Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wild Blackberry Tart

{Dessert for the Woodswoman}

The island just happened to be experiencing a bumper crop of sweet wild raspberries and plump, tart blackberries when we arrived. And so every walk and wander became an exercise in stealthy trespassing and berry-looting. Nothing beats handfuls of wild berries straight from the bush, but if you’re going to tame them with a tart you must at least honor their savage provenance by making it a rustic, unfussy tart, and not too sweet. This simple hand-formed tart, called a galette, is a perfect way to do just that. It needn’t be symmetrical nor particularly beautiful; it disappears so fast it hardly matters. The white wine-marmalade syrup is optional, but delicious. Serve with ice cream or sweetened crème fraîche and die and go to heaven.

Wild Blackberry Tart
This is a good all-around galette dough recipe to keep handy; it's pleasantly forgiving and always comes out flaky and delicious. As for the filling, any berry or stone fruit will work splendidly; experiment with the amount of sugar for the right balance of tart and sweet.

Ingredients for Crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
1 large egg yolk, beaten (for glaze)

Ingredients for Topping*:
3 heaping cups blackberries and/or raspberries (I used both)
a splash of white wine
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
a dollop of good marmalade or jam
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
squeeze of lemon juice

Directions for Crust:
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Roll up your sleeves like a milkmaid and add butter; rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons ice water; stir until dough clumps together, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 2 hours. Can be done with a mix-master, but much more fun to do by hand. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften 10 minutes at room temperature before rolling out.

Directions for Topping:
As your dough is defrosting, make syrup: whisk butter, a splash of white wine, sugar and marmalade to taste, and 1 teaspoon corn starch together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it thickens and froths and tastes outstanding. Pour syrup over berries and gently mix, adding a squeeze of lemon juice if desired, then set aside. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Place large sheet of parchment paper on work surface; sprinkle parchment with flour. Roll dough out on parchment to 12-inch round. Transfer dough (still on parchment) to large baking sheet. Starting in center of the tart, heap berries onto dough with a slotted spoon, leaving most of the liquid behind in the bowl. Leave 2-inch plain border at edge of dough. Gently fold dough border up over outer edge of berry topping, folding and crimping dough to create decorative edge. Brush folded dough edges with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle generously with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake tart until dough is golden and juices are bubbling, about 55 minutes. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Cut tart into wedges, drizzle leftover syrup over sweetened crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream and serve. BAM.

*If you forgo the syrup just add half a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of corn starch to the blackberries to sweeten and keep the tart from getting too runny.


  1. oh lily, so poetic. the marmalade syrup sounds delicious, maine, coast and berries heaven for sure!

  2. Your photos are magazine worthy. The over the top shot of the queen anne's lace with the ferns, and the pretty little pie, oh my. Rustic and lovely. Still trespassing I see.

  3. This is making my mouth water...

  4. Oh gosh! This is perfect! Im going to make these for my birthday for sure :)

  5. HELLO can we please hear about Injaaaa now!?!

  6. Yummm! We have many wild blackberries now around my neighborhood. I will have to pick some and try this recipe.

  7. Brigitta and Marilyn; do let me know if you make it and how it comes out! Play around with the fruit and syrup a bit; it's really pretty forgiving as far as recipes go.


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  12. I tried this galette, but made it with peaches, raspberries, and wild blueberries. Truly delicious - thanks for sharing the recipe.


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