The Fresh Raspberry Tart is an impressive dessert perfect for entertaining any time of the year. Impressive but rather easy - this is a no-roll pastry! Raspberries are the star here, get the prettiest you can find.
There is a thing about raspberries that to me just seems so regal. Raspberry anything says fancy. This fresh raspberry tart showcases fresh raspberries in a simple shortbread crust. This dessert is kinda simple considering how impressive it looks.
This is a no-roll shortbread pastry crust. YAY!
I don't know about you, but I hesitate and tend to skip past any recipe that requires me to get my rolling pin. Pastry feels so hard when a rolling pin is involved, and I know I'm just going to mess it up. This shortbread crust just needs you to press it into your tart pan and it is ready to go. So easy. This recipe is an Ina Garten recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.
📋 Ingredients notes
In desserts like this, you can't hide cheap or subpar ingredients. The list of ingredients here is not long. Every layer is important and will be tasted. Get the best you can manage. Consider the following:
Butter -- use good unsalted butter here. I wrote a little bit about butter in this post. Some butters seem to have different fat content or quality than others, and water will make for a greasy and limp crust. Stick to name brands here.
Raspberry Preserves or jam - go for the good stuff! This is not the time to reach for low-sugar, cheap raspberry jam. Grab that speciality variety from the top shelf. You need about 1 cup, approximately 250ml. A jar that comes in at 212mls will work just fine.
Raspberries - this goes without saying. Use fresh. You also want them to be a little bit on the firm side so they will look pretty in the tart shell. You cannot use frozen. If raspberries are just not in season, don't make this tart (ha!) try this one instead. You can also use this recipe as a template for other fresh berries like sliced strawberries!
Chocolate - I've drizzled the finished tart with white and dark chocolate. Not necessary, but I thought pretty. And I'm a fan of chocolate raspberry. Feel free to skip this step or just use one kind of chocolate.
⏰ Make-ahead prep and serving
Up to 2 days before serving:
Make the dough. Press dough into the tart pan, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, up to 1 day before baking.
Butter should be room temperature for this dough. Which is slightly different from many pie crusts which call for cold butter. Room temperature butter allows you to incorporate the butter quickly into the sugar and then form a soft and crumbly pastry. Don't over mix.
The day before serving:
Bake the crust. The crust can be baked about 1 day ahead of time. You do need to pre-bake the empty shell, so leave time for this. I actually like to work with a completely cooled pastry before assembling the tart.
The shell is baked empty. For a flat and even base for your filling, blind bake the pastry using pie-weights. This prevents the crust from puffing up as it bakes empty (since there is no filling to keep it flat).
You can buy pie weights or do what I did and just use an old bunch of dried beans. Just remember to lable the beans in a separate jar and call them "pie beans" so you don't try to use them for soup or something. Once used as pie beans those beans will not soften no matter how long you cook them.
Pre-baking the shell using pie weights
To use pie weights (or pie beans 😉 ) spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray, or otherwise butter it to prevent sticking, and lay on top of the uncooked pastry - oiled side down. And carefully push against the soft dough, don't press too hard. Just enough to flatten it against the shape of the tart. Fill the foil-covered tart shell with pie beans. Bake for 20 mins at 350.
After 20 minutes, remove tin foil with the pie beans. Prick shell all over with a fork and bake again for another 20 minutes or so until golden brown.
Do not refrigerate the cooked tart shell after baking. Allow to cool completely, then feel free to place in a covered cake stand or container to protect until you are ready to assemble the tart.
A few hours before serving
The tart should be assembled the day it is served. This means the cooked and cooled pastry (can be done ahead of time, see above) can be filled with jam and decorated with raspberries and chocolate a few hours before serving.
Tart is best if not refrigerated after assembly.
Leftovers can be stored, covered, at room temperature for about 24 hours.
Fresh Raspberry Tart
- ¾ cups unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-¾ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup raspberry jam
- 1-½ pints fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup good dark and white chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a standmixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Sugar and butter should be just combined. Not whipped. Add the vanilla and mix a few times to incorporate.
- In a medium bowl combine flour and salt. Whisk to combine and evenly distribute the salt. Add the flour to the butter mixture in the standmixer. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump flour onto a flat work surface and shape into a flat disk. Push dough into a 10 inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Ensure the dough comes all the way up the sides. You can use a butter knife to clean around the edges so they are nice and straight. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes, up to a day ahead.
- To bake the crust, spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray or lightly oil and place oiled side against the pastry dough. Fill with dried beans (I keep some on hand just for this purpose, you don't want to eat these beans later). Bake at 350 for about 20 mins. Remove beans and foil. Poke the crust all over with a fork. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
- To serve: Spread the cool pastry tart shell with raspberry jam and arrange the fresh berries over the top of the tart. Drizzle with melted white chocolate, or a combination of white and dark chocolate. Serve immediately.