Danielle took her finger out of her mouth and took a bite. I watched her. She took another. And another. I took a bite myself.

It was magnificent. The fruit was intoxicatingly fragrant and each berry released it's juice only in the mouth, where it met the sweet, crumbly crust. "Why is this so much better than other tarts?" I asked.

Madame Deveau looked at me with something like interest. "The American wakes up," she commented. "It is that the products here are so good," she said. "good butter from fat cows and wild berries grown in the island air."

-Ruth Reichl
Tender at the Bone
Chapter 6, p. 101

Oleron Berry Tart
serves 8


Put sugar and flour into a bowl. Cut the butter into small squares and add to flour/sugar mixture. Toss with your fingers until butter is coated with flour, and then rub until the mixture looks like cornmeal.

Add cream to egg and pour into flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork until pastry holds together in a small ball. If not moist enough, add a tbsp or so of water to bring it together.

Sprinkle flour across a counter and place pastry on flour. Push the dough with the heel of your hand until it has all been worked through. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for three hours.

Remove and allow to warm for ten minutes. Sprinkle more four on the counter. Flatten ball into a disk and roll out in an eleven inch circle. Fit gently into an eight or nine inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press into pan gently, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim off edges and put into freezer for 10 minutes to firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with rice or dried beans and bake 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and filler and cook 4-5 more minutes, until golden.

Remove form oven and allow to cool while making filling...


Put almonds and three tbsp of the sugar in a food processor and grind to a fine powder.

Cream butter with remaining sugar. Add yolks, stirring until smooth. Add ground almond-sugar mixture and vanilla extract.

Spread almond cream into bottom of pre-baked tart shell.

Carefully cover the tart with 2 cups of the raspberries.

Sprinkle with 2 tsp sugar, bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool two hours.

Just befor serving, cover the top of the tart with remaining 2 cups of raspberries.

Glaze is a matter of preference here: If you prefer a glaze you can melt 2 tbsp of currant jam with 1 tbsp of water in a pan, allow to cool and brush over the berries.


**this recipe stolen from Ruth Reichl's book, Tender at the Bone, who alternately stole it from Madame Deverau who resided on the French Ile d'Oleron sometime in the late 60's.

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