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  • Paula Tiberius

Pear & Berry Tart With Whole Wheat Crust

Here is a delicious dessert for the holidays or any time at all!

With 100% whole wheat crust and lots of fruit, it makes up for the sugar and butter involved. Besides, as Natalie Kling says, real butter is a whole food that your system can process properly.

If you live in Southern California, you might be cursed – I mean blessed – with the Australian Brush Cherry, a ubiquitous hedge-making tree that when left unchecked, goes bananas with cherries. Of course they’re not actually cherries, they’re brush cherries which are much more like bland cranberries. They taste a bit like apples actually – an apple-cranberry, if you will, small with large seeds – so handy!

After about a year and a half of watching these ‘cherries’ fall to the ground like rain every year, I finally decided to collect some and see if they could become something. Jam, perhaps? I was originally motivated by Violet who thinks they’re pretty cool, round and pink as they are. She was naturally inclined to collect them, so I followed.

But for the purposes of this recipe, I have this theory that fresh cranberries cooked with a Granny Smith apple, lemon and sugar would have the same effect. I promise to try that out one day, likely after we sell the house here because as you can see, there’s a never-ending supply of brush cherries here.

Pear & Berry Tart With Whole Wheat Crust 

3 ripe organic Bartlett pears

1 1/4 cups 100% whole wheat flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) organic butter

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsps cold water

3 cups cherries

2 lemons, juiced

1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup apricot jam

Tart Crust

Blend the flour and salt in a food processor and add the cold butter slowly into the hopper, about 1/2 tbsp at a time. With each lump of butter, pulse the processor about three times. Once the butter is finished, blend for about 15 seconds until you see the flour beginning to bond with the butter, then add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and blend for another 15 seconds each. After the last of three tablespoon of water, the dough should be formed.

Dump it out onto a smooth surface covered with extra flour. Roll out the dough into a circle shape – or whatever shape you want! Violet and I made a heart last time…

Brush Cherry Jam

In a medium saucepan, combine the water (1/2 cup), cherries, the juice from one lemon and sugar and cook on medium heat for about 40 minutes, or until the mixture is soft and gooey, blended well. Basically, jam!

Again, if you don’t happen to have brush cherries taking over your garden as I do, try cranberries with a chopped Granny Smith apple. That’s my plan after we move.

Apricot Drizzle

Put your half cup of apricot jam into a small saucepan with the juice of one lemon. Stir until it gets hot and runny.

Lay the brush cherry jam down onto the crust as the first layer of your tart. It’s up to you how thick you want it depending on where you sit on the tart vs. sweet scale. This jam is tart.

Then peel and slice the pears into crescents and lay them flat over the jam.

Lastly, drizzle the apricot mixture over top.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes, checking after 30.

Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream or not!

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