Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Singing the road-construction-don't-need-no-stinking-curbs-summertime-blues

I wait all summer for this.

I drink my coffee in the morning by our blooms. And bid them and their fairies good-night in the evenings. While my "winter of my discontent" has ended (sort of), the "summer of my discontent" has just begun. "They" moved in last week.

Someone in White Bear Lake decided we needed curbs. Expensive curbs. Curbs that will keep our streets torn up for the duration of the summer. Curbs that require jackhammering, truck back-up beeps, steel clanging, house-shaking, dust-flying, high-pitched-machinery, migraine-inducing noise to begin promptly at 7 a.m. and continue for 13 hours per day. I sound like a bitter little bird, don't I? I'm on vacation for the week. I had thought about sleeping. The trucks start moving in between 6 a.m. and 6:30 A.M. I swear I'll never complain about bird-chirpings waking me up at 5 a.m. again.
Well - there's always eating. Somehow when huge holes are being dug outside your living room window, a broiled piece of fish with a green salad is not what you are dreaming about.
Sweet comfort is on your mind. Sweet comfort in the way of a berry topped, almond cream tart. Now I will admit, I used too much mixture (the recipe made me do it!) and I shouldn't have used the 11 inch pie pan when it specifically said 9 inch - but you know - I just cast my fate to the wind and made it and we ate it. No regrets.
ALMOND CREAM FRUIT TART (from PASTA MAGAZINE 2000 - yes, I save my magazines)
It looks intimidating with the steps - but if I can do it in my sleep-deprived frazzled state, anyone can!
1-1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 toasted ground almonds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 t vanilla
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 t almond extract
8 oz light cream cheese
4 cups fresh fruit (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch premixed with 1 cup water (trust me you don't need that much - half will do - less than half)
CRUST: Mix all ingredients for the crust in a mixing bowl. Press into a nine inch pie pan. You can use an 11 inch pie pan as I did - but all will be stretched thinner! Except for the berry mixture - that is abundant. Bake at 375 degrees F for six minutes. Cool for 30-40 minutes.
ALMOND CREAM FILLING: Pour cream and vanilla in small-medium bowl. Whip till soft peaks form. In a second (larger bowl) whip cream cheese, sugar and almond extract until smooth. Using a large spoon, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Spread cream cheese mixture over crust in tart pan. Refrigerate for two hours (longer is probably better.)
Mix berries and sugar in saucepan until mixture bubbles. Then stir in cornstarch mixture (remember: less is more). Stir until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool on counter for about an hour. (One hour did not do it - it could probably be refrigerated after 30 minutes). Just before serving spread on top of Almond Cream Tart. Eat. Taste summer, sweet sun, light skies and the quiet before the trucks.

... going ...

... gone!

Just like my street.


Bunny said...

Oh I love this, I bet the graham cracker crust was deliciously crunchy with the smooth custard. And the addition of the berries is fantastic!

Donna-FFW said...

Claudia, this looks fantastic and I think the fruit filling was a perfect amount.. never can have too much of a good thing:)

I save all or most of my cooking magazines also!

Sara said...

That tart looks so pretty! I am so glad that it's berry season again.

Creative Classroom Core said...

That recipe sounds delicious! YuM!

Anonymous said...

oh dear, I feel your pain! I like my peace and quiet, and how DARE they use your hard-earned tax money on creating noise and air pollution?
but...any excuse is a good excuse for that delicious tart!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about all the construction noise but the almond cream fruit tart looks amazing! Love all the delicious summer fruits on top! Yum!

unconfidentialcook said...

That almond cream sounds like it would be good with just about anything. As a magazine person/editor, I'm thrilled to hear you keep your issues, almost 10 years' worth!

Wanda..... said...

Thanks Claudia for this recipe...posted just in time for me to pick up what I might need at the store today...looks delicious and a little different from my usual strawberry pizza recipe.

OhioMom said...

Ah orange barrel days .. I know them well.

That pie surely would make up for the discontent of heavy machinery for me ... strawberries are coming into season here ... YEAH!

Who throws mags away?

Heather S-G said...

mmmm...sounds delicious...hopefully it put you at peace for at least a few moments. And yup, magazine saver here, too.

Pearl said...

oh Claudia that looks fantastic!

Reeni said...

This looks so good with the almond crust!! The almond filling sounds divine and topped with fresh berries - I don't think it gets any better than that!! That's such a bummer about the work being done, especially while your on vacation, I feel your pain!!

Lyndas recipe box said...

This tart is beautiful and looks so addictive; can we really have too much filling or too many berries?
Sorry about all the construction... it would drive me crazy too!

Dimah said...

That tart looks fabulous!Yum!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Hand in there! This too shall pass.
Happy vacation!

Barbara GF said...

Beautiful tart, Claudia! I'm going to pick up some berries at the farmers market this weekend to make it.

Hope it soothed your nerves a bit. There's nothing worse than the "bulldozer alarm" to wrack the nerves. :)

Erica said...

mmm sounds divine! What a great dessert!