It's lovely when a plan comes together perfectly. Aparna, Arundati, Arundhati, Arundathi (yes, they are three different girls with same name and different spellings) and me, started a little baking group to egg each other to bake and write about it, not that Aparna needs any egging on. We've christened it The Sisterhood of The Traveling Cake Tins and each month we bake something together.
Behind the beautiful posts, what you wont see is some frantic activity on our (secret) FB group page, where each of us spams recipe links, where to source ingredients, what to substitute, what to do when something seems to be going wrong and of course, pictures and commentary at every stage of the recipe. This time was no different. Also, seeing my post about this exciting group, Monika asked to be a part of it too and now we are six of us.
We decided to bake something to commemorate the legendary Julia Child's 100th birthday. In my early years of food blogging, I won the book 'My Life in France' for showcasing the best marketplace, and this foodblogger shipped this book to me all the way from Switzerland. I've read the book many times and it's never failed to inspire me on how Julia found her life's calling in her 40s, how she had never been interested in cooking until then, how she went on to write the most applauded cookbook of her times and went on to make the most watched cookery show of her time.
This is a simple recipe, by French cooking standards. I used a simple mix and 'press-into-tin and bake' crust recipe over one that needs resting and rolling. The filling itself it extremely easy-just good yogurt, eggs, sugar, flour topped with fruit and nuts of your choice. I was telling my fellow group members how this makes a perfect breakfast recipe, minus the crust.
Coming to the other two birthdays, it is the husband's birthday today and we did a little 'cake' cutting ceremony over our morning tea and had it for breakfast. It is also India's 65th Independence Day which makes this dessert fit three special occasions beautifully.
Recipe for baked yogurt berry tart with oatmeal crust
For the oatmeal crust:
Adapted from here
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal flour (lightly roasted and powdered the oats)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100 grams butter, melted and cooled (but still liquid)
1 egg beaten-to seal crust once nearly baked
Line a 9" pie tin with a detachable base or a regular pie tin lined with foil. Grease the foil.
In a large bowl, mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt till combined. Add melted butter and gently bring together everything. Tip this onto the pie tin and smoothen with fingers to line enter base and the side of the tin, pressing down with a flat bottomed cup to even it out and chill in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat oven at 170 C (325 F).
Place a rack in middle of oven and bake this crust for 20 minutes, until nearly golden.
Remove and brush with beaten egg all through and bake again for 5-7 minutes. This prevents the crust from becoming soggy.
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
For the filling (adapted from Julia Child's recipe for Tarte Au Yogurt)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 cups yogurt (I used Danone-regular fat, after lightly tipping out any whey on the top, no need to drain)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1.5 cups berries or sliced peaches or nectarines (I used dried wild blueberries and cranberries, rehydrated and drained)
1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for 3-4 minutes till pale and thick. Lightly fold the yogurt and vanilla extract into this until mixed. Sieve the flour into this gently, folding it into the mix in batches. Once the crust is baked, pour the mix into it, it will reach almost to the top of the pan. Once you arrange the fruits in the center and nuts around the circumference, the tart is ready to go into the oven for 40 minutes at 170 C (325F), until lightly golden around the edges.
Unmould with the foil or from the detachable base and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or so. Peel off foil and place on a cake tray, slice into wedges. Once such tart will yield 16 slices.
PBS is celebrating Julia Child’s 100th birth anniversary with a “Cook For Julia” right through this week and you can join them by cooking any one of Julia Child’s recipes. The deadline to join the party is 15th August, Julia’s birthday.
Posts by the others in my baking group:
Arundhati's Cherry Berry Yogurt Tart