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GARDEN GOODIES: Black raspberry tart

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Today we are enjoying a black raspberry tart - which is kind-of like a pie, but with less sugar.

The scientific name of the black raspberry (also known as "black caps") plant is rubus occidentalis. It is part of the same family of berries as blackberries and is most closely related to the common red raspberry. The plant grows well in partial shade and does not do as well in full sun unless it is well-watered (such as at berry farms). The berries grow on second year canes. It is best to remove the old canes that produced berries and allow the new canes to grow. Pruning the tips of the canes will help produce more berries.

Black raspberries are very healthy and have more antioxidant activity than most common berries. They are also high in anthocyanins which are linked to better cardiovascular health and improved vision.

Black raspberries are reliably sweet and have a unique berry flavor and thus are a nice change of pace for typical raspberry-based recipes. The berries are also used for pigment and in a couple of famous liquers - the "Chambord Liqueur Royale de France" and "Bokbunja" (popular in South Korea). 

One reason that some people do not like black raspberries is that they have more seeds than regular raspberries

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • Crust
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter (one stick)
  • 3 tbsp milk

Filling

  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 6 ounces of black raspberries (about 2 cups)
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Crust wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp milk

Instructions

  1. Mix flour and sugar and "cut" the cold butter into the mixture until you have a crumbly consistency. Add milk, mix quickly, and form/compress into a ball. Let stand in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Roll dough ball out in a circle on a flour-dusted baking pan until about 1/4 inch thick
  4. Mix flour, berries, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Toss until the berries are covered/coated.
  5. Mound berries in the middle of the dough with about an inch and a half ring of dough uncovered around the outside. Gently bend and form the outside ring of dough up to meet the berries. Drizzle with the melted butter.
  6. Baste the crust with the egg/milk wash.
  7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Tips: Use a spatula to help bend and form up the edge of the crust before baking. Use a large spatula or two to move the tart to a serving platter.

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Neena Pacholke

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