One woman who has been a great inspiration to me throughout my entire life is the singer Björk. The way in which she creates music, harnessing the elements of the classics and then turning them upside down and inside out, is unconventional and absolutely beautiful. To purists her music may be obnoxious, but there is no denying her talent. To those daring enough to experience the exquisite, Björk is truly a gift. I created this dessert using an approach similar to the one she takes when creating music. The raspberry tart is a classic French preparation, but here I turn it upside down and inside out. The sweet aroma of the vanilla accents the acidity of the jam-filled raspberries, while the lusciousness of the pastry cream acts as the chorus, holding the entire thing together and why not sprinkle the entire tart with translucent, honey-sweetened agar-agar gems? Seriously, this is not what you think it is—it’s better.
- Yield: 1 Tart 10-IN (25-CM)
- 1 10-in (25-cm) baked Sweet Almond Tart Shell
- ¼ recipe Basic Berry Jam
- ½ recipe Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
- 4 cups (500 g to 1 kg) raspberries
- 30 (1/8-in (4-mm)) squares Lavender Honey Agar-Agar Gems
- Set the baked tart shell in the center of a serving platter. Fit one pastry bag with a #1 plain tip and fill it with the jam.
- Fit a second pastry bag with a #3 plain tip and fill it with the pastry cream. Pipe the pastry cream into the tart shell, then smooth it out with a small offset spatula.
- Reserve 15 firm, ripe raspberries. Starting at the outside edge, meticulously line the raspberries in a circle, with the tips faceup.
- Tuck the next circle of raspberries into the first and continue until the tart is full of raspberries, interlocked with one another. Take the 15 reserved raspberries and pipe jam into each one, until plump and filled with jam.
- Sit each filled berry, jamside up, into the berry-lined tart, scattered throughout as though they are flirting with you and your guests. Tuck the agar-agar gems within the crevices of berries so they shine like little jeweled rocks throughout the red raspberries. Slice it up and enjoy.