Mar 4, 2010

A Goat Cheese Tart & Blackberry Jam

One of the best things about living on the farm is that we have a Bed & Breakfast Inn steps away from our front door.  With an Inn comes a huge commercial kitchen, gas oven ranges, a library full of all the cookbooks I've ever wanted to own, and an industrial dishwasher- meaning that yes, I might have died and gone to farm heaven.  It also means plenty of reasons to experiment with yummy recipes.

This week we've had a company here on the farm for a retreat and Brooke, Celebrity's talented and very cool Innkeeper and Cook, has been in the kitchen around the clock preparing breakfasts, lunches and dinners.  For dessert today we got to collaborate on a dish when Brooke made a delicious Lemon Goat Cheese Tart and covered it with some Wild Blackberry Winter Preserves I'd put up over the weekend.  It was a winner so I thought I'd share some photos and our recipes.

Slices were flying out the pan.

First, I'll start with the Blackberry Preserves I made this weekend.  Brit and Flemming had picked wild blackberries on the farm last summer and there were still some left in the freezer that I'd had my eye for quite some time.  I took the basic recipe for Wild Blackberry Preserves from Christine Ferber's fabulous book, "Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber" that is, lucky for me, part of the Inn's library, and adapted it to create something I called "Wild Blackberry Winter Preserves" by adding more lemon and some ginger and honey.

I decided to add ginger and honey in thinking about the taste of summer blackberries in the midst of more snowy days here on the farm.  Lemon, ginger and honey are three foods I use anytime I start catching a cold.  I thought the spicey ginger would help warm up these last cold mornings when served over hot biscuits or Brooke's scones.

2 1/4 pounds foraged wild blackberries
3 3/4 cups sugar
Juice of 1 small lemon
Zest from 1/2 the lemon
Honey and grated fresh ginger to taste

Directions based on what I did:
After de-thawing the blackberries I rinsed them off quickly and put them through a small food mill to try and remove as many seeds as I could- a special request from Booke who hates seeds in her jam!  I then combined the fruit with the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a copper pot over low heat until they reached a simmer.  I stirred and poured the mixture into a stainless steel bowl, covered it with parchment paper and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.  (I'd never done this step before but that's what Ferber's recipe called for, so I thought I'd try it out.)  The following day I brought the already thick preserves to a boil, stirring them, and then bringing the heat back down.  I added the honey and ginger to taste and then waited, stirring and checking the set, until I was happy with the texture and taste.

These preserves are not lasting long around here...

For the Lemon Goat Cheese Tart with Blackberry Preserves, Brooke adapted an easy recipe from Maggie Foard's book, goatcheese.  Maggie's blog, Goat Cheese Please, is a great read for learning more about cooking with goat cheese and has plenty of recipes.  I highly recommend Celebrity Dairy customers to check it out!

Here's what Brooke did to make a yummy semi-sweet tart perfect for a decadent breakfast or as dessert.

16 ounces unsalted Celebrity Dairy chevre*
4 extra large Celebrity Dairy free-range eggs
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 9inch homemade spelt deep tart shell made with local Lindley Mills spelt**
1 jar of Blackberry Preserves

Preheat over to 350
Blend the chevre, eggs  2/3 cup of sugar, and lemon juice
Zest the lemon and combine with the 2 tbs of sugar
Combine the chevre & lemon mixtures until smooth
Pour the mixture into the tart shell, place on a cookie sheet at bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Let the tart cool on an oven rack and while cooling, heat up one jar of blackberry preserves until warm for easy spreading
Spread over the tart and garnish with lemon

The guests liked the tart and so did the staff. 

*Foard's recipe calls for 8 ounces of fresh chevre and 8 ounces of ricotta, but having a cheese room out your back door makes it easy to get soft, unsalted super fresh chevre. 

**We use spelt crusts because of one of the owner's has a wheat allergy, for a non-spelt all around great tart shell recipe, visit my friends Emily's awesome pie blog nothing in the house.


  1. Mmmm! This looks so so good! As you described the kitchen and library of cookbooks, I can imagine how wonderful that place is. I really loved the photo of the jar and zested lemon. The handwriting on the label is gorgeous. I can see why the slices were flying out of the pan! Another great post.

  2. Thanks, A. I like making the labels about as much as the jam!

  3. The pictures are so pretty it's like I was eating it all over again!

  4. That kitchen does sound awesome! The tart looks great. I haven't made any jams yet, but I have made some berry compote which was really good on pancakes. :)

  5. i love your header - what a great photo.
    this post has made me ridiculously hungry.

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