So I have a berry exciting post for you this week! I am finally able to share shots from my time photographing the Homer Soda Fest this year. I had such an amazing time trying all the sodas and capturing moments from the day’s events. Even through the raindrops, it turned out to be a beautiful day full of great food and refreshing sodas. In that day of photographing, I learn a lot about festival photography and I now have a new found appreciate for that style of shooting. I hope to do more in the coming years. Are you ready to see to photos? Let’s dive in, shall we?
With summer in full swing, every food blogger and his/her brother is featuring a recipe for berries of some capacity. But how can you blame them? Berries are delicious and currently in season, which makes this particular food blogger very happy. This last Saturday I was off from work. What did I do with my day off? I did what any sensible food photographer would do, I woke up around six in the morning, laced up my worn out Chuck Taylor shoes, drove with Momma Crawford and Father to the farmer’s market, came home and photographed my findings! This was my first time venturing out to farmer’s market this year. The smell of freshly baked donuts from the nearby food truck greeted us at the front gates. We ventured down rows of freshly grown strawberries and radishes, perused stands of baked artisan breads and whole wheat muffins. Macaroons stacked in glass cake stands and peaches being showered by early morning sunlight gave up warm wave hello. I felt at home. With my berries bought and packed away, I headed for home. With Momma Crawford’s floral painted tart pan in hand, I prepared for an afternoon of photographing and baking.
For the berries, I used a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The differing berries complimented each other beautifully. Then the crust, OH MAN this freaking crust you guys. It was the warmest, buttery, and flaky crust I’ve ever had. God bless you Martha Stewart. I thought I would be extra fancy and infuse some heavy cream with chamomile and make an infused whipped cream. Because why the heck not!? This tart is incredible. Each component is not only needed, but welcomed. When I think of summer, I image this tart; warm, memorable, and full of fresh, locally grown produce.
Along with this recipe, I decided to crack open one of the sodas I got while at the soda fest. This particular one, Yacht Club Ginger Beer, was the soda of choice. I thought the ginger would add that unexpected punch the sweet berries needed. Taking a sip, I was surprisingly lead to disappointment. The soda had a slightly bitter and somewhat strange aftertaste to it. Not the worst, but definitely not a pleasant drink to sip on a warm summer afternoon. Praying for the best, I added the soda to berry mixture hoping for some baking miracle as the berries bubbled away in the oven. And let me tell you, a miracle it was! This soda did a 180 degree turn and took this tart from good to GREAT. I can see this Ginger Beer working in so many recipes, both sweet and savory. This is definitely a superb soda to cook and bake with! I was exceptionally pleased.
Mixed Berry Tart with Ginger Beer & Whipped Chamomile Cream
Tart recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
For the crust
1 large egg yolk
2-4 tablespoons ice water
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes (around playing dice size)
For the filling
20 ounces’ berries (I used a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Ginger Beer (optional)
For the infused whipped cream
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons chamomile
2 tablespoons sugar
The Night Before.
For the infused cream. In a small sauce pan heat milk over medium heat until steam begins to appear. Take off the heat and stir in the chamomile. Cover and let sit for 25-30 minutes. Strain milk through a fine mesh strainer. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
For the crust. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water until combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl or food processor, pulse/stir the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the cubes of butter and process/cut until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add the yolk mixture and pulse/stir until the mixture comes together. If the dough is just too dang dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, a minimum of 30 minutes to overnight.
The Day of.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with butter. Take the dough out the fridge and let stand until pliable. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out slightly thicker than 1/8 inch. Starting at the edge away from you, carefully roll the dough onto the pin (think of a backwards fruit-rollup). Roll the dough over the prepared tart pan and trim the edges to fit the pan. Freeze the crust for 15-minutes.
For the filling. In a medium size bowl, stir together the berries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, and ginger beer until well combined. Pour the berry mixture into the prepared tart pan. Bake on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet to catch the juices, until bubbling in the center, about 45-50 minutes. If the tart is browning too quickly, tent with foil. Allow the tart to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and serving.
For the whipped cream. Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Doing this will allow the cream to stay cold and create stiff peaks quicker. Remove bowl from freezer and add the sugar and heavy cream. With a hand mixer or metal whisk, whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks, about 7 to 9 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, whisk for 10 to 15 seconds to reincorporate the air back into the cream.