Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds–great movie with great characters and memorable scenes. Worth watching one, two, three, okay twenty times! These blackberry tarts really fit the “bill” (ooo!) The dark sweet blackberries topped with golden buttery pastry birds in a still warm crust are just right for eating along with the movie! Full movie review and recipe demo here: https://youtu.be/0TM9oKkYY38
7 Tablespoons butter, cold
7 Tablespoons shortening (I use butter flavored)
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5-7 tablespoons ice cold water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (taste cooks out and leaves flakiness!)
16 oz. fresh or frozen (thawed) blackberries
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries
3 Tablespoons corn starch
Juice of half of a small lemon (about a Tablespoon)
Water (if berries do not seem to have enough juice, add about 1/4 cup water to berry mixture as directed below.
Cut butter into small pieces. In large bowl, place flour and salt, whisk together. Add butter pieces and using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour mixture, until it resembles coarse crumbs:
Add very cold water a Tablespoon at a time and blend gently until dough just starts to hold together. The less the dough is handled, the more tender and flaky it will be.
Separate dough into 2 equal parts, flatten into discs and wrap in plastic wrap and chill.
Meanwhile, ready your filling ingredients. Into a medium saucepan, place sugar and cornstarch and whisk them together. Add berries, lemon juice, and water if needed and stir together gently, so as not to break up the berries too much.
Put saucepan with berry mixture over medium heat, stirring gently but frequently, turning heat down if necessary.
Cook until mixture starts to thicken and boil. Let boil for about 2 minutes, stirring gently from the bottom to prevent scorching. Turn off heat and let cool a bit. Set aside.
Take one of the pastry discs out of the refrigerator and place on a floured work surface. Roll out evenly, starting from the middle of the pastry circle every time you roll your rolling pin across the surface, always being careful not to pull or stretch the dough.
As seen in the video (link above) put your tart pan under the crust and gently lift it into the sides of the pans, then press down to cut through the dough. Continue with all tart pans. Cover and chill.
While tart bottoms are chilling, get out your other pastry disc and roll out to same thickness as bottom, about 1/16 of an inch. Use cookie cutters to cut out designs for the top of your pie or leave whole for a regular two crust pie. If you do decide on a full top crust, don’t forget to cut little vents to let the steam out while baking!
Take out your tart bottoms and fill with the slightly warm blackberry filling. Place pastry cutouts or pastry circles on top. Brush pastry top with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar. Place tarts or pie on baking sheet and place in oven.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 degrees and continue baking about 20 minutes or until top crust is golden brown.
Enjoy warm or cold with vanilla ice cream and sit back and watch The Birds. Also, keep an eye on that fireplace 😉