Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Redeeming the Berries

1.to buy or pay off; clear by payment: to redeem a mortgage.
2.to buy back, as after a tax sale or a mortgage foreclosure.
3.to recover (something pledged or mortgaged) by payment or other satisfaction: to redeem a pawned watch.
4.to exchange (bonds, trading stamps, etc.) for money or goods.
5.to convert (paper money) into specie.
6.to discharge or fulfill (a pledge, promise, etc.).
7.to make up for; make amends for; offset (some fault, shortcoming, etc.): His bravery redeemed his youthful idleness.
8.to obtain the release or restoration of, as from captivity, by paying a ransom.
9.Theology. to deliver from sin and its consequences by means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner.

Are there ever times when you wish you weren't quite such an honest customer? For example, when you stop at a roadside berry stand and buy exchange your firstborn for a quart of black raspberries, only to get them home and find they are more tart then the sour patch gummies that make your eyes water and your tummy ache. That's when you might just wish you had 'taste tested' before buying.

We know a certain Grammy who shall remain nameless, who is not above sampling the green grapes in the grocery isle. Just one, of course, and only to see if they are juicy and sweet or will take a layer off of the roof of your mouth and send your tongue into rehab for a week. We love her dearly, but in this case we won't follow suit. It just doesn't seem right somehow. I'd rather pay first and return them later if they are not nice, but I do see her point, for sure.

Since it would have cost more in gas to take back the berries, I sought a simple way to redeem them. Black Raspberry Tart - easy, quick and tasty.

Usually, I don't precook my tart filling, but I didn't want to take the risk of not adding enough sugar, so I did this time. Good thing, because it took a lot of sugar to redeem these berries. When I finally had the balance between sweet and tart just so, I threw together some pastry and popped it in the oven with our supper - which by the way was not as planned yesterday, since I am still facing weekend leftovers. We used up the last of the ham from Saturday in a Cheddar Ham Quiche - mmmm.

So, just in case you have some berries that need a little redemption, here is my recipe. Served warm with vanilla ice cream and a cup of hot tea - quite pleasant.

Black Raspberry Tart

Black Raspberry Filling:
4 cups of black raspberries, washed, drained and slightly crushed
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2-3/4 cups of sugar, depending on the tartness of berries and your preference
2 tbsp. Clear Gel (pie thickener) or corn starch

Stir everything together in deep saucepan and cook over medium heat for 7-9 minutes or until thickened. Cool to room temperature. This is enough for 2 10" tarts, or the leftover would be great over ice cream or warmed on waffles!

Basic Sweet Crust:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Using pastry blender, work in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and work with fork until the water is incorporated and the dough comes together. Add more water as needed to make a smooth dough, being careful not to over-mix. Form the dough into two disks, one slightly smaller than the other, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. This recipe is enough for 1 10" tart.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the bigger dough disk to fit into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the pan and cut until trim with the edges. Fill with filling. Don't over fill since it will bubble up a bit. You'll have enough filling for two, remember. Roll smaller dough disk and cut into strips. Place over filling. Higgaldy Pigaldy is just fine - it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful - look at my picture! I don't bother weaving the top crust - I am not Martha, and I think when you cut it up, it all looks good! Bake for 45 minutes or until golden.

As Storyteller was exclaiming over his slice of tart, The Historian explained that these very berries were the ones that he himself had declared far far too tart to eat. I mentioned that I had 'redeemed' the berries by putting them in a tart with a lot of sugar. Storyteller knew one definition of redeem - to buy back, and he used the example of God, our Creator, sending His Son Jesus, who paid the price for our sin so that we, His own creation, could be dear friends with God again. We had to explain the other uses of the word - as in, 'the extra sugar made up for the tartness of the berries and they were redeemed'.
Theology and vocabulary at the dinner table - I love it!

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  1. Yum! That tart looks delicious!
    You asked what kind of craft paints I used...I use either Ceramcoat by Delta or Americana by Decoart. They're the little squeeze bottles that you get at most craft stores. They go on smoothly over spray paint. My favorite spray paint is a satin finish of Rustoleum. Have fun with your projects!

  2. Thank you Joy - I have those types of paints, so that is great! I didn't think they would work well over spray paint - now I know! I like the new nozzle on the Krylon matte spray cans - it was much easier to use and the spray fan was lighter and easier to control!


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