By Walter Harrill, Imladris Farm (from Farmer and Chef Asheville)
Imladris Farm in Fairview has been in Walter Harrill’s family since the early 1800s, but he’s learned to satisfy modern tastes with his berry jams. With a jar of Imladris raspberry, blueberry, or blackberry preserves, you’re on your way to a breakfast pastry worthy of Christmas morning. Santa won’t mind if you leave him a plate of these treats instead of cookies; in fact, he may leave you extra presents.
Makes 6 to 9
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
1/2 cup jam, preferably Imladris
1 large egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Softly whipped cream
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, and whisk to blend. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water over the mixture and toss until the dough starts to clump together; add more water, by tablespoons, until the dough holds together.
Form the dough into a rough ball; divide it into two equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a disc on pieces of plastic wrap; wrap the discs and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll each disc of dough into a 14-inch square shape on pieces of parchment paper; trim edges of each disc with a knife to form an even 12-inch square. Spoon the jam on one square of dough, spreading to within 1/4 inch from the edges. Lay the other square of dough on top of the jam, fitting edges together; if one is larger than the other, use it on top.
Use a rolling pin to press down and seal the edges of both squares. To make individual tarts out of the large sheet, lay the rolling pin down the length and width of the surface, patterned like a tic-tac-toe board, and press down firmly to seal pastry into 6 to 9 pieces. Use a long sharp knife to cut down the center of the seals made by the rolling pin. Carefully transfer the dough on the parchment paper to a baking sheet and refrigerate until it is firm, about 30 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and separate the tarts. Use a fork to seal and decorate the edges of the tarts; use a fork to poke six steam holes in the tops of them. Brush the edges with the egg white mixture. Bake until the tarts are browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
Christine Sykes Lowe and Debby Maugans, Edible Asheville’s recipe editors, are the owners of the media company Farmer and Chef South and the authors of the cookbook Farmer and Chef Asheville. Visit farmerandchefsouth.com.