Photo Credit: The Washington Post
This scrumptious dessert has everything you expect from a summer tart: a buttery crust, a creamy center and a crown of colorful berries. As tarts tend to be, it's an ideal ending for an alfresco dinner or a treat with an iced tea in the afternoon. But this one also has another thing going for it: It's better for you.
The main healthful twist is its filling. Not the typical custard, it's made with yogurt that has been strained to achieve a custardlike creaminess. It is a simple thing to do. In fact, before Greek yogurt was widely available (a mere 10 years ago, if you can believe it), I frequently made my own, using this method of straining regular yogurt. Here, you start with Greek yogurt and thicken it further by putting it into a paper-towel-lined mesh strainer set over a bowl and letting it sit in the refrigerator for at least four hours. After that time, the liquid (whey) is drained off and the ultra-thick yogurt, which releases easily from the paper towel, is the right consistency for the tart filling.
The yogurt is flavored with a couple of tablespoons of honey and a bright kick of lemon zest, then spread into a graham cracker crust, which also is a notch more healthful than most crusts because it involves much less butter. The tart is topped with a variety of plump summer berries that can be artfully arranged or just piled on, depending on your mood. I entertained the idea of glazing them with dissolved honey or jam but found that their natural beauty needed no adornment at all.
Let the tart set in the refrigerator for several hours after it is prepared. Altogether, the recipe requires considerable sitting time but very little effort, qualifying it as the perfect make-ahead treat for a relaxed summer day.
Berry Tart With Honey-Yogurt Filling:
When you make this in a 9-inch pie plate, know that the tart will not fill it to the rim. An 8-inch tart pan can also be used.
MAKE AHEAD: The yogurt needs to be strained in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. The tart needs to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or up to a day, before serving.
2 cups plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt
9 rectangular graham cracker sheets (4.8 ounces total)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 large strawberries, quartered, or 8 small strawberries, halved
3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup raspberries
Line a fine-mesh strainer with paper towels and set the strainer over a bowl. Place the yogurt on top of the paper towel in the strainer; transfer to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Transfer the thickened yogurt to a bowl, and discard the liquid that has drained off.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor to the consistency of fine crumbs. The yield should be about 1 1/3 cups. Add the butter, salt and water; pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
Grease a 9-inch round pie dish (not deep-dish) or 8-inch tart pan with cooking oil spray. Use your fingers to press the crumb mixture into a pie plate or tart pan, including a bit up the sides. Bake until browned, 9 or 10 minutes. (The baked crust might have cracks in it; that's okay.) Let it cool completely.
Add the honey and lemon zest to the yogurt, stirring to incorporate. Transfer the yogurt mixture to the crust, spreading it gently so as not to break up the crust or drag crumbs.
Arrange the berries on top of the yogurt filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day in advance.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post
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