Celebrations galore today. 65 years of the birth of India. Despite the warts, still beautiful and engaging. All we need to do now is to deserve all that she has to offer us.
100 years of the woman I knew not much about until my favourite actress Meryl Streep brought her to life and exposed me to what a phenomenal influence she was on home cooks. All those of us who follow a passion, will learn important lessons of following our hearts from Julia Child.
In the midst of all of this, is hanging out with friends, so what if it is online and spread over 6 cities in two countries. We, (Arundhati, Arundathi, Aparna, Nandita and I) have baked together earlier, this month onwards, Monika joins us. Frantic back and forth on facebook about baking in tandem to celebrate Julia’s birth centenary went on. Posting recipes, coming up with options for ingredients we did or did not have, frame by frame advances and updates as we tackled various stages of the tart baking. Believe me when I say it was so much fun. That’s what happens when you make friends with people who have the same passions as you do. After a bit of a hiatus after two baking escapades, the baking club, now called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Cake Tins, decided on Julia Child’s Baked Yogurt Tart.
Pardon me if I say so myself, but this tart is perhaps one of the best things I have baked in a while, and there is a decent amount of baking that happens at the Escapades household. It has a cheesecake like texture and is not overtly sweet which is just the way I like my baked treats. Plus there is very little argue about the reasonably healthy dessert it automatically becomes when there is oats and yogurt in it.
Each one of the six of us used ingredients we had on hand, so each of the tarts is amazingly different. I loved how we interpreted it and added our own touches. I admit I am not one of those people who will run out and shop for ingredients for a recipe. I usually try to substitute what I have on hand, or skip to another recipe if I don’t have more than a couple of the listed ingredients. In this case, I didn’t have vanilla (horror for a self confessed baker!). I find that I am using a lot of orange zest instead and this tart too was no different. I loved how it paired with the yogurt and frozen blueberries. I didn’t have fresh fruit on hand, so used some of my stash of frozen blueberries. I was a bit anxious about how it would turn out, but was very happy with the results.
There is a celebration of Julia’s legacy to commemorate her 100 th Birth Anniversary by PBS with “Cook For Julia” through the month of August. To join them, simply cook any one of Julia Child’s recipes. The deadline to join the party is 15th of August and as always, I make it by the skin of my teeth!
So here it is, my version of the Baked Yogurt Tart. I used a no roll pie crust from this recipe as the base.
Baked Yogurt Tart with Blueberries, Almonds and Orange Zest in an Oatmeal Pie Crust
(Adapted from Julia Child’s Baked Yogurt Tart and the Crust is from Baked Obsession’s Oatmeal Crust)
For the Crust (Makes one 9 inch tart shell)
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oats (I used Quaker’s quick cooking oats)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter; melted and cooled (I used Amul’s Lite Bread Spread)
1 egg, beaten, for sealing the dough
For the Tart Filling
3 medium Eggs
3/4 cup Sugar
2 cups thick plain yogurt (I used one 200 ml tub of store bought yogurt, drained out the whey)
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
¾ cup All Purpose Flour
A large pinch of salt
1/3 cup coarsely chopped Almonds (use any nuts of your choice or leave out if you have allergies)
1 cup frozen blueberries (I rinsed the frozen berries and left them in a sieve to drain out till needed, use any fresh berries or stone fruit you have)
To Make the Crust
Lightly butter the tart pan with removable bottom. Pulse the oats in the mixer to make a fairly smooth flour. In a bowl stir together the dry ingredients.
Add the melted and cooled butter, stir to combine. Press the mixture evenly into the pan to make a crust at the bottom and all the way up the sides of the pan. I used the bottom of a steel tumbler to press it down firmly.
Chill for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Put a piece of baking paper or foil in the tart shell, add some pie weights such as uncooked rice or uncooked beans and bake the tart crust for about 20 min, until it is set and pale golden.
Brush the bottom with the beaten egg, and then bake again for about 5 minutes until set and shiny to prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
Cool the tart crust. (I skipped this step and filled the still pretty warm crust with the yogurt mixture)
Tart Pan: I used a 6 inch glass tart pan (in fact a 1½ inch deep lid of a casserole. Lined it with aluminum foil which I then buttered before pressing the tart shell into it. I also used two 3 inch tart pans with removable bottoms.
To Make the Filling
Beat together the eggs and the sugar till pale and thick. I used the blender jar of the mixer. Whisk the yogurt and salt to remove lumps. In a bowl, fold the yogurt into the eggs and sugar mixture along with the orange zest. Add the flour to this mixture, folding in gently. Pour this mixture into the tart shell gently till it is 2/3 full. Add the rinsed and drained frozen blueberries to the mixture, leaving about 1 inch around the edges for the nuts. Add the nuts to the edge of the pie crust. Bake for about 22 minutes at 325 F or till the middle is just set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before chilling. Slice into wedges; dust with icing sugar and serve chilled or at room temperature.
I had 1 large cup of the filling leftover because my tart pan was smaller than what the recipe called for. I baked the filling for 15 minutes at 325 F without the crust in two small ramekins. Dusted it with sugar and served it as custard. The filling was just as good without the tart shell, so this is a pretty versatile recipe.
The yogurt tart is not very sweet and has a nice tang which paired well with the orange zest and blueberries. All in all, this is a keeper of a recipe.
Here are the tarts baked by my fellow bakers:
Arundhati’s Cherry Berry Yogurt Tart
Nandita’s Baked Yogurt Berry Tart