Photography: Jonathan Lovekin1 of 6
The Time is Ripe to Bake Pies (and Tarts)
Farmers’ markets are at their most sumptuous during the warm-weather months, when fruits are abundant, flowers are voluptuous, and herbs are as fresh as can be. Inspired by the season’s sun-kissed flavors and heady fragrances, we created pies and tarts that mingle sweet fruits with aromatic edible plants. Consider this an ode to summer’s gorgeous bounty.
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A few handfuls of raspberries, strawberries, and elderberries tossed in sugar rest atop a chilled custard infused with lemon basil. The herb, with its citrusy note, brightens the silky, rich filling.
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If you’re using oregano only in savory dishes, you’re missing out. We mixed chopped fresh oregano (it’s less pungent than the dried herb) with blackberries for a fragrant and sweet filling. The top crust is made by overlapping disks of pâte brisée, shaped with a fluted round cutter to echo the fruit’s silhouette.
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The mild sweetness of chamomile, a dainty little flower, is a nice counterpoint to the fruit’s lusciousness. A brew of sugar, water, and dried chamomile is used to poach the peaches, which are then nestled on top of sweetened sour cream in a fluted rectangular shell. We also seasoned the dough with the ground buds from chamomile tea bags.
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A rose is a rose is a rose ... until you pair its delicate fragrance with plums, at which point it creates a sublime dessert. For this tart, rose water is sprinkled onto a mixed bunch of cut plums; the aromatic filling is then topped with a brown-sugar crumble before baking. Pair with a plum-rose sorbet.
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Each of these delightful tartlets comprises three distinct parts: a cornmeal crust; whipped cream infused with dried lavender for a floral, slightly minty kick; and a topping of firm blueberries and (dried or fresh) lavender. The assembly is easy; it can even be child’s play if you have a willing little companion.