Monday, August 20, 2012

Blackberry Custard Torte

I've recently returned from my annual summer vacation in Maine. I love Maine. And I love that the blackberries are always ripe when I visit in August. This year, my mom had a brand new kitchen for me to bake in (she had a kitchen remodel done just a month after my visit LAST August) and a family friend invited me over to his house to pick wild blackberries. My five year old and I headed over and I picked enough (I say I, because he decided after picking about 3 berries that he was done and then found a spot in the shade) to fill a large berry basket.

Mom's request was this particular recipe, a blackberry torte which she told me she had made once, years ago. After a bit of hunting, we found the particular recipe she was after and my helper and I went to work.

First of all, I love cooking in Mom's kitchen, because she has all kinds of cool vintage kitchenware. Secondly, after years of baking in her very dark kitchen (it is a U-shaped kitchen with a single window) with walnut colored cabinets, it was like a dream to bake in her newly done space. Not just the color was changed, but the whole configuration of cabinets, making a much more efficient workspace. I had been looking forward to it all year! (Yes, strange things excite me)

So, let's get down to the recipe...

It is from the June/July 2000 issue of Taste of Home, and can be found online here.

Dough will be very pasty and sticky
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick)
1 egg

Custard Filling:
3 egg yolks
16 oz sour cream
1/2 sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, divided
whipped cream

Combine flour, sugar and baking soda. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Add in the egg, stirring with a fork, until the dough forms a ball. It will be very sticky.  In an ungreased springform pan, press the dough on the bottom and up the sides, being careful not to leave any gaps. I found using a silicone spatula, slightly greased to keep the dough from sticking to it, worked really well.

In another bowl, combine the egg yolks, sour cream, sugar and vanilla, mixing until just combined. Spread half of the blackberries over the crust dough, then pour the filling over the top, spreading until smooth. Bake at 325F for 90 minutes. Center will be almost set and will fall after cooling. Once cool, add the remaining blackberries to the center of the torte.

To serve, remove the outside of the springform pan. Slice and add a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 14-16. Enjoy!