My resolutions this year have nothing to do with eating healthy. They do, of course, have to do with food. My main foodie resolution this year is to become a better baker. Sure, I’ll work on some “healthy” baking recipes as part of my quest. But let’s be real, the best baking recipes are indulgent treats.
The peanut butter and jelly tart idea popped into my head after I received box of pu-erh tea samples from Adagio Teas. Of all the tea varieties, pu-erh may be one of the least familiar to those new to tea. Pu-erh tea leaves go through a natural fermentation process before the tea leaves are dried. The fermentation process gives the tea its unique, rich flavor profile. Pu-erh teas can range in flavor from musty to earthy to mushroom-y to woodsy and can completely change the longer the tea leaves are allowed to ferment and age. Few pu-erh teas are alike, which makes them so fun to explore.
If you’re new to pu-erh tea, Adagio’s Terra Sampler is a great way to try it in approachable flavored blends like Spice, Tahiti, Hazelberry, and Chorange. I chose Pu-erh Hazelberry to season and speckle the shell of my PB&J tart. The bold, earthy tea with flavors of hazelnuts, strawberries, and cream play right into the peanut butter and berry jam flavors in the rest of the tart.
For the jam, I used Modern Gingham’s Mixed Berry preserves. My good friend and artisan jam maker Kathy crafts amazing marmalade and preserves from locally sourced fruit. She also uses way less sugar in her creations than you’ll find in a typical store-bought jam. Her blend of organic strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries is so simple yet so delicious.
The filling is a mix of whipped cream cheese, peanut butter, and cream. I used a Trader Joe’s peanut butter. They have a natural peanut butter that is actually creamy (not grainy) and super affordable. You can substitute creamy cashew butter for the peanut butter if you’re making this for someone with a peanut allergy.
The final chilled tart is topped with fresh berries tossed in a bit of the berry preserves. A perfect mid-winter treat, this comfort food dessert reminds us that the fruits of summer are just around the corner.
Happy cooking and sipping!
P.S. Many thanks to Adagio Teas for the samples of their delicious pu-erh teas to play around with in my Tea Foodie kitchen.
PB&J Pu-erh Tea Tart
Adapted by Suzanne Klein, Tea Foodie from a Peanut Butter and Jelly Tart recipe on Epicurious.
Serves 6 to 8
For tart shell:
12 graham crackers
1 cup peanuts or cashews (salted and roasted is best)
1 tablespoon pu-erh tea leaves, plain or a flavored blend (I used Adagio’s Pu-erh Hazelberry)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For filling and topping:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup smooth peanut butter or cashew butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (8 oz.) berry preserves, divided (I used Modern Gingham’s Mixed Berry)
1 to 2 cups fresh mixed berries
For tart shell:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Use your hands to coarsely crumble graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor. Add peanuts and tea leaves. Pulse until nuts are coarsely ground. Pour in melted butter and pulse a few more times until crumbs are thoroughly moistened.
- Press crumbs evenly into bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan. (It’s ideal to use a 2-piece tart pan so the side ring can be removed later, but pie tin works in a pinch.) The bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup comes in handy to press the crumbs into the pan evenly.
- Bake tart shell until firm, 10 to 15 minutes. If you notice the shell puffing up, take it out of the oven and gently press it back down with the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup. Let the shell cool completely before filling it.
For filling and topping:
- Place cream cheese, peanut butter, and butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat at medium-high until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar and beat until incorporated. Transfer mixture to a separate large bowl.
- Clean out the mixing bowl and return it to the stand mixer. Place cream and vanilla in the bowl and whip until you get soft peaks. Gently and thoroughly fold the whipped cream into the whipped peanut butter mixture.
- Gently spread ¾ cup of the preserves onto the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Spread peanut butter mixture on top. It’s best to drop the peanut butter mixture across the top in dollops and then spread together. Bits of the shell may loosen, but just go slowly and gently. Loosely cover the tart with plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 3 hours.
- Just before serving, carefully separate the tart pan ring from the tart pan bottom (if using a 2-piece tart pan). Stir remaining ¼ cup preserves into the fresh mixed berries and spoon over the whole tart or over individual tart pieces as you plate them for serving.