My older sisters will argue differently, but I don’t really like dessert. It’s either too sweet, or too heavy, or just too much. I’ve just enjoyed a lovely meal, how could I possibly top off a full and content belly with a pile of flour and sugar? I know, I know. What on earth is wrong with me? Especially, according to said older sisters, when I was a wee lass and my mom was off at work, I would cry and cry until my dad gave me orange (orange was my favorite color) sherbet for breakfast. No, not sorbet (that would be better, right?), orange sherbet. And yes, for breakfast.
Please don’t get me wrong. I can and DO appreciate a fine dessert. If David Lebovitz created, well, ANYTHING, in his repertoire, if he literally pulled a chocolate cake out of his sleeve and I was offered a bite, I would certainly thoroughly and blissfully enjoy every nibble.
For my birthday last fall, Adam and our dear friend B took me to the well-known Papa Haydn for dessert. Ugh, that was difficult. You see, this revelation of not liking dessert is new to me. I always thought I was too full or just not in the mood, but really, I was just kind of bored. So, after a lovely day of wine tasting, we headed over to Papa Haydn for the obligatory indulgence. Not surprisingly, nothing on the menu sounded good. Not their chocolate brownie cake, buttermilk panna cotta, or crème brulee tempted me. Nada. If I remember correctly, I picked a lemon tart and a couple of chocolatey thingies filled with liquor. Adam loves just about anything involving lemons, and B loves chocolate.
I wonder if there is a name for this sort of disorder.
Just so you don’t think I’m completely off my dot, there is one exception to this rule and that is the berry tart. I absolutely adore berries. Not only are they adorable, their delicate tartness does something delightful to my taste buds. It’s like pulling back the curtains on a beautiful summer morning and the crisp blue sky is freckled by fluffy clouds. Perfection.
Lara Ferroni turned me on to this recipe. The original version comes from the Australian magazine, Gourmet Traveller, and involves rhubarb and apples. And let me tell you, when Lara made it for our Natural Lighting Workshop back in May, it was phenomenal. It’s also darn cute, and I’ve been thinking about making a version of it every since May. I’m so glad I waited until berry season to try it out. When Adam ate some of the cobbler this morning for breakfast, for about 10 minutes I heard nothing but a clinking fork and grunts.
About 4 cups of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries (more or less depending on the size of your baking receptacle. I used a 9 1/2 inch Pyrex pie plate)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (the Aussie recipe called for caster sugar which is a finer than our granulated sugar, so I gave the sugar a good grinding in my mortar and pestle. I don’t think it is totally necessary though)
1/3 cup raw honey
2 tbsp corn flour
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup raw (turbinado) sugar
1 stick of butter, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk
Rinse your berries and let drain.
Gently stir berries with granulated sugar, corn flour, lemon juice and vanilla.
Pour into pie plate.
In a food processor, or with a hand mixer, blend flour, baking powder, salt, two tablespoons of raw sugar and butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add buttermilk and process until the dough is formed.
Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Roll out dough until it’s about half a centimeter thick.
Cut out rounds with a 3 inch biscuit cutter (I don’t have a biscuit cutter so I used a clean coconut milk can).
Lay rounds over fruit overlapping the edges a bit.
Sprinkle the rest of the raw sugar over the dough and bake in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes.
You want the berry juices to be bubbling and the dough to be golden.
Serve with cream.