Rustic Rosemary Cornmeal Tart with Wild Blackberries

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This is the simple tart my sister and I made as children with the berries we collected along the creek behind our northern California house. The recipe has grown up with me and reflects my fondness for herbs with sweets and my propensity to add the crunchy, nuttiness of cornmeal everywhere I can! Make one big tart or individual galettes, and serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. If there are leftovers, have a second slice for breakfast with coffee.

Makes one 12-inch tart | 2 hours 15 minutes, including chilling and baking time


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 scant teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 ounces butter, chilled, and cut in 1/2-inch chunks
2/3 cup ice water
2 pints fresh blackberries, about 4 cups
3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar, depending on sweetness of fruit
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, rosemary, and salt. Add the chilled butter and, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, a food processor, or a pastry blender, mix until the butter is evenly distributed, leaving visible pieces no larger than pea-sized.

Add the ice water to the mixing bowl all at once and mix just until the dough begins to come together. Be especially careful not to overmix the dough if using a stand mixer or a food processor.

Gather the dough with your hands and shape it into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 15-inch round. Fold the circle in half and in half again, and transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Open the pastry up into a circle and chill the dough in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Place the berries in a large bowl and add the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and salt. Gently toss the ingredients together to thoroughly coat all of the berries with the sugar and cornstarch, and then distribute the filling over the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border. Brush the border lightly with water and fold it up over the filling, allowing the dough to pleat on itself as you lift. It should pleat about 8 or 9 times as you work your way around, leaving you with a shape resembling an octagon. If you have time, chill the tart for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the tart from the refrigerator, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and has thickened slightly. Cool slightly before serving.

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