I just could not live without fruit…I eat it all day long.  Recently I have discovered that I am obssessed with jams.  Especially the all-natural kinds that are just pure fruit.  I eat them plain with a spoon! It’s becoming a problem….

And then one day, my new favorite dessert came into my life. 

It all started when I looked at the March issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine and I was drawn to the blackberry tart on the cover.  It looked too good to be real!  The plump blackberries and sliced almonds.  It was just so simple and fresh.  It was a tart  that called for just THREE ingredients. Jam, fresh berries, and a sprinkle of nuts.  No, I am not joking here. It’s true!! It’s the beauty of fruit. You don’t need to add sugars or creams or butters.  It’s sweet on its own!

What makes this tart shine from the rest is the cornmeal crust! The pate brisee, a French version of a pastry pie or tart crust.  The recipe makes enough for two 9-inch tarts… or like in the photograph, I made mini-tarts so I could try different combinations of fruits and nuts.  If you love strawberry shortcake, just do strawberry jam topped with fresh strawberries and walnuts. Any combination works but my favorite is Martha Stewart’s blackberry version.


       (recipe from Martha Stewart)

  • 1 disc Cornmeal Pâte Brisée  (recipe follows)
  • ½ pint-size jar Blackberry Jam (homemade is best! Martha Stewart has a recipe)
  • 12 ounces blackberries (about 3 cups - fresh or frozen)
  • ½ ounce sliced almonds (¼ cup) toasted

-Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Roll out crust dough into 11-inch round (¼ inch thick) on a floured surface.  Press into the bottom of 10-inch springform pan. Edges should come up about an inch on the sides.  Refrigerate 30 minutes.  Prick tart with fork and  bake until golden brown for about 25 minutes.  Immediately spread jam on the bottom of tart shell.  Top with blackberries and sprinkle with almonds.  Bake for another 10 minutes and serve warm.

CORNMEAL Pâte Brisée  (makes 2 discs)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • ¼- ½ cup cold water

-Pulse flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar in food processor (or I used a mixer).  Add butter and pulse until course crumbs with some large pieces.  Drizzle ¼ cup ice cold water evenly over mixture (it should not be wet or sticky, but hold together when pressed between fingers).  If dough is too dry just add more water (1 tablespoon at a time).  Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and shape into 2 discs and refrigerate until firm (1 hour or overnight).

      -Dough can be frozen for up to a month before using