Tucked between rich chocolate ganache and a chocolate shortbread crust, creamy raspberry filling adds bold flavor to this Raspberry Cream Tart.
My daughter Eliza usually asks for a whole box of See’s raspberry creams for her birthday. Wrapping up a box full of those perfect little treats is a pretty genius idea; we all love them as much as Eliza does, and we’re usually fighting for the last one in any box of See’s candy.
So recently, when I wondered out loud if I could replicate the raspberry cream experience in tart form, you would have thought I’d offered to take my family to Disneyland. Everyone jumped on board and wanted to help me make it happen just as soon as possible.
The first step involved figuring out how to prepare a dense raspberry filling with bright, fruity flavor. Raspberries are super juicy, so eliminating as much liquid as possible seemed like the best way to start. We simmered a saucepan full of berries down to a mere half cup of jam-like puree.
Reducing 24 ounces of berries to a puckeringly-tart concentrate takes some time on the stove; fortunately, this process dovetails nicely with the dessert’s crust preparation. The berries only require a stir every now and then, so it’s easy to mix up the chocolate shortbread crust and get it into the oven as the raspberries simmer. Once the crust is in the oven, all you need to do is check on the simmering raspberries occasionally to prevent scorching, with more stirring towards the end as the juices thicken. Miraculously, both the crust and berries usually end up ready at about the same time.
Once the crust and raspberry puree have cooled, putting the tart together is simple. The reduced raspberries, butter, cream, a pinch of salt, a splash of Chambord and vanilla combine with powdered sugar in a thick, luscious filling that chills in the tart crust as you prepare the chocolate ganache.
After adding a layer of smooth, rich ganache over the fruity filling, the hardest part of the whole process is putting the tart back in the refrigerator to chill completely. The wait is totally worth it, though, as the tart slices into tidy servings that reveal the shockingly pink raspberry layer nestled between the ganache and chocolate shortbread.
The finished tart exceeded all of our expectations for this dessert. When we compared it to See’s raspberry creams, everyone agreed that the tart tasted better — fresher and more flavorful — than its inspiration.
- Raspberry Filling
- 24 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened but still cool
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Chambord (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 3 to 3½ cups powdered sugar
- Chocolate Crust
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup cocoa nibs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- In a medium-large saucepan, bring the raspberries to a boil over moderate heat, continue boiling for about a minute or two, stirring and crushing the berries with a wooden spoon to release their juices. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the raspberries over a clean medium-large saucepan, pressing down to get as much of the juice as you can. Place the raspberry juice back on the stove and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Stir the juices occasionally at first, and then more frequently as the sauce begins to thicken to prevent scorching. Continue cooking until the juices are thickened to a jam-like consistency and have reduced to ½ cup. Cool in the refrigerator or in a water bath.
- As the raspberries reduce, prepare the crust. Mix butter, cocoa, nibs, sugar, salt, vanilla in a medium bowl. Add flour and mix until blended. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 10 or 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Generously prick the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork. Bake in the lower third of an oven preheated to 350° F until the crust feels firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely.
- To prepare the filling, combine reduced raspberry juices, butter, cream, Chambord, vanilla extract, salt, and 3 cups of the powdered sugar in the bowl of a standing electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, stir on low speed to combine. Increase mixer speed and beat until well combined. The filling should look thick, shiny, and slightly sticky. If it feels too soft and gooey, add a bit more powdered sugar.
- Scrape the filling into the cooled tart crust and spread it evenly to the edges, doing your best to smooth the top. Refrigerate while you prepare the ganache.
- To make the ganache, place chopped chocolate in a measuring glass with a pour spout; set aside. Bring cream to a boil over medium heat. Pour hot cream over the chocolate; without stirring, let the cream-chocolate mixture sit for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, stir slowly with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Acting quickly, pour ganache over the raspberry filling. Carefully pick up the tart pan, tilting and rotating to spread the ganache to the tart’s edges as needed. If desired pop any large bubbles that form with a toothpick or the tip of a sharp knife.
- Refrigerate uncovered for several hours to chill completely before serving. Serve chilled garnished with fresh raspberries, if desired.