My very dear friend Rogena visited me for just one evening on her whirlwind tour of Seattle. She is getting ready to start graduate school in Paris, and we are meeting up there in October for what I can only imagine to be one of the most fun episodes of my life. There will be three of us and we are planning to eat, drink, and shop our way through the city in the time we have there. I can hardly wait.
Rogena loves food the way I do, and our visits together (both in Seattle and San Francisco, where she lives) are always predicated upon good food. We spend hours catching up over incredible meals, many of which I have cooked at home. For her visit this time, my fridge was bursting with fresh produce from my farm share, and going out to eat seemed wasteful. I wanted to use the gorgeous tomatoes I had on hand and so made this for her, along with a salad of local greens, tiny fresh strawberries from Nash’s Organics, fresh local chevre from Port Madison, pistachios, and a vinaigrette with blood orange olive oil given to me as a gift and which makes salads really sing.
For dessert, I wanted to make something really special and beautiful that would be worthy of a pastry case in Paris, to celebrate her imminent move there. I settled on a white chocolate raspberry tart from the book “Pure Chocolate” by Fran Bigelow, the creator of Fran’s chocolates here in Seattle. The crust is a simple blend of walnuts, almonds and butter and is one of the best crusts I have tasted. The raspberry filling makes use of the fresh raspberries that are abundant and lovely right now, and the white chocolate ganache gives it a nice rich depth. This is one is ready for Laduree.
White Chocolate Raspberry Tart
From “Pure Chocolate”
9-inch Walnut Tart Crust (recipe follows)
1/2 recipe Raspberry Filling (recipe follows)
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
2 pints fresh raspberries
Remove the sides of the tart pan and place the crust on a serving plate. Thinly and evenly spread the raspberry filling over the base of the tart shell.
In a saucepan, heat the cream on medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. Immediately remove from the heat. With a rubber spatula stir in the chopped chocolate until smooth. Let cool until about 80-85 degrees. Slowly pour over the raspberry filling in the tart shell, up to the rim. Let set in the fridge for about 4 hours.
When the tart is chilled, arrange fresh raspberries, pointy side up, in a circular pattern over the white chocolate filling. Best served and eaten the day it is made.
From “Pure Chocolate
8 oz fresh or thawed raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring all the ingredients to a simmer. Cook, stirring often to prevent scorching, until the mixture thickens, about 10 mins. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside to cool.
Walnut Tart Crust
From “Pure Chocolate”
2 1/3 cups walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup blanced almonds
3 tbs sugar
6 tbs butter
1 tbs pure vanilla
Lightly butter a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with removeable bottom.
Pulse walnuts in food processor until finely ground. Remove and set aside. Add the almonds and sugar. Pulse, scraping down the bowl several times, until ground into a powder.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-hight speed until fluffy, about 2 mins. Add the vanilla and blend thoroughly. Add the nut mixture and mix on low speed until the dough begins to hold together.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or freeze until firm, about 30 mins.