Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tarte aux framboises (raspberry tart)
We have been enjoying lots of strawberries, cherries and rapsberries this season. Switzerland is a lovely place for berries!
Now we didn't pick these raspberries ourselves, but I got them at the farm which is a few hundred meters away. And I have almost as warm a feeling toward these raspberries as I did toward the strawberries we picked ourselves.
The amazing thing about many farms around Zurich is you can buy eggs, milk and fresh produce on faith: the farm "shop" is unattended (save by a camera in some cases), and you can help yourself and are trusted to put the right sum in the cash box.
Our local farm is not quite so trusting, and offers a huge produce "distributor," or a big closet whose compartments snap open when you enter the right sum of money.
When I bought these raspberries, for some reason the machine swallowed my 5 franc coin and produced no raspberries in exchange. I could have rung the bell, but the sign was clear: please do not disturb from 12:30 to 1:30 during the lunch break. This being Switzerland, I took the request seriously. So I left a note.
A few hours later, the farmer called me on my cell phone, and when I returned to collect my raspberries she gave me two boxes instead of the one I had paid for, to make up for the inconvenience.
The Swiss are not always warm and fuzzy, but they are very service-oriented, and will make it up to you when a mistake is made. I will gladly shop at this farm again.
I was again surprised at how well my tart came out. My husband's birthday was yesterday, and raspberries are his favorite fruit. I followed the same procedure as for the strawberry tart. This time the crème pâtissière wasn't too runny (I cooked it longer), but the crust was a little overbaked. Even though they wouldn't eat any of the final product, my 3 and 5-year-old daughters helped me place the rapsberries on the cream ("no yellow! I don't want to see any yellow!") and I lightly brushed the berries with the leftover glaze from the strawberry tart. Delicious!
And I just found out that Zorra of 1x umrühren is hosting an event for which this post seems appropriate: "Swiss National Day: Red, white or Swiss." This will be my contribution, I hope it helps to make her feel less homesick for Switzerland!