You know, Sam seems to be a popular name in the fantasy business. Samwise Gamgee, Samwell Tarly, Sam-I-Am (yeah, yeah, whatever, I’m cheating). I do, however, apologize for my blatant pun and the use of one of the most amusing (okay, most amusing to me) characters of A Song of Ice and Fire.
I mean, come on, think about it, the guy, for some godforsaken reason, is a survivor. And no, I haven’t gotten to the latest books yet, so far be it for me to spoil something I have no idea on, but think about it. He’s lived even after all those tarts he’s been stealing down in the good ole’ South. I mean, there are some places where theft gets you a chopped-off arm. And some places send you off to a correction facility. And some places like Westeros forces you to Take the Black. And yet Samwell gets through this and still retains his cowardly attitude. Talk about amazingness.
ANYWAY. There is relevance to this quasi-tangential character introduction!
And I give it to you in full-pictured splendor:
I’d been meaning to post this up all of last week, and for many reasons, it never happened. However, after returning to my good ole’ Game of Thrones recipe book, A Feast of Ice and Fire, I decided I’d go further South for another fantabulous dessert. Plus, I love berries, and I really wanted to do something with raspberries and blackberries. And while I didn’t find the recipe exactly in the book, I did find a derivation of it at the authors’ official cooking blog: the Inn at the Crossroads.
First off, that lemon pastry dough recipe is to die for. No, I’m serious. It was absolutely delicious. I could quit my job and take up barding if I could sing praises about the pastry dough. Not that I will, but it was frelling good. I mean it.
I pretty much followed the recipe on the site as is. Thankfully, both the raspberries and blackberries were on sale (I LOVE sales!). I did have a problem locating a tart pan at the baking section of the local grocery shop. So I had to use a pie pan (as you can see), and I folded/closed over the dough so that the berry juices didn’t seep out. As wonders may have it, I did end up with extra crust, so while I baked the entire tart into the oven, I put the smaller piece into a toaster oven to check out.
Some extra notes I learned while I made the tart:
– DO NOT wash the berries. If you’re keen on making sure they’re chemical-less, I suggest just using wet paper towel to wipe the exteriors up a bit. But do not, I repeat, DO NOT, wash them. Yes, this may seem logical to some people, but I tend to learn things as I go, and food is something I’m still constantly learning about. Berries tend to take up a lot of water. A lot. Of water. And when you think they’re dry, they’re really not (I’d washed the berries the night before, laid them out to dry, and they were still not dry). You won’t see the effects of wet berries up until you bake them into the oven. Fifteen minutes later, could pretty much sog up your tart.
– Don’t overcook the berries. You want most of them to still retain their shape, not turn into an ooey gooey mess! Unless you want an ooey gooey mess, then by all means, have at it.
– If applicable, it might be better to use smaller tart pans. At least, I think it’s much less of a mess. So I’ll probably find a smaller set (or maybe experiment with my cupcake tray, hmm…an idea!) of tart pans that I can use to put the dough and berries in.
– Ice cream may be optional, but it’s frelling awesome.
Verdict: Tarts are usually believed to be sour, but with the lemon pastry dough along with the sugar mixed in and the freshness of the berries, well, it was a great and colorful concoction. Surprisingly sweet, for a tart, and just enough of souryness so that you don’t mistake it for what it is. Take that as you will.