Berry Tart with Lemon Cookie Crust

Berry Tart with Lemon Cookie Crust

Fourth of July is coming quickly and I always associate this summer holiday with barbecues and a fresh berry treat. This summer berry tart is perfect for the holiday. It carries all the patriotic colors and it’s fresh, cool, and delicious.

I’ve switched it up by using a Meyer lemon cookie crust. You can get some at on Amazon – I got mine at CostcoBut even a graham cracker or Nilla wafer crust will do. I think the lemon cookie crust adds a bit more sunshine to this summer dessert.


10 oz Salem Baking Meyer Lemon Cookie Thins
1/4 cup white sugar
8 Tbs melted butter

Pastry Cream Filling:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs cornstarch
2 large eggs
4 Tbs unsalted butter cut in 4 pieces
2 – 8oz carton raspberries
1 – 8oz carton blueberries
zest of 1 small lemon

Meyer Lemon Cookie Crust
In a food processor, slightly grind the cookies until course. Add sugar and melted butter and pulse until the ingredients come together to look like wet sand. Pour the crust into a spring-form pan or a tart pan and flatten out. If you’re using a spring-form pan (like me cause I don’t have a tart pan), bring the crust up the wall of the pan halfway to hold in the fillings. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheight for 15 mins. Cool in room temperature once it’s finished.

Cut the vanilla bean in half length-wise. Scrape out the glorious caviar inside each half of the bean. In a medium saucepan slowly heat the milk, vanilla bean, and sugar under low heat. Go ahead and throw in the empty vanilla pods in there too to get all the vanilla flavor out of the bean. Constantly stir the milk making sure it does not burn at the bottom. Once milk burns you have to start fresh, and that’s just a waste of vanilla beans! Do not let the milk boil. Turn it off once you begin to see little bubbles forming around the edges. Take out the vanilla pods.

In a medium mixing bowl, crack the eggs and whisk. Whisk in the salt and cornstarch. Temper the egg mixture. Meaning, pour about 1/3 of the warm milk into the eggs and stir. Then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan back with the milk. This prevents the eggs from getting shocked by the heat and scrambling. Turn the low heat back on. Now we want to slowly simmer this custard so the cornstarch activates and can thicken the mixture. Again constantly stir and keep an eye on the simmer. Once it comes to a simmer and begins to thicken you can turn it off and pour it in a mixing bowl as it will continue to cook. Take a tablespoon of butter and whisk it in until it melts. Repeat until you do all 4 tablespoons of butter. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent a film from forming and refrigerate for 2 hours.

After everything has cooled, it’s time to assemble! Pour the chilled custard into the tart crust. Spread out evenly with a spatula. Place fresh raspberries one at a time on top of the custard covering the entire surface. Sprinkle blueberries in the gaps. Zest a lemon over the entire tart. This is where I would tell you to chill the tart for another couple hours before cutting into it but I didn’t becuase I don’t have strong will power. So I’ll let you decide.


Pumpkin Yogurt Pie

I’m not much of a baker because I have a hard time following direction. Crazy right? I’m always trying to think of how I can improve a recipe or personalize it to fit my taste.  Last weekend I wanted to make a pumpkin pie and when I came across a recipe I substituted heavy cream with yogurt for a (semi) skinny pie.  Here’s what came out: a lighter filling with a slight tang from the yogurt.  It’s definitely a lighter approach to the calorie rich traditional pie, but who’s counting calories around the holidays anyway? If you are interested in this pie, read on!

1 frozen pie crust (thawed)
nonfat whipped cream or cool whip to top

1 can 15 oz. of pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 cup of nonfat yogurt
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat to oven to 350 degrees F. 

Roll out the pie crust and line in a pie dish.  Blind bake for 15 minutes to get a nice crust that’s not soggy.

While the crust is baking, mix all the filling ingredients together. When the crust has slightly goldened, take it out of the oven and pour through a strain, the filling into the crust. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into the middle of the pie.

Cool in the fridge for a few hours. Serve with whipped cream on top (nonfat whipped cream optional 😉

Yogurt and Granola Fruit Salad

Spring is here and the best fruit is coming back in season.  This isn’t your grandma’s fruit salad with the canned fruit cocktail.  Although I admit, as a kid I used to pick out the cherries out of that bowl before anyone could get to it first.  I can’t wait to try this recipe out with fresh blackberries, raspberries, and peaches!
2 bananas
2 pears
2 apples
1 pint of strawberries
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
sprinkle of granola on top
Core and dice the apple and pear.  Don’t bother pulling out your apple corer, just use this simple tutorial and you’ll never use that thing again.  Cut the core off the apple by squaring around the core.  Simple! Then you will have a flat surface on the apple pieces to easily dice them into 1/2″ squares.
Cut the strawberries in half and slice up the bananas. Add the raisins, condensed milk, and sour cream.  I know, sour cream sounds weird but it is actually a nice balance between the tart and the sweet condensed milk.  It also gives the milk something to hold on to.  If it’s too weird to put sour cream on fruit instead of the regular ‘ol potato go ahead and use greek yogurt.
Mix. Serve. Sprinkle granola on top of each serving.  I like to use Kashi or the Trader Joe’s brand. Enjoy!

Fritter Frenzy

Since I learned how to make broccoli fritters, I have been on a fritter frenzy!  Figuring out what else to fritter, I came across a banana fritter recipe on Martha Stewart’s website, and you know I can’t say, “no” to Martha Stewart.

6 ripe bananas
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbs vegetable oil

Makes about 10 two inch diameter fritters.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl.  I like my fritters with a bit of texture so I did not over mash.  Mix in the eggs, then the flour.  

Heat the oil in a large skillet to medium heat.  When the oil is hot (put the end of a wooden spoon handle in the oil and if there are tiny bubbles, it is hot enough), spoon large tablespoons of the mixture in the pan.  Flip with a spatula when it is golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes.  Cook the other side until it is also golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Top with ice cream, honey, cinnamon sugar, or eat all by itself.  It is great for breakfast or desserts (or any other time in between).

This is quite possibly the easiest fritter recipe, and yet it tastes so good!  You can even try it as a replacement for pancakes.  Enjoy!