I hope you aren't too disappointed or angry with me when I tell you that I don't have anything clever or exciting to give away for my blogoversary. My excuses are legion: busy-ness, forgetfulness, sleepiness. Instead, I offer you these gooseberry tartlets. I knew as soon as I saw these berries at the farmers market that I had to make something out of them. How cute are they?
These tartlets are, if I do say so myself, just as a summer sweet should be: not too sugary or filling, a little bit tart, crumbly, juicy, fruity, and addictive. The homemade whipped cream - with a hint of jasmine extract - is a subtle, delicate complement to the tart berries. (Thanks to Deana of Lost Past Remembered for the extract!)
But before I get to the recipe, I must take a small detour and express my gratitude to my fellow bloggers and readers. When I started this blog one year ago, I never imagined that anyone would really want to read my ramblings about food. And if it weren't for your encouragement, I doubt I would have continued. In fact, looking back on my early posts and reading the kind comments from awesome bloggers like Drick, Claudia, Penny aka Jeroxie, Ruth, Silvia, Brie, Rebecca, Natasha, Alta, Miriam (and many more!) makes me realize that food bloggers really are the nicest people around.
I wish I could make a tartlet for each of you!
Gooseberry Tartlets with Jasmine Whipped Cream
makes 6 4" tartlets
For the dough (a basic pate sucree):
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup unbleached AP flour, plus extra for dusting
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups red gooseberries, stems removed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp toasted Saigon cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
pinch of java pepper
1 Tbsp flour
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp confectioners (aka icing) sugar
1 drop jasmine extract
For the dough, cream together the butter and sugar in a mixer, using the paddle attachment. Add the salt, vanilla, and egg yolk until combined. Add the flour slowly, until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm.
Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface, rolling in one direction, then turning the dough 90 degrees after each roll until it's about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles slightly larger than your tartlet shells, and gently drop the dough in and press along the sides. However ...
... Trying to do this during a heat wave in a house with no central air (just window units around here I'm afraid!) was challenging, to say the least. It started out fine:
And then the heat started melting the butter in the dough and it stuck to the counter and turned to mush. Luckily, you can re-roll pate sucree without too much harm. But after chilling my dough twice (and icing down the counter, as well as sticking my hands in the freezer!) only to have it melt in the heat once again, I came up with a new approach. I put the dough in a Zip Loc bag (I had just run out of plastic wrap, the horror!) and rolled/pressed it out to my desired thinness:
I stuck the whole thing in the freezer for 10 minutes, and then cut the plastic away and quickly cut out my circles:
Next, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and java pepper. Remove 1 tbsp of the mixture and combine that with the flour. Sprinkle this floured mixture on the bottom of the shells. (I don't normally like cinnamon in summer desserts, but the toasted Saigon cinnamon is a bit spicy and really works for me here.) Place the gooseberries in a single layer:
Sprinkle some of the sugar mixture (the one without the flour) over the tops of the berries, and bake in a 375 degree oven until the crusts are brown, about 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the whipped cream, simply combine the cream, sugar, and jasmine in a mixing bowl and whip on low speed, using the whip attachment, until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes should do it.
Just a drop of jasmine!
Once the tartlets cool, top with the cream and enjoy. Believe me - you will enjoy!
And now, if you will please indulge me as I engage in a bit of shameless self-promotion (it is my blogoversary after all). One of the reasons I've been so busy lately is because of my new gig as online food and drink editor for the Urbanite magazine. Well kids, it's finally arrived - my weekly ezine launches tomorrow! To get it right in your inbox every Thursday, you can sign up at UrbaniteBaltimore.com, (it's free) or click the purple Urbanite button at the top right of this post. To tantalize you, I'll let you in on a little secret - the first issue is all about something that's near and dear to my heart ... cocktails.
Enough about me. Go make some gooseberry tartlets! And thank you again for reading - here's to another year.