Monday, July 11, 2011

The Queen of Hearts

probably didn't use salmon berries to make her tarts. More's the pity.

My friend Lilian, my new friend Irene and her mother (whose name escapes me) were kind enough to let me tag along with their berry picking expedition. We were after huckleberries, but we found a lot more salmon berries.

Salmon berries, for those of you thinking of extremely gross things right now, are simply called "salmon" berries because they are approximately the same color and are in season the same time as the fish. Worry not, gentle readers, my tarts are vegetarian.

I cheated and used a store bought pie dough that had been lying in my freezer. I lined tart pans and blind baked them until they were more or less done. Then I prepared a simple custard of six egg yolks and six tsp sugar (2 TB for the measure savvy) with a pint of whole milk with a split vanilla bean. I initially used the double boiler method, but I just couldn't get the custard to stand firm. So I settled for baking it in the cups like a Hong Kong tart. I scattered the salmon berries over the surface before baking (with extra sugar and a little bit of salt).

All in all I was pleased by the result. The slight ...well tartness of the berries with the creamy sweetness of the custard paired extremely well. I'll have to make some black tea to go with them.

1 comment:

  1. You should try the jelly that Karin and I made from the rest of the salmon berries. It's sweet, and tart, and really subtle, and almost savory. Really lovely stuff. Gorgeous, luminous orange color, too.

    Irene says the rest of the huckleberries are ready, if you want to go picking again.