During the holidays, we could all use a fantastic tart recipe in our hip pockets. Tarts are a perfect festive end to any dinner party, and they make a lovely gift for a neighbor. If the thought of making homemade crust intimidates you, or if you just prefer not to take in so many fat calories densely packed into a sheet of pastry, stick with me.
The tart I’m talking about today uses a simple olive oil cake as the base, which is then topped with fresh berries. I took inspiration from a fruit-topped sponge cake and turned the idea into a recipe that could be made start to finish in about an hour. (Much of that time is baking or cooling.) I whipped up a speedy orange-olive oil cake (and it’s technically speaking a quick bread, but our secret!), which works well with either regular flour or most gluten-free flours I have tried, and made that the base.
I used a pie pan with a raised center, a worthy minimal investment if you do any amount of baking. Buy one and you’ll find a thousand uses for it. If you don’t have the special pie mold, use a regular tart or pie pan and your results will be equally delicious. To create the pretty filling, I tossed a couple of cups of berries in a little orange marmalade thinned with hot water. Place the syrupy berries on the cake — maybe take an extra minute or two to arrange them nicely for a bakery-made look — and sprinkle on some powdered sugar to serve.
The cake itself has a mere 1/3 cup of sugar in the recipe, letting the raspberry topping offer most of the sweetness. The result is a gorgeous dessert or afternoon tea accompaniment that feels more indulgent than it actually is.
Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."