Berry Halvah Tart

It is the peak of summer. Summer berries have my heart! We are lucky that we have so many berry farms within 60 miles from where I live. We love to go berry picking but we have not had a chance to go berry picking this summer, because the whole of July my kids and I have been very sick, with a continuous cough and cold. My daughter was wheezing too, so she needed the pump. The change in weather is drastic, some days are super hot, other days are cooler, and nights get chilly! It is all over the place! All our weekends have been low key cause of this ! But this too shall pass!

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Berry picking is a lot of fun and we get to munch on berries while picking, and also to get loads of them back for jams, tarts, snacks, yogurt parfaits, you name it! My favorites have to be the raspberries! I love how tiny, and tart they are, and the pretty pink is so attractive too! If you have not had a chance to go berry picking then it is a must! Our farmers market has amazing berry vendors, and I get all my berries from there. I did get the golden berries from Trader Joe’s, although one of the vendors also carries it, but they do not have them as yet! I have not seen it so far!

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I wanted to make a pretty Berry Tart, but didn’t want to make my usual frangipane tart although it is one of the most delicious tarts ever! I did a riff on the frangipane tart by using halvah! Halvah is a middle eastern candy, that is usually made of sesame paste, and sugar. They have different kinds of halvah, like chocolate halvah, vanilla halvah, pistachio halvah etc. It is so good on its own and extremely addictive if you love sesame seeds like me! I grew up eating the black sesame seeds cause my mom would say it is very good for the hair and bone growth! So I would eat a few spoonfuls everyday of the sesame seeds(not halvah lol! )

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I recently saw on Instagram, someone on my feed had put a picture of the different kinds of halvah that you get in Jerusalem, Israel and I was mind blown by how many different varieties are there! I would love to go back to Jerusalem, to see the variety in spices, halvahs and many other kinds of foods that are specifically prepared there! The late Anthony Bourdain has an interesting episode on Jerusalem as well which was just wonderful. But which episode of his is not!? 🙁

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Back to the halvah tart, I made the halvah mixture in the same manner as the frangipane, with eggs, flour, sugar, halvah and a couple of spices. I prebaked the tart shell, added his mixture into the tart shell and laid the berries in a pretty fashion on top of it. The tart baked beautifully and was really delicious once cooled and chilled in the fridge. Each slice was devoured with whipped cream and extra berries to adorn the slice.

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I hope you get a chance to make this beauty of a tart! Tarts are so fun to bake and take for gatherings cause everyone can get a thin slice, and it is so satisfying! I hope you all are enjoying your summer! We have a few more weeks to go and then it is back to school time! I will be sad but at the same time i love a proper schedule and routine for the kids and us, to get us all back in track! Also, am looking forward to that slight chill in the air that is present come September when evenings are cooler and that is my favorite kinda weather actually!

 

Well, have a wonderful end of July!

XO

Amisha

 

Berry Halvah Tart

Ingredients

  • For pastry dough:
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • For halvah filling:
  • 10 oz vanilla halvah(I bought it from Amazon)
  • 1/2 stick(4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 2 cups of raspberries and blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • For glaze:
  • 1/3 cup plum preserves(if you do not have plum preserves, you can use apricot preserves)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon almond liqueur like Disaronno Amaretto
  • For final decoration:
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • For serving:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Make dough:
  2. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 375°F.
  3. Pulse flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and water and pulse just until incorporated and dough begins to form large clumps.
  4. Turn dough out onto a work surface and massage the dough with the heel of your hand (fraisage) to incorporate the dough and form into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc.
  5. Put dough in tart pan and pat it evenly with well-floured fingers into the bottom of the pan and up the sides so it extends about 1/4 inch above rim. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly prick tart shell all over with a fork, then line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake shell until golden around edge, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper and weights and bake until shell is golden all over, about 15 minutes more. Cool shell completely.
  7. Make halvah filling:
  8. Beat together vanilla halvah paste, butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour/salt/spice mixture.
  9. Spread frangipane filling evenly in tart shell. Layer the raspberries and blackberries in a concentric circle pattern over the filling, being careful not to push too far into filling. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  10. Bake tart until halvah is puffed and golden about 1 hour.
  11. Make glaze and final touch:
  12. Heat preserves and water in a 1-quart saucepan over moderately high heat, stirring, until preserves are melted. Remove from heat and force through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, discarding solids. Stir in Amaretto (if using).
  13. Brush top of hot tart generously with glaze and cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool tart completely, about 2 hours. With a fine sieve, sprinkle powdered sugar on the top for the final finish.
  14. Add the heavy whipping cream into a mixing bowl, and whip it with the whip handle on high speed for a minute. Add in the powdered sugar and whip again till it forms firm peaks when the whip handle is inverted. Serve the slice of tart with a dollop of the whipping cream!
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