Notes: While we were in the hospital after Gemma was born, this recipe caught our eyes. It was part of an article talking about how to tame your sweet tooth. With a recent front page article in Maclean's, and a key subject in the bestselling book Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, sugar is at the forefront of nutritional discussions lately, particularly its link to obesity.
I have my parents to thank for not being a junk food junkie: chocolate bars, chips and candy were always treats for us growing up. I remember an embarrassing incident in which I tried to save a half-eaten chocolate bar bought on a school trip, only to have it melt into a sticky mess in my pocket. Chinese bakeries making Western-style layer cakes also typically use less sugar, and I've never seen one making a monstrosity such as Cheesecake Factory's Brownie Sundae Cheesecake.
Nonetheless, I indulge regularly in desserts (including breakfast pastries) and I've been thinking about cutting my consumption. For a few weeks now, I've been limiting myself to one dessert a day, whether it's a slice of pie after dinner, two cookies after lunch, or a chocolate croissant with coffee). It's been surprisingly easy to do so. In the Globe article, the author says “ Just as our palettes are conditioned to crave sugar, they can be trained to want less of it.”. This is good news. However, I'm not sure I'll ever heed her advice to reduce dessert consumption to just one item per week.
Berries are in season on the west coast now, and will be soon here in Ontario, so it was easy to find good quality blackberries and raspberries for this tart. The crust is a reduced-sugar pate sucrée (basically, an American pie crust with egg yolk and sugar) that is rolled very thin and blind baked. The filling is merely a half cup of ricotta, a few tablespoons of sour cream and a tiny bit of sugar, spread thinly on the tart shell bottom. Berries and a drizzle of maple syrup complete this dessert.
All of the tasters really enjoyed this. It was a nice light alternative, with a focus on the fruit, and something I would make again!