I’m always eager to use up the excess egg yolks that are the inevitable byproduct of making Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing (always much in demand around here). Unlike egg whites, yolks don’t freeze as well, I had a bag of Trader Joe’s mixed berries kicking around in the freezer, so thought, why not try a berry curd rather than lemon or lime?
Behold what comes of having extra egg yolks floating around. At least, that was my excuse. 🙂
Tangy mixed-berry curd supports a decorative wreath of fresh berries and flower-shaped pastry cutouts. A delicious and decorative summer tart.
For the tart shell and decorations
- 1 recipe Sweet Butter Pastry
- 1 egg plus 1 tsp water, lightly beaten
- 13 mm or ½” flower cutter
- 3 cm or 1” flower cutter
- clear piping gel
For the Mixed Berry Curd:
- 3 gelatin leaves or 8 ml gelatine granules
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 c mixed berry purée, strained (I used Trader Joe’s frozen Fancy Berry Mix)
- 127 g or 4 oz butter, cold
For the garnish:
- 150 g or 1 c blueberries
- 150 g or 1 c raspberries and/or blackberries
- 155 g or 1 c sweet cherries, cut in half and pitted
Make the Mixed Berry Curd:
- Soak the gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water or dissolve the gelatin granules in 3 tbsp cold water.
- Strain the egg yolks into a medium-sized pot (note: this is to remove the chalazae, the hard, stringy egg white that suspends the yolk in the middle of the white). Add the sugar and whisk until the mixture is lighter in colour (2 minutes). Add the lemon juice and mixed berry purée.
- Whisk over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and reaches 170°F (4-5 minutes). The rule of thumb is that it’s thick enough when it coats the back of a spoon, but I find the temperature method is more accurate. Whisk in the gelatin until dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and add the cubed, cold butter, beating well until combined.
- Transfer to a large, non-reactive bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Chill completely.
Prepare the crust and pastry cutouts:
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of pastry into a 12″ circle. Ease it into the 10″ pie tin, being sure to provide enough of an edge thickness to support the small flower decorations (about 1/4″). Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Roll out the second disc of sweet shortcrust into a 12” circle. Using the 13 mm or ½” cutter, cut out 75 small flowers (you may not use them all). Using the 3 cm or 1” cutter, cut out a dozen flowers. Gather up the dough scraps, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze them for another use.
- Transfer the cutouts to the rimmed baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and bake until golden brown (6-8 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- Remove the pie shell from the freezer. Crumple up a sheet of parchment paper at least 2″ wider than the tart shell, then fit it into the pie shell and fill with pie weights, pushing them gently into the edges. Bake the pie shell for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven. Holding firmly to both ends of the parchment, lift it (with the pie weights) for the pie shell.
- Using a fork, gently prick all over the bottom and sides of the pie to keep the dough from puffing up when it’s returned to the oven.
- Bake the shell until it’s fully cooked and golden brown (another 13-15 minutes). If it starts to puff up whilst in the oven, use the tines of a fork to deflate it.
- Let cool completely.
Assemble the tart
- Remove the tart from the baking tin and transfer it to a flat serving platter.
- Pour the curd into the baked shell and smooth the top with a small offset spatula.
- Attach the small flowers to the edge of the pie crust with clear piping gel.
- Arrange the berries and cherries around the edges of the tart. Scatter the 1” pastry flowers decoratively among the fruit.
Adapted from Pie Style by Helen Nugent