Sometimes you need an easy recipe. And sometimes you need a recipe that will work magic. Most of the time, the magic-working recipes aren't easy, but the effort is almost always worth it.
My advice? Work some magic. Your dinner guests deserve it.
Chocolate Tart with Fresh Raspberry Curd
Makes one 9-inch tart
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup raspberry puree (If you don't have raspberry puree on hand, make it by putting 2 pints of fresh raspberries through a juicer, or by blitzing them in a blender. If you use a blender, you'll need to press the puree through a sieve to get the seeds out. Tedious, yes. But so much better than getting raspberry seeds stuck in your teeth.)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1-1/4 cups granulated cane sugar, divided
- A couple pinches of sea salt
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1-1/4 cup half and half
- 1 large egg, beaten
To make the curd, stir together the egg yolks, raspberry puree, lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, and a pinch of sea salt in a medium size metal bowl. Place the bowl OVER a pot of simmering water (don't let the bottom of the bowl touch the hot water). Cut 6 tablespoons of the butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl. Whisk or stir the mixture until it thickens and keeps a soft shape as it falls from your whisk or spoon, about 20 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, the finished curd should read 170 degrees.
Remove the curd from the heat and pour it through a sieve into a small bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and cool completely.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the crust, combine 1/4 cup sugar, a pinch of sea salt, and vanilla in small bowl. Melt 8 tablespoons of butter and pour stir it into the sugar mixture. Stir in the flour. Press the soft dough into and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Place the pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust just barely begins to brown. Remove the tart shell from the oven, but keep the oven on.
While the shell is baking, make the filling. Place the chopped chocolate into a medium-size metal bowl. Heat the half and half until it boils and then pour it all at once onto the chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for one full minute, then whisk until it is completely smooth. Whisk in the beaten egg.
Scrape the warm chocolate mixture into the pre-baked crust and return the tart to the oven. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the filling begins to set around the edges but still wiggles a bit in the middle. Remove the tart from the oven and cool completely.
When both the curd and tart are completely cool, spoon the curd onto the top of the tart, spreading it out to the edges of your tart filling (your crust will be showing). If desired, melt a a little white chocolate in a bowl over hot water, then pipe or drizzle loops and lines onto the curd. Drag a toothpick through the still fluid chocolate to create a pretty, abstract red and white design.
Serve the tart at room temperature, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.