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Chasing Delicious | Rosemary Custard Grape Tart
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Grape Tart with a Rosemary Custard and Lemon Oat Crust at Chasing Delicious

Rosemary Custard Grape Tart

Grape Tart with a Rosemary Custard and Lemon Oat Crust at Chasing Delicious

My mornings, like much of my waking life, is fraught with routine and familiarity. Without the aid of an alarm clock, I wake up at the same time every day –  5:52 A.M. It’ll take me all of thirty seconds for my heavy arms to find their way to my cell phone; I check the time, instinctively open my email, guilt-fully browse Facebook and twitter, and  finally slide my phone back down somewhere, anywhere, whilst I float between reality and vaguely lucid thoughts and dreams. I glance out the window, waiting for the orange and yellow morning glow to creep in. Nothing yet.

Some minutes later I’m naked, in the shower of course, briefly contemplating spending my day under the pounding, boiling hot water. I give up on that thought quickly. Back in clothes, after the common routine of morning, and I get to make my first real decision of the day – at least so I think. Coffee or tea? Coffee – always coffee. After my chemex lazily does it’s job, I slop a cup of coffee together in a heavy mug, sling my camera around my neck, and head out the door into the still dark morning.

Then for a brief moment of that morning, mere minutes really, I seem to have the world to my self. The path-littered greenbelt behind my home  hasn’t come to life with runners or bikers yet. The park down the street is barren and quite. Streets sit unused. Stores only now begin to flicker to life as some tired clerk goes about flipping open signs and windexing finger-printed doors. Nothing makes me happier than watching a civilization wake up and come to life, except perhaps the quite that precedes such feverous activity.

As I trek about backroads and long dusty paths, the world around me begins to rouse. And then suddenly, as if out of no where, the world around me becomes a swamp of people, a bustle of hurried men and women and children needing to get somewhere. That’s my cue. I head back home. I switch out my camera for a dusty old book or a bare pad of paper. I watch the day age from afar as I bury myself in some frivolous intellectual or creative pursuit.

Somewhere in there I find myself wandering around the kitchen for a reprieve, looking for an excuse to bake something. Unlike the familiar routine that guided me here, I make it all up as I go. Flour flys about the bright white kitchen. Tools clink and clatter against dirty dishes; both begin to pile up on counters, in sinks, and all over any bare space my greedy hands can find. Fingers are coated in batters and doughs and custards and sauces. Bites and tastes guide me through this culinary adventure. A warming oven robs the room of any chill it once had. I watch as I somehow pull some dish together, still after so many years sure it isn’t some learned skill but a bit of magic.

And then it’s done and everything is clean again. I slide my fork into the sweet, fruity, garden-reminiscent tart sitting before me. I close my eyes and just focus on tasting.

Then I go to bed – far too early for my age – and I start the routine all over again.

Grape Tart with a Rosemary Custard and Lemon Oat Crust at Chasing Delicious

Short Dough: Most tarts use a form of short dough to create the base. Short dough is essentially a cookie dough (butter, sugar, eggs & flour). Unlike pie dough that is flaky, short dough becomes firm and rigid allowing the tart to stand on its own without the aid of a pie dish. Because short doughs often contain a lot of butter and sugar in relation to flour, they are a very wet and soft dough and thus short doughs must be refrigerated for an hour or more before rolling out. The lemon in this recipe gives this dough a tangy, floral sweetness while the oat flour gives it a wonderfully earthy, nutty flavor.

Custard: Since this custard uses cornstarch, you can bring the mixture to a boil while thickening it without fear of cooking the eggs. However, be sure not to cook it more than a few seconds once it reaches a boil, otherwise the cornstarch will breakdown and the custard will become irreversibly thin.

What’s your favorite herb to bake with? Feel free to share links to your favorite recipes in the comments!

AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Born and raised in Texas, Russell van Kraayenburg may sit you down for a stern lecture if you confuse barbecue with grilling. Creator of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, his work has been featured in Southern Living magazine and on such sites as Lifehacker, Fast Co. Design, Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, The Daily What, Quipsologies, Neatorama,Explore, and Fine Cooking.

22 Comments

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  • RavieNomNoms

    I can honestly say I have never seen a grape tart before. This looks great! I love the rosemary custard, how creative!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    A very beautiful, creative tart and a well-written rendition of your daily routine. It was a great read, Russell :)

  • Cookbook Queen

    This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! Just gorgeous. I can only imagine those tart grapes in contrast to the custard.

  • Erika-Southern Souffle

    This tart has seriously got it going on… Beautiful!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Beautiful read and a beautiful tart!

  • robyn @ the freckled pie

    i love beautiful contrast of the dark and light grapes – it gives the tart a lot of whimsy. loved reading your words and this tart looks so unexpectedly delicious. my favorite herb to work with is rosemary, or basil. boring and regular i know – but both are so versatile. xo

  • ami@naivecookcooks

    Lovely looking tart!

  • Maria Tadic

    This is such an interesting recipe – and it’s beautiful!

    I’m having people over for dinner on Saturday and this seems like a delightful dessert to present. Is the custard super “rosemary-y?” I can’t imagine the flavor combination!

    • Russell

      Hey, Maria. The rosemary is definitely detectable but it is not overpowering at all. It’s hard to put into words how all the flavors come together in this dish but it almost has a bright, sweet summer-salad like taste (minus the greens of course). So far, 4 different people have tried it and they all love it.

      Let me know if you decide to try it!

  • Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective

    Beautiful tart!

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Early morning before the world gets up is the perfect time to grab a camera an go exploring!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Your morning sounds exactly like my morning!

    Oh and this tart is just stunning!

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    looks amazing! Great way to use grapes

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I’m definitely an early riser, but before 6am is crazy early! Your routine sounds very familiar to me. I always reach for my phone as soon as I open my eyes.

    Love this tart… that swirl is amazing!

  • Jeanette

    I love those quiet moments in the morning before the hustle and bustle of the day begin – beautiful tart Russell! Love the idea of rosemary in the custard and oat flour in the crust.

  • Cheryl

    This grape tart is a total home run. I love the colors, the contrast and how you tell your day is so heartwarming. You do have a art for writing :)

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    I’m a sucker for a pretty tart.

  • Kankana

    I am not a morning person, never was. Always have to depend on my alarm but that thing you mentioned about checking email, instagram, tweeter, etc on phone, OMG, I do the exact same way, with guilt! And then I notice my husband is smiling at me. Bad habit, but it’s too late to change that now. The tart sounds stunning and I love rosemary on sweet treats more than savory.

  • Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs

    Wow- this tart is stunning!

  • Diane {Created by Diane}

    So pretty and truly delicious sounding!

  • Louise @ Kitchen Fiddler

    What a gorgeous tart! I love herbal-infused desserts, having often infused ice cream and other custardy bases with fresh sprigs of basil, sage, thyme, bay leaves, as well as the more obvious fresh mint. I’m already looking for an excuse to make your rosemary/grape beauty as soon as possible!

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