Autumn Raspberry Custard Tart

Autumn may be here, but she hasn’t whispered that to our raspberry bushes. I love this time of year when the brilliant red berries glow under a still hot sun which – thankfully – arrives mid morning after the mist rises.  The cooling earth and the mist and turning leaves makes me want to savor those precious last raspberries more than I do in June when they seem like they’ll last forever.

At the end of April we had an enormous snowstorm that crushed some of the tender shoots that had begun to green. We had a good raspberry season but I do think we lost about 30% of what we could have had. That’s why there’s no cordial being made from the late crop.  So what should I do with those lovely gems?  I came across some really awesome looking recipes and advice from friends. Everything from “Eat them like popcorn” (which we did) to making jam (the Berry Patch near our home does that the best) to serving under chocolate (excuse me, that’s an every night before we go to bed snack around here).

I wanted nothing but pure raspberry flavor to come through and I could just imagine the raspberries drowned in nothing but cream – but that’s way too decadent don’t you think? said no one ever!

I found this recipe http://foodforpoems.blogspot.com/2010/03/raspberry-custard-tart.html She doesn’t blog anymore, but I like the idea she had about food for poems so I just knew this would be a great recipe.  It turned out perfect but I did change two little things: I filled those raspberries so that you could not see the bottom of the pan at all, and I used the gluten free Pate’ Brisee’ recipe you’ll find in our archives. I should have chilled the dough before I made it but I was impatient.

Here’s to the beautiful raspberry – mine’s Joan J. I think each ripening fruit and vegetable in the garden deserves to be singled out and enjoyed. Pure. Simple. Unadulterated fullness of flavor. That’s what you get in this custard tart. 

Beer Risotto with Butternut Squash, Cheddar Cheese, Shrimp, and Cayenne

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I debated whether or not to add shrimp to a beer risotto with cheddar cheese. That ability which some people have to understand intuitively which flavors mesh well often fails me. But I had shrimp in the freezer, and it felt only right to rework it sooner rather than later (it was originally used for A-MAZ-ING shrimp tacos that I can take zero credit for).

Leftover beer from my brother’s continual wedding celebration.

Carrots I bought the first weekend I moved here. Yeah. Close to gross.

Squash from the farmer’s market.

Here it is. Perfect for someone who often has beer on hand but not wine. Later in the semester we’ll see how this tastes with something cheap like Rolling Rock. The only sad part about this is that, if you’re like me, you’ll be out of beer by the end.

Beer Risotto with Butternut Squash, Cheddar Cheese, Shrimp, and Cayenne

*Inspired by Cooking This and That

1/2 small onion, diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups Arborio rice

1 12 oz bottle of beer (I used Sierra Nevada Pale Ale)

5 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 carrots, diced

2 cups diced butternut squash

1 garlic clove, diced

2 cups shrimp

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper

In a saute pan, heat butter, diced garlic, and shrimp. Cook until lightly brown on each side. Set aside. Heat 5 cups chicken broth in a saucepan. In the meantime, cook onion in large saute pan with olive oil until tender. Add rice and stir until coated in olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, stirring gently until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue to add broth, stirring each time until the rice absorbs the liquid (probably should use low heat at this point).

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After most of the chicken broth is absorbed, gradually begin to add the beer and stir. Add carrots, butternut squash, and rest of broth. Stir until the rice is puffier and only has a little bit of a bite when you try it. Add cheese, cayenne pepper, and shrimp.

Serve warm. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It goes well with this song.