Wednesday, June 21, 2017

White Balsamic Vinegar Custard Tart with Seasonal Berries

Balsamic vinegar is frequently found in many Italian restaurants.  In fact, in northern Italy most tables will have a bottle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.   You need to ask for butter!

White balsamic vinegar is found less frequently, but has become quite popular in preparing foods where the dark color of balsamic vinegar may detract from the colors of other ingredients.

Officially, there is no such thing as “white balsamic vinegar,” it is referred to as “condimento bianco” because it is not regulated by the Italian consortium and is not aged in wooden barrels like most fine balsamic vinegars from Modena.

white balsamic vinegar, balsamic berry tart

We have sampled many white balsamic vinegars and found them lacking.  As such, we decided to private label our own white balsamic vinegar to use occasionally with salads and fish.  In fact, this recipe takes it a bit further and is used in a dessert.

This delightful white balsamic custard tart with a fresh berry topping comes from a 2004 Bon Appetit recipe that is available on Epicurious.  We found it delightful, particularly with Gourmet Living’s new white balsamic vinegar.

White Balsamic Custard Tart with Fresh Berries
INGREDIENTS (8 Servings)

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream

Filling

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (Gourmet Living – Condimento Bianco)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Topping

  • 2 large strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • 2 1/2-pint containers blueberries
  • 1 1/2-pint container raspberries
  • Note:  Feel free to substitute depending on the season

PREPARATION

For crust:

  1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter and blend, using on/off turns, until coarse meal forms.
  2. Add egg yolk and cream. Using on/off turns, blend until moist clumps form.
  3. Gather dough into ball.
  4. Press dough evenly into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.
  5. Pierce dough all over with fork. Chill 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake crust until golden, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 22 minutes. Cool.

For filling:

  1. Stir cream and cornstarch in medium bowl until cornstarch dissolves.
  2. Add eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla; whisk to blend.
  3. Boil vinegar in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add 3/4 cup water, sugar, and butter.
  5. Stir until butter melts; return to boil.
  6. Gradually whisk vinegar mixture into egg mixture; return to pan. Whisk until custard thickens and boils, about 1 minute.
  7. Strain into bowl; cool.
  8. Spread custard in prepared crust.
  9. Cover and chill tart at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

For topping:

  1. Arrange strawberry slices in star pattern in center of tart (or some other variation).
  2. Arrange raspberries in star pattern. Surround with blueberries.
  3. Cover loosely and chill until ready to serve. (Can be made up to 6 hours ahead.)

white balsamic vinegar

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