We feel a little bit guilty to be so far ahead of the season, but yesterday we just couldn't resist and we bought a little box of (imported) raspberries. In sweet anticipation of the summer days we pictured those delicious, red, little fruit as filling for yummy rustic tarts, complete with extra-flaky crust. So we satisfied our longing and made them into dessert.
115 gr butter, frozen
156 gr flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water, ice cold
42 Raspberries + one for the baker
For the crust make sure that both the butter and the water are ice cold. Having butter cubes available in the freezer is very convenient, and ensures that you'll be able to make a super nice and flaky pie crust anytime. If that is not the case, just cut your butter into smallish cubes before you start the dough, and freeze them for at least 15 minutes. The colder your butter and water are, the better your chances to achieve a flaky crust.
Put the flour and the salt into a food processor and add half the butter. Pulse a number of times to chop the butter cubes into crumbs, then add the other half of the butter and proceed in the same way. Once your mixture resembles coarse meal, you can start adding some of your ice cold water. Pulse in between and then add a little bit more water. Be sure to keep the amount of water in the dough to a minimum, since too much water will create a tough crust. Stop adding water once the crumbles hold together when you pinch them with your fingers.
Place the crumbly mixture on a clean and smooth surface. Press the heel of your palm into the crumbles, smoothing them into the work surface. Repeat that a number of times, then press the crumbles together and work the dough just enough so that it holds together. Over-kneading and too much gluten development will result in a tough crust. The little bits of butter that are dotting the dough will melt during the baking process and help to create the flaky layers of the crust. Wrap the dough in clear plastic film and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Take the dough out of the fridge 10 minutes before you want to work with it. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the dough into three equal pieces and roll them out to 5 inch circles, to a thickness of about one eighth of an inch. Place the circles on a baking sheet and put the raspberries in the middle, leaving about a three quarter inch edge to fold it over.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust browns nicely.
By the way: you can be as creative with your filling as you wish. Anything goes; sweet or savory.