We made the dough and crumb topping for the tarts first so they could cool in the fridge while we picked the berries. Then after coming back with two colanders filled with the fruit and only a few scratches (we wore full-on rain boots for extra protection--laugh all you want, it helped!) we rolled out the dough and cut out circles. Talia had brought adorable never before used mini tart tins so we molded the crust,
piled them high with juicy blackberries,
sprinkled on the topping with almonds,
This recipe was adapted from Gourmet's "Raspberry Crumble Tart." We substituted blackberries for the raspberries and used the same dough and topping but baked the tarts in small individual tins rather than making one big tart that you have to cut. When it comes to baking, I usually think smaller = cuter = better.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening (but we just used butter)
1/2 tsp. salt
5-7 Tbsp. ice water
3/4 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cups sugar
6 cups blackberries
For the dough: Blend flour, butter, shortening (or butter), and salt together in a bowl until the mixture is crumbly with some small lumps of butter. You could pulse it in a food processor but we just used our fingers to get it to this consistency. If you're making one big tart, transfer two cups of the mixture to a separate bowl and reserve the rest for the topping. However, if you're making mini tarts like we did, transfer more, maybe around 3 cups. (We transferred two cups and had way too much topping leftover that could have instead been used to make more tart crusts.) Stir about 3-4 tablespoons of ice water into the transferred mixture with a fork and chill for an hour or so. During this time, make the topping and pick berries!
For the topping: Add almonds and sugar to the reserved dough mixture and mix with hands until clumps form. We let the topping chill along with the dough mixture while we were picking.
To assemble tarts: Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll out dough with floured rolling pin on lightly floured surface. We actually rolled it out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, but either way should work. Then cut out circles to fit whatever size tart tins you are using. The thickness should be similar to a pie crust. Mold the dough into the tins, fill them with the berries, and sprinkle evenly with the topping. Bake until topping and crust are golden and filling is bubbling. Ours went for about 45 minutes but oven time can vary based on tin size, as will number of tarts produced. Cover with a foil sheet, if crust seems to be browning too much. Finally, when tarts are done, let them cool a little and then enjoy!