1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water
2 cups (1 pint) fresh raspberries or 1 - 6 ounce (170 gram) package (have extra raspberries on hand)
3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste
Pie Crust: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour about 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add the remaining water, a little at a time, if necessary.
Place the pastry on your counter, gather it into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour to chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Once the pastry has chilled, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) round. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness). Transfer the pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the pastry with about 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of sugar, leaving about a 2 inch (5 cm) border. Arrange the raspberries on top of the pastry, placing them stem ends down. Make sure the raspberries are placed very close together. (If possible, use raspberries that are of uniform size.) Gently fold the edges of the pastry up and over the filling, pleating as necessary, being careful not to squash the raspberries. Sprinkle the remaining 1 - 2 tablespoons (15-25 grams) of sugar (or to taste) over the raspberries.
Bake the tart in your preheated oven for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the raspberries have given off just a little of their juices. (Watch carefully as you want the raspberries to hold their shape and not be mushy.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. If desired, dust the top of the tart with powdered sugar. Serve plain or with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Serves about 6-8 people.
What's your favorite berry? Mine's raspberries. I always thought Waverley Root in his excellent book Food described raspberries perfectly, "rich, exotic, spice-laden and with a hint of musk". This Raspberry Tart is a nice way to bake with raspberries. It takes ruby red raspberries, at their prime, and arranges them on top of a buttery round of pastry. Nothing else is needed, save a sprinkling of sugar. It is excellent warm from the oven, at room temperature, or even cold. Of course, a great accompaniment is a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
When baking with any fruit it is important to use the best you can buy. Raspberries are no exception so look for ones that have a deep red color, are plump and juicy without the cores attached. If the core is still attached the raspberries were picked too early and the berries will be sour. And be sure to avoid berries that are soft and mushy or have any bruises, black spots or mold. You need to check the underside of the container and pass by those that have squashed berries or red stains. If possible, use raspberries that are of uniform size to make this tart look its best. Once the tart has been assembled a hot oven is needed to brown the crust quickly and allow the raspberries to release a little of their juices (you want them to keep their shape). I like to serve this tart within a few hours of baking, so the pastry is still wonderfully crisp and the raspberries are still warm and fragrant with their perfume. However, leftovers can be covered and placed in the refrigerator.