It's berry season y'all. Trying hard not to think of Paula Deen as I say that out loud lol. I've been determined to make something divine with currants. My go to guy is Nigel Slater, the English chef sure does know what to do with all these tart little guys. Super common in England, currants grow everywhere. They make jams, compotes, desserts and use them in savory dishes.
On skype with my boyfriends mum in England last week, I was picking her brain about all these berries that grow wild around her house. Sharing ideas of sloe gin and cordials, this woman makes booze out of everything. I must visit England in the summertime. Red currants are most common but I was lucky enough to find these golden white ones. A real punch in the mouth when eaten by themselves. To be honest I was a little nervous when I saw the amount of raw tart berries that were going to be scattered over top. But I was so pleasantly surprised with this little tart, a perfect balance of sweet, cream and tart. A perfect use for currants, a great summer dessert.
The recipe called for Fromage Frais which is not too common here in the states. After doing some research I went with Quark, a very similar product. I used organic ginger snaps for the crust and added a touch more sugar then the recipe called for.
A tart of fromage frais and white currants
adapted from Nigel Slater's Ripe
enough for 8
for the filling
fromage frais - about a pound (500g) (I used 16oz of quark)
plain yogurt - 2 cups
confectioners sugar - 3 heaping tablespoons, plus more for dusting. (I added 4 tablespoons)
the grated zest of one orange
white currants - 1 pound
for the crust
butter - 5 tablespoons
lemon, orange or ginger cookies - 10 ounces (I used ginger)
Mix the fromage frais and yogurt. Line a colander or sieve with cheesecloth. Pour mixture into the sieve, place the whole thing on a shallow dish to catch the drips, and put it in the fridge. Leave overnight.
To make the crust, melt the butter. Crush the cookies into a coarse open crumb, then mix them with the melted butter. Tip them into a loose-bottomed tart pan, about 9 inches in diameter, then smooth them in, pushing them into the corners with your fingers. Chill for twenty minutes.
For the filling, tip the strained cheese mixture out of the cheesecloth into a bowl. Stir in the confectioners sugar and grated orange zest. Smooth the filling into the chilled tart crust. Pull the currants from their stalks and pile them on top of the tart filling. Dust generously with the confectioners sugar. Leave for a few minutes before slicing.
Plate by Smith Built Pottery