes to release some of the juices of the fruit.
  7. Remove crust from freezer and sprinkle the huckleberries on top of the crust so that they lie in one single layer.
  8. Beginning with the outer edge place the nectarines along the whole outside edge of the tart pan.  Continue this process until the crust in filled with nectarines.
  9. Bake tart for about 40 minutes or until the edge of the crust is browned slightly.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack or at least 10 minutes.  Serve warm or cooled… both are delicious!

Chocolate Espresso Tart

I love weddings.  Loooove them.  Ever since I was little girl I’ve been enchanted by weddings.

The white dress.  The flowers.  The dancing.  The cake!  The vows.  The kiss.

All so romantic.  Just like a fairy tale.

Well, until you actually plan a wedding.  Then the details all seem like a nightmare.  Not that I’ve had personal experience, but I’ve heard of and witnessed a few.

Plus, Father of the Bride is one of my favorite movies of all time.  I used to watch it like everyday when I was little (seriously).   I even thought I wanted to be a wedding planner when I was in high school.  Now, not so much.  I don’t think I’m that organized and I hate talking on the phone.  Two essentials for wedding planning.

Anyways, all this babbling about weddings is leading somewhere.

My friends Tina and Chris just got married!  What a beautiful wedding.

Tina was gorgeous in her empire waisted, white gown. Chris looked dapper in his tux.  Orange, red and yellow dahlias filled mason jars, while candles and the sounds of Frank Sinatra offered a romantic ambiance.

Their love filled the tent.  It was contagious.  The way they love each other is truly inspiring.  The way they look into each others eyes would make anyone long for a romance like theirs.  God blessed them with each other.  So beautiful, so unique.  so special.  Its sort of a mushy kind of love.  But in a really good way.  Not the annoying kind of way.

The food?  Delicious!

Por Que No?, local taqueria, did the catering.  Fresh, homemade corn tortillas, yummy tamales, and salsas out the wazoo.  It was perfect.  Plus, lots and lots of sangria.  I may or may not have indulged in a little too much of that.  But enough about me…

Lets talk about these tarts!

An almond crust with bits of ground espresso filled with rich, dark chocolate truffle filling and topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean.  Can you say chocolate heaven?

If you can, that means you should make these!  They look elegant and beautiful, but won’t leave you slaving in the kitchen for hours.  I made these little chocolate jewels as wedding favors for Tina and Chris’s guests to take home.  A little piece of themselves (they both love chocolate and coffee) for their guests to take with them.

If you don’t want to make mini tarts the recipe can easily be made into one large tart for a dinner party or function, or for you to get down on all by yourself.  If you choose the latter option take it slow.  This will put you in a chocolate food coma real quick.  You’ve been warned.

I like the mini tarts myself.  My own mini dessert makes me feel special.

Chocolate Espresso Tarts

Makes about 16 mini tarts

Crust

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 Tbsp ground espresso
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil, melted

Truffle Filling

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (at least 60%; I used Guittard)
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen coconut milk)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together almond meal, espresso, sugar, and salt.
  3. Stir in coconut oil until dry ingredients are moist and clump together slightly
  4. Press crust into tart/cupcake liners.  The liners I used were self standing so I baked them on a cookie sheet, without the cupcake pan.
  5. Bake crusts for about 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  6. To make the truffle filling, heat coconut milk in a sauce pan until the edges of the milk start to simmer.
  7. Place chocolate in a large bowl.
  8. Pour milk over chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes.  Don’t stir!  Just let it sit there.  I know its hard, but you can do it.  Its important to let the chocolate melt before stirring.
  9. After 5 minutes, stir chocolate and milk together.
  10. If you’re making mini tarts, I suggest transferring the chocolate into a pourable measuring cup.  This makes it easier and a little bit cleaner!
  11. Fill the tart molds as full as you want.  I left a little room at the top just because I like the way it looks.
  12. Put tarts into the freezer for 5 or so minutes to speed up the setting of the chocolate.
  13. Top the tarts with a chocolate covered espresso bean.  And you’re done!

*If for some reason your chocolate did not completely melt just place bowl over a double boiler and stir until it melts in with the rest.

~A special thanks to my mom for helping me with the favors.  She made all the lovely tags and helped package them too!  Thank you, mom!