A champagne grape tart is a traditional French dessert, made of a sweet pastry filled with champagne and berries, usually apricots or cherries. It is usually eaten with whipped cream and sometimes chocolate sauce. In France, it is also known as “tartelettes de champagne” or “tartelettes de vin”.
I went to the little farmers market at Pier 39 when a friend came to visit me in San Francisco. I didn’t even know they had a market there. There were not many stalls, really only one person but with a bunch of tables.
The fruit they had there was really amazing, actually! The cherries were some of the biggest I had ever seen; the strawberries had the steams still on them, which I had never seen before in real life.
Only in photos did I come across that fresh-picked strawberry look. And then I saw Champagne Grapes! I fell completely in love with Champagne Grapes when I was working at a local grocery store years ago, and they randomly got them in.
I only saw them once and have never seen them again. They are so small and flavorful that you just grab a whole handful, and I didn’t even mind that I might have eaten a bit of steam. It’s worth it.
So when I saw them at the Market, I knew I had to make something out of them. What better than just a simple little tart with a bunch of fresh fruit on it. The hazelnut pastry cream went well with the grapes, with a nice nutty flavor with the sweet fruit. I found the hazelnut extract at a restaurant supply store, but I bet you can find it online or at any local specialty shop.
Oh dear, so today was my first day where I had to do all the deliveries at the bakery. The boss is on vacation, so it was all on me. Driving in San Francisco has always been okay for me, never a real issue but just bothersome.
But today, driving was pure madness! Two of the deliveries were either on the Market or right off of it, which is one of the worst places to drive. There are so many one-way streets and pedestrians everywhere, and you can only drive on Market for about a block before it makes you turn it off.
Apparently, only the bus can go straight down Market, so what should have been a 7-minute drive from the shop took an hour! And then, when I finally found what I thought was a metered parking spot, I parked, fed the meter then ran into the building to deliver the cupcakes.
Only to come out after a few minutes to find a 75-dollar ticket! It was a yellow-painted parking spot, so I didn’t know what that meant, but I thought since it had a meter, it must be okay to park.
Also, having like four different signs explaining the no parking restrictions that were all contradicting each other didn’t help either. So not the most successful day but hopefully, this next week of deliveries will go better.
Tarts With Hazelnut Pastry Cream & Champagne Grapes
- 1/2 cup (114g) butter, soft
- 1/3 cup (66g) sugar
- 1 cup (125g) flour
- pastry cream:
- 1/2 cup (118ml)milk
- 1/2 cup (118ml) heavy cream
- 1 tbsp hazelnut extract
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp (20g) flour
- , a bundle of champagne grapes
- handful of blueberries tossed in turbine sugar,
if you run out of grapes like me
Oven 350. Five 5″ tart pans with removable bottoms. Beat butter & sugar until pale. Add in flour & mix until combined. Divide until five portions, then press. into the bottom & sides of pans. Prick bottoms with a fork.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Let cool completely. In a small saucepan, scald milk, cream & hazelnut, bringing just to a boil. Remove from heat & cover, letting steep for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk yolks & sugar until pale & fluffy. Whisk in flour until smooth. Slowly pour in hot milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour into saucepan & place over medium heat.
Whisk until thickened with a pudding-like consistency. Take off heat immediately, pour into a bowl, cover directly with plastic wrap (touching the pastry cream) & chill until completely cool.
Assemble the tart by filling the crusts with pastry cream & topped with a sprig of grapes. If you happen to run out of grapes, toss blueberries or any other fruit with raw or turbinado sugar, then place over cream.