It’s fun to work in a place where nearly everyone loves to talk about, create and eat good food. Last week, in celebration of Pi Day on 3/14, several of my food-loving co-workers whipped up homemade pies to bring to work and share.
Included in the mix were pineapple cream pie, lemon meringue pie, bacon-apple pie, a blackberry-gin galette and my brown sugar tea tart.
They were all delicious, but my favorites were the blackberry-gin galette and the bacon-apple pie. Both reminded me of breakfast. The blackberry-gin galette tasted like a decadent, juicy berry-laden muffin. And the bacon-apple pie tasted just like a forkful of cinnamon-apple pancake topped with crispy bacon and drenched in syrup.
The brown sugar tea tart is quite simple to make. And it tastes quite simple as well. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with simple when you’ve got a mix of tea-speckled shortbread cookie crust and tea-infused custard-like filling.
Next time I make this recipe, I might experiment with a flavored black tea to add a little more depth to the tart. I highly recommend dressing it up with a dash of flavored whipped cream and/or fresh berries when you serve it.
Happy cooking and sipping!
P. S. To get the recipe for the blackberry-gin galette, visit my co-worker’s blog Spirited Bites, where she writes beautifully about creative alcohol-infused dishes.
Brown Sugar Tea Tart
Adapted by Suzanne Klein, Tea Foodie from the Ceylon Brown Sugar Tart and Ceylon Tea Tart Crust recipes in the Culinary Tea cookbook by Cynthia Gold and Lisë Stern.
Makes 1 tart
For the crust:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons loose leaf black tea, coarsely ground (use something strong and aromatic, like Assam or Ceylon)
½ cup sugar
½ pound cold, unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 tablespoon loose leaf black tea leaves (use something strong and aromatic)
½ cup boiling water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
confectioners’ sugar for garnish
For the crust:
1. Combine flour, salt, ground tea and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add butter cubes and process until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
2. Whisk together egg and vanilla in a small bowl. While the processor is running, slowing pour in the egg mixture through the feed tube and process just until dough comes together. (Note: If the mixture is too dry and crumbly and it’s not coming together, add 1 teaspoon of cold water at a time until dough forms.)
3. Remove dough from processor and divide it into 2 balls. Flatten each ball into a disk shape and wrap each disk in plastic. Chill one of the disks in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The other may be frozen for up to 1 month until you’re ready to bake another tart.
4. Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured surface into a circle to fit a 9- or 10-inch tart or pie pan. (Note: If the dough is hard from being chilled, simply let it soften at room temperature for 10 or 15 minutes before attempting to roll it out.) Press the rolled dough into the tart or pie pan and prick the dough in several places with the tines of a fork.
5. Place tart shell in a 350-degree oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. Check on the tart shell at about 5 or 7 minutes in to see if any bubbles form. If they do, prick them gently with a knife or fork to let the air escape. Let the shell cool completely before adding your tart filling.
For the filling:
1. Pour the boiling water over the tea leaves and steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Strain, discard the tea leaves, and allow the tea liquid to cool to room temperature.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cream, vanilla, egg and cooled tea. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and sugars. Break up any lumps in the brown sugar with your fingers. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until completely smooth.
3. Pour the filling mixture into the cooled tart shell and bake in a 400-degree oven until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
5. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature so that it’s fully set when you serve it. You can also chill it and serve it cold. Serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and topped with whipped cream and/or fresh berries. Store the tart in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap.