Here in my country it's time of red currant and because we have a garden I always have a huge lot of it. Maybe I should say way too much :) Usually in July I have to go there to pick up some and mostly end up with 4 kilograms of red currant, but then in early August it's there again and our house is like a red currant castle. A huge lot of it ends up in our freezer (so it's totally overfull) and another big amount is transformed into delicious jelly. But what to do with the rest?
So every year I look for another new recipes and try to make my own ones. The most common dessert consists of shortcrust pastry or sponge cake, red currant sugar layer and a little sweetened meringue. But you cannot do this all the time as everyone would get bored and overeaten with it. I already tried red currant cheesecakes, yoghurt cakes, 3-layer sponge cakes and more and more. Well, it's all similar but the taste is a little bit different.
The tart I chose this time quite typical for our Czech cuisine when it comes to ingredients, but it's not our national dish or something. I found the original recipe in one magazine, but I changed a few things and ended up with sweet tart with a hint of sour tanginess from red currant. I hope you'll try it out as it is something different than usual pies and cakes but still it's divine after-lunch treat :)
Well, I won't tease you any more - here's the recipe :)
6g baking powder
100g unsalted butter, cut into tiny lumps
300g all-purpose flour (or plain flour)
2 egg yolks, ligthly beaten
2 egg yolks
250g sour cream
1 tbps vanilla extract
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1000g red currants
Dough: Mix together sugar, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add butter into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs, using a knife and then your fingertips. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the beaten egg yolks and milk into it. Use a knife to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball. Flat the ball into a disc. Line a sheet pan (aprox. 30x40cm) with baking paper and spread the dough over the pan evenly. It's a bit difficult but it's not impossible :)
Filling: Beat all ingredients together until incorporated and spread over the dough evenly.
Meringue: Beat egg whites and sugar together until firm peaks form (it'll take several minutes). Add red currants and gently fold in using wooden spatula. Spred evenly over the tart.
Bake in preheated oven to 170C for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 150C and continue baking until the surface is lightly golden brown. Let cool completely and then serve (otherwise it would fall apart).
- If you cannot find quark cheese (it's typical for Europe and has sour creamy taste, low fat content), you can use cream cheese with lower fat content.
- My family absolutely has sweet tooth, so if you don't, add less sugar than is used in the recipe (only in dough and/or filling, not in the meringue!).
- You can use frozen red currants, do not defrost them or they'll get soggy.
- Feel free to use other types of currants (like black, white etc.).
This tart is pretty good. Crunchy on the surface, soft and tender inside. It combines perfectly the sourness of red currant and sweetness of the filling and dough. I love the creamy smooth texture of the sour cream but don't worry, here it's not sour at all. I and my family enjoyed a piece yesterday on balcon watching twilight and it was a perfect dot after rough day.