blackberry macaroon tart

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Well folks, the dinner I eluded to last week went swimmingly. We had a nice, comfortable 11 people, much better than the 14 the husband was pushing for.

Along with that evening, we had brunch the next morning with my dad so I spend a good chunk of my long weekend cooking.

I'm not complaining, I love cooking, I just hate dishes. I wish there were fairies that did dishes.

But like my 4 year old cousin says, "Fairies aren't real. They're just pretend."

( She's obsessed with Tinkerbell. )

Of course my favourite thing to make is dessert. I'm usually in charge of dessert anytime there's a family event, but when it's at our house, a girl needs to impress.

I've been eyeing this tart for a few weeks. It's from Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson and it's a new favourite.  I bought this cookbook about a week ago after listening to twitter/facebook/blogs rave about it. I needed it in my fat, little fingers.

I'm so glad I did. The amount of bookmarked recipes I have in that book is amazing. I can't wait to cook more and more and more out of it.

Back to the tart. It's dead simple to make, uses natural ingredients that aren't usually used in my baking (crack pie is definitely not natural) such as cane sugar, whole wheat pastry flour and spelt flour. The crust is a crunchy, sweet base for a filling of sweet, plump blackberries. I couldn't find fresh blackberries anywhere, so I used frozen and they worked fine. The macaroon part of this tart is the topping of coconut and egg whites which creates that chewy, macaroon cookie feeling to this tart. All topped off with some pistachio crumbles. Ah-maze-ing.

Blackberry Macaroon Tart
[ adapted from Super Natural Everyday ]

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
3/4 cup sifted and lightly packed natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1/2 cup sifted and lightly packed natural cane sugar
4 large egg whites
8 ounces frozen blackberries
1/3 cup pistachios, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round tart pan with non-stick spray.

To make the crust, in a large bowl, combine the flours, coconut, sugar and salt. Stir to combine, add the melted butter and mix until all the dry ingredients have been moistened. Dough will be crumbly looking, but will stick together when pressed with your hands. Firmly press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, it will form a solid, flat layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden, press down bubbles if they form while cooking.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the macaroon topping by combining the coconut, sugar and egg whites. Mix well.
Distribute blackberries in a single layer over the tart crust, dollop spoonfuls of the macaroon topping over the berries. Don't worry about covering it all in a single layer, it looks prettier when some berries poke through. Use your hands to mush the macaroon topping into the spaces between the crust and the berries.

Bake the tart for 20 - 25 minutes or the peaks of the macaroon topping are very golden. Remove from oven and top with crushed pistachios. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.