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Blackberry And Almond Shortcrust Tartelettes

Blackberry Tartelettes-Copyright©Tartelette 2008I am warning you this is another loaded post but having a food blog makes you part of an awesome group of people worldwide and when this community reaches out for help…I just jump because they have given me so much already.

I never thought I’d say this but I am exciting to see June. I usually love May and all the promises that Spring carries. That lighter feel in your step, the days being longer and filled of beautiful sunsets, the trees in full blooms, produce getting a new skin at the store…But as much as the first half of May was filled with joyous and sweet moments such as Marcela’s visit or my birthday, the end of May turned quickly bitter-sweet as well as full and empty at the same time. Before I forget…I am having a bad case of what B. called "Gruyere Head": the lovely apron in the first picture was a handmade gift of Holly’s mother-in-law and I have been starring at it for a couple of weeks now, unable to put it on, afraid I’d stain it…I know aprons are meant to be worn…give me some time, ok?!!

We lost a dear friend, another one got diagnosed with a very invasive form of cancer and while my uncle and aunt are here visiting, we got news that our beloved great aunt Marcelle passed away.We found comfort in just sitting there over a cup of coffee and a pastry discovering different perception on events and people. All throughout May, the “aaws” turned to “yikes” so June is a welcome sight indeed.

I know that things won’t get better just because it is a new month, but the wonderful human interactions I have had in May have given me the strength to make sense of it all. I guess getting one year older does have a purpose beside another …My heart and soul are filled to the rim and just want to explode. Since I am a big believer of paying it forward, I was thrilled when Bee of Jugalbandi asked if I wanted to put a prize for bids in the fundraiser she was organizing for Bri of Figs With Bri. As a long time reader of her blog, I have enjoyed her cooking journey and was touched by her letting us know about the hard truth behind the words. Bri, wonderful and funny Bri has cancer, breast cancer.

I can hear you " Hey, Tartelette, I thought you just said June was going to be better!"….Well they are…because one more time we can move our derrieres and help a friend, offer comfort and support and do something. I have seen throughout this month what a amazing and kick ass community food bloggers are and I know this fundraiser is going to be a success. I also know that there is nothing like food to bring people together so of course this post is not without a sweet recipe. For details on how to help Bri, read the end of this post where you will find all the info necessary.

These little blackberry tartlets with a crunch sweet short crust were a true "baume au coeur", medicine for the heart this past week. Sharing one of my favorite recipes with my aunt and uncle while talking about aunt Marcelle, my ailing grandfather and the family history, was a moment I won’t be quick to forget. Picking the blackberries together under the scorching sun, mixing the ingredients for the dough while sipping lemonade and being rewarded with tasty little bites for dessert. We sat in silence, each thinking about the last time such a thing happened and how bizarre and crazy life can turn out to be. I sure feel better after a few bites of these!

Blackberry Tartelettes-Copyright©Tartelette 2008Blackberry & Almond Shortcrust Tartelettes:
Makes 6-8, depending on your tart molds.

Printable Recipe

For the tart shells:
1 stick plus 1 Tb. butter, cut in small pieces
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk

In a food processor, pulse all the dry ingredients. Add the butter and pulse again. Add the egg yolk and pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.Roll between sheets of plastic wrap and cut out circles larger than your tart shells, fit the dough into the molds and cut out the excess. Prick with a fork, cover with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. Reroll the scraps and cut into strips to use as decorative patterns once the shells are filled and prior to their last baking time. Let cool to room temperature before filling with the blackberries.

Blackberry filling:
1 pint fresh blackberries
zest and juice from one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tb. cornstarch

In a heavy saucepan, combine all the ingredients and heat over medium until the blueberries release their juices and the whole mix start to thicken, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Divide the filling among the tart shells, lay strips of the remaining dough over the tartlets. Brush with a little milk and bake another 20 minutes at 350F. Let cool completely before removing them from the tart shells.

Blackberry Tartelettes-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
Bri is going through the expected rounds of chemo and other treatments as well as trying other healing alternatives such as holistic methods, which are unfortunately not covered by her health insurance. We thought we’d give them a break and a little boost with their medical bills. Hence, the team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi, "Yellow for Bri" has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.

Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer. The entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise. There’s a raffle with exciting prizes on offer.

After viewing the list, you may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site. Your donation can be made securely goes directly to Bri’s account. This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE. You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicising this campaign.

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LizNoVeggieGirl June 2, 2008 um 3:28 pm

Helen, no need to apologize or to warn your readers about a "loaded post" – that’s what makes your blog so enjoyable!! You write from the heart, and truly think about each and every one of your incredible posts. Don’t change!! :0)

Those Blackberry & Almond Tartelettes are simply divine – medicine for the heart, for sure.

Rachel@fairycakeheaven June 2, 2008 um 3:29 pm

Gorgeous summery tartlets and a very worthy cause, hope June brings better times and happy memories for you Helen.

mimi June 2, 2008 um 3:32 pm

these tartelettes are just beautiful, and a wonderful way to connect with your family and share memories while they were visiting. i can just imagine the scene! i only hope for more beautiful things to come your way this brand new june …

Elly June 2, 2008 um 3:39 pm

Helen, as always, this is a great post. I love that you share so much. At the beginning of every month, Greeks wish each other a happy month, so "Kalo mina!" to you! These blackberry tartlettes look SO delicious. Mmm. The almond shortcrust sounds way too good.

That Girl June 2, 2008 um 3:43 pm

I always look at life as a train trip – there are dark tunnels as well beautiful views. The nice thing about tunnels, is that even the longest one has an ending.

Ann June 2, 2008 um 3:58 pm

The tartelettes look delicious – love the color. It’s wonderful to see so many reaching out to help Bri.

jennifer June 2, 2008 um 3:58 pm

super cute! i love that you made them small. i also love how you can see that the blueberries bubbled up and got all thick. yum!


Cannelle Et Vanille June 2, 2008 um 4:22 pm

What a hopeful post Helen! You are definitely always paying it forward and is great inspiration for us to follow your footsteps. I think loss and sadness always come with hope and joy, I think it’s just part of life. I am headed to the links you have posted now. I visited Bri’s blog this morning. What a great spirit. Those tarts will heal anyone because I am sure they are made with extra loving! Thank you helen.

Manggy June 2, 2008 um 4:40 pm

I know what you mean, Helen, I’ve only been blogging a year but everyone has been a great source of both inspiration and comfort, you included 🙂 It’s only been a few days but we’ve already covered a quarter of Bri’s costs. The challenge is to keep the momentum going all the way to July 15. I fervently hope we make it.

Speaking of inspiration, I love your tarts. Blackberries are a new discovery to me and it’s thrilling to see you work with them 🙂

Manggy June 2, 2008 um 4:40 pm

I know what you mean, Helen, I’ve only been blogging a year but everyone has been a great source of both inspiration and comfort, you included 🙂 It’s only been a few days but we’ve already covered a quarter of Bri’s costs. The challenge is to keep the momentum going all the way to July 15. I fervently hope we make it.

Speaking of inspiration, I love your tarts. Blackberries are a new discovery to me and it’s thrilling to see you work with them 🙂

Rosa's Yummy Yums June 2, 2008 um 5:18 pm

They look gorgeous! Such tartlets are always fantastic!

The blogging world is so great!



My Sweet & Saucy June 2, 2008 um 5:22 pm

What a great post! Your words and your beautiful tartelettes are both inspiring!

Susan @ SGCC June 2, 2008 um 5:40 pm

Helen, these tartelettes are beautiful, as is your heart. I read about poor Bri and I have already submitted my bid for some lovely photographs at the raffle.

It seems like every time I open my reader, I am reading some sad news about one of our own. When will it end?

Eleganza Strings/ The DeLadurantey Family June 2, 2008 um 6:11 pm

This looks simply to die for!


Mike of Mike's Table June 2, 2008 um 7:05 pm

Very thoughtful post and another great looking dessert. I finally picked up tartelette molds of my own this weekend so I’m eager to give them a try…

bee June 2, 2008 um 7:09 pm

thank you, dear helen, for your support and generosity.

Patricia Scarpin June 2, 2008 um 7:27 pm

I’m sorry for your lost, my dear friend. I think you could really use a breath of fresh air. So much going on, dear God…
I hope things get better for you and for all of us from now on.
These beautiful tartelettes are a great way to start!

Mari June 2, 2008 um 9:03 pm

Baking is healing, so bake on!

Peabody June 2, 2008 um 11:28 pm

Yeah, 2008 is already a blur. And it has been somewhat slow compared to how starting Thursday through mid-August I have 9 million things.AHHHHH.

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 1:04 am

Isn’t it strange how life can test you sometimes? Why does it always seem that illness and death begets more of the same?

For what it’s worth, I’ve been through similar periods and, if my experience is universal, you are quite right. As sudden as it all starts, it can stop. I hope June brings the respite you need and deserve.

On a food note, this sounds like a nice crust recipe. : )

Christy June 3, 2008 um 2:44 am

I hope June will be a much better month for you! I admire your positive attitude and your generosity towards other people!


P.S: that first shot is so adorable! Love all the details in there!

PheMom June 3, 2008 um 2:55 am


What a beautiful post and an important cause to load it with! The recipe looks delicious and of course that first picture is my favorite! 😉 It actually took me a moment to realize what was there in the background! LOL! My Mother-in-law will be so flattered and I’m sure she will love this recipe too. As I think I already told you she is a breast cancer survivor herself, so this will be doubly precious to her to read and get behind. I hope that things can only get better from here! Now I am off to check out the other links!


glamah16 June 3, 2008 um 3:01 am

I liek your attitude. You blog, posts, and food are inspiring to all.

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 3:30 am

You’ve had a rough month, but you have such a great attitude, and you’re delectable desserts are always making your readers days a little brighter.

Cynthia June 3, 2008 um 5:22 am

We come for the loaded posts!!!!

Chibog in Chief June 3, 2008 um 6:02 am

that’s what amazing in this world of blogging is the solidarity and compassion we have for one another..I greatly hope we’ll help Bri get through this 🙂

This is a brilliant gesture of kindess Helen and what a lovely tart of Manggy put it really inspiring

Sha June 3, 2008 um 8:19 am

Petite, je ne mangeais que les bandelettes dessus, ou du moins une part + les bandelettes que je pouvais piquer, mais avec tes tartelettes, si belles que je n’oserais pas tout "détruire"^^, je m’en contenterais d’une, à apprécier deux fois plus intensément.

chriesi June 3, 2008 um 9:13 am

They look totally gorgeous!

Meeta K. Wolff June 3, 2008 um 9:26 am

June will be a lovely month you’ll see. Sorry about the rough time – but these make us stronger (as my wise mum would tell me)! Nice to have you on the Click team and thanks for your support.

I love these tartlettes – they look and sound gorgeous!

grace June 3, 2008 um 9:34 am

a loaded post, indeed–loaded with heartfelt words, gorgeous pictures, and a fabulous recipe! milady, you’re an inspiration to me! 🙂

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 12:05 pm

You are such a sweet person, my thoughts go to you and your family – and to Bri too!

ps. I love the little red and white string around the tarts, gorgeous.

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 12:11 pm

My you have had a lot on your plate of late. Your words are always lovely and an inspiration. And of course your food is charming as always. Where are you finding blackberries? You seem to be a step or two ahead of me.

Mumsy June 3, 2008 um 12:15 pm

Oh, yummy. I love blackberries and I’m going to be dreaming of those little tarts.

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 12:59 pm

On croirait la tarte de nos montagnes! Tes photos sont superbes.

Vanillaorchid June 3, 2008 um 1:40 pm

Great post …. great person.

Your tarts are so nice & cute.

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 2:28 pm

I just did a loaded post myself on this same topic. For some reason, baking and cleaning help ground me when all about me seems to be going mad. Thank you for the lovely post.

Mrs.French June 3, 2008 um 2:55 pm

These are stunning and your photos are amazing!

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 3:21 pm

great photos and even better recipe! we have a great blueberry crunch pancake at a local resto that rocks!

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 4:07 pm

That is one adorable and delicious looking miniature blackberry pie! I love the cross stitch crust on top.

Deborah June 3, 2008 um 4:44 pm

Oh Helen, I sure do hope that June is a happy month for you – you deserve it!!

These tartelettes look like the perfect dessert for a June evening. They are gorgeous!

La Tartine Gourmande June 3, 2008 um 6:38 pm

May June bring you lots of happy events indeed!

Aimée June 3, 2008 um 6:42 pm

Helen, I am sorry to hear about you great aunt. You are in my thoughts and prayers again.
These tarts sure would brighten up my day.
Oh and love the first shot.It’s nice to step back a bit and get a wider perspective. Cute apron, lucky you!

Nina Timm June 3, 2008 um 7:27 pm

Tartlette queen – you are so super talented. The tartlettes are gorgeous and I bet they tasted even better than they looked.

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 7:43 pm

Food bloggers are such a wonderful group. They awe me!
This is a warm and heartfelt post…those tartlettes are not too bad either 😉

Peter M June 3, 2008 um 8:07 pm

Helen, my condolences on the loss of your aunt.

The tart looks so cute but it wouldn’t be spared being eaten..I like looking at my blue teeth!

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 9:05 pm

Beautiful post. I donated today on paypal. sending all of you good thoughts!

Anonymous June 3, 2008 um 9:05 pm

Beautiful post. I donated today on paypal. sending all of you good thoughts!

Cakelaw June 3, 2008 um 10:51 pm

These little tarts are gorgeous Helen – and making them for Bri makes them very special.

riley June 4, 2008 um 12:41 am

Those tarts look AMAZING, my mouth is watering! Your site is so beautiful! I love the way it is cleanly organized.

Do you have any advice for the little guys down on the bottom, as to how to acheive the kind of success and viewership that you have? I have a little foodblog that I do,, but I want to make it bigger and better. Any advice would be most appreciated.


Anonymous June 4, 2008 um 1:56 am

Oh How I love the Blackberry! they look so good and the string how perfect!

Anonymous June 4, 2008 um 2:32 am

Honestly, I don’t know how you do it… Keeping a positive attitude, in addition to always making the most beautiful pastries, that is.

Julie June 4, 2008 um 5:57 am

I’m sorry to hear of your rough May – hope the sun comes out for you again in June. It’s wonderful that you can create such a beautiful tart that will put a smile on so many faces!

Dizzee Cake. June 4, 2008 um 7:02 am

Absolutely adorable!! Perfect for summer.

Bakerette June 4, 2008 um 11:40 am

I love your dedication, which goes to show that food blogs aren’t just about food but they can do so much to help people. This cause is so worth it!

Anonymous June 4, 2008 um 12:58 pm

Beautiful little tarts! Isn’t the foodie blog community amazing?

Sheltie Girl June 4, 2008 um 2:05 pm

Helen – This is a fabulous recipe. I love your tarts. I’m so sorry to hear about Bri and I’m off now to check into the various programs to help. Thanks for letting us all know about her need.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Botacook June 5, 2008 um 11:30 am

De superbes tartelettes (décidemment, ton blog porte bien son nom ;), au style tout à fait "english". En plus, j’adore les fruits rouges, donc cette me recette me tente beaucoup! Je la mets de côté pour la future saison des mûres.

LyB June 5, 2008 um 12:47 pm

Lovely, Helen. Funny how we take it personally when "one of us" gets bad news. At least we can move our derrières, as you say, and help out!

Anonymous June 6, 2008 um 3:27 am

I am so terribly sorry for your loss. There is always something wonderful about turning the calendar to a new month… fresh starts.

Thank you for letting us know about the Yellow for Bri event.

Vera June 7, 2008 um 5:59 pm

Helen, please accept my deepest condolences on your lost. I know exactly how you feel.

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