Blackberry and Basil Cream Almond Tart: Tart Fresh Blackberries with the Herbal Flavor of Basil Infused in a Custard Cream with an Almond Crunch and Buttery Nut Crust is simply Captivating!
Okay, now I know I said the last recipe was my final “Summer-like” dessert but I completely forgot I had this beauty saved for future publishing. Just like my grilled pineapple recipe, this one as well, is one I made before getting sick with COVID.
This tart is gorgeously delicious with a complex and enchanting flavor. One might say, this tart will have an acquired taste. And while this may be true, it’s a flavor that can surely grow on you. A tart best eaten chilled and perfect for balmy days.
It has a refreshing herbal note of basil yet sweet and tartness from the fresh blackberries, all nestled in a flaky, buttery, almond nut crust. With bits of finely chopped almonds and added flavoring, altogether this gives a very dynamic combination. In each bite you can identify and sense each component yet magically, it all works perfectly together.
Unlike other fruit pies and tarts using traditional pie filling, I chose to take a step further and try a different base, a cream [custard] base. What better way than to take traditional pastry cream and spruce it up with 1/2 cup of fresh basil? All thanks to these cream puffs with pastry cream, I am hooked! It’s SO addicting!
What to use instead of a rectangle pan?
I used a 14×4.5 inch tart pan with a removeable bottom however, if you do not have this pan, you may use a 9-inch round tart pan. This crust (adapted from this nut crust recipe) is excellent to use in small custard cups as seen in the photos above. They slide right out of the tart shells without a hitch!
Can this tart be made in advance?
Yes, with some limitations. Be sure to give ample time to allow the pastry cream (at least 2 hours) to set, so start with this part before making the crust. Pastry cream can be made one day in advance however, any earlier than this, and you may find the cream has become watery on the bottom. Optimal set time before use is 4 to 6 hours.
The dough for the crust can be pre-made and stored in the refrigerator up to a week before baking. If done so, tightly cover with plastic-wrap leaving minimal amount of air pockets and store in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, remove the dough 15 to 30 minutes before rolling it out.
Overall, this tart recipe is one I would definitely make again! I was able to take two recently made recipes and mash them into one. Super easy to prep and the options to change for different herbs or fruits are endless!
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Tart Fresh Blackberries with the Herbal Flavor of Basil Infused in a Custard Cream with an Almond Crunch and Buttery Nut Crust is simply Captivating!
BASIL PASTRY CREAM
- 2 cups (480 ml) oat milk or regular whole milk
- 2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup (16 grams) fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon (12 grams) vanilla bean paste or extract
- 4 egg yolks (72 grams)
- 1/4 cup (33 grams) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (18 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 (180 grams) cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons (42 grams) finely chopped almonds, divided
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted cold butter, sliced or cut into 1 cm cubes
- 1 large egg yolk (20 grams)
- 4 to 5 tablespoons (59 to 74 grams) cold water
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) almond extract
- 1 dozen fresh blackberries
- PASTRY CREAM: In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring milk, 1/3 cup (65 grams) sugar and basil to a light boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla and cover to allow basil to steep for 20 minutes. If using vanilla bean paste, whisk until all paste is incorporated into the mixture. Strain mixture into a fine mesh sieve while gently pressing on the basil; discard basil and set mixture aside.
- In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk egg yolks, remaining 1/3 cup (65 grams) sugar and cornstarch until smooth and no lumps remain.
- Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of milk-mixture into the egg-mixture and whisk until combined. Repeat once more. Add remaining milk-mixture in a slow and steady stream while continuing to whisk the egg-mixture. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve over the saucepan.
- Cook over medium-high heat until mixture thickens, whisk constantly. Once thickened, remove from heat. Stir in butter to melt.
- Transfer cream to a shallow bowl or an 8×8 glass dish. Cover cream with a plastic wrap by gently pressing the wrap just enough to touch the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for 1 to 2 hours or until cream becomes gelatinous.
- ALMOND CRUST: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour,1/4 cup almonds, sugar and salt. Toss in butter and coat with flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or long-tined fork, cut in butter and egg yolk until the mixture becomes crumbly about the size of small peas. Add water 2 tablespoons at a time and continue to cut into the flour mixture until a dough forms and is able to leave the sides of the bowl becoming one cohesive mass of dough.
- Shape dough into a flattened disk. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow dough to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 425°F (220°C) and lightly flour a clean and dry surface. Roll dough into a 15×5-inch rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick and insert into the 14×4.5 inch tart pan. Use remaining scraps to fill in any gaps or tears of the rolled out dough.
- Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes or until the crust becomes dry and lightly browned. Remove from oven and while hot, brush almond extract around the bottom and sides of the crust.
- Once basil pastry cream is set, spread cream over the cooled crust. Sprinkle remaining almonds and blackberries. Slice and best served at room temperature or chilled. ENJOY!
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: blackberry tart, basil pastry cream, custard, almond crust
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