the day i got shoved into a trashcan {and a berry tart to start }

I feel the need to apologize before you read any further. My brain is jelly at the moment as I keep thinking of something compelling to  share with you about beginnings and this fresh space, but I keep going back to one particular day in high school, so here it goes.

 Freshman year: the most memorable first day of school I ever had. 

In my life, 8th grade was the oldest grade before you transitioned to the big scary world of high school. (With no older siblings to pave the way, the most I knew about high school was what learned from episodes of "boy meets world" and "full house.")  

Luckily, I knew a handful of the older kids, senior friends from church, and thought this would be a great advantage on my first day. #winning 

Anyway, I was strolling along, headed to my final class, just me and my purple jansport back pack feeling pretty okay on this first day, when some incredibly handsome, all-star athletes came up from behind me and picked me up, carried me and (not so gingerly) crammed me into a trash can.

This was every freshman's worst nightmare - so much so we even knew the coined term for it long before the school year had started. The term was cleverly dubbed, "trash-canned."

I got trash-canned on my first day of high school.

May I also note that these fine fellows were my "friends?" Those older aforementioned chaps I had hoped would ease my transition from tween to teen? 

"Welcome to high school freshman!" They laughed and then eventually took me out of the trash can when they saw me struggling. 

I didn't cry. I laughed and said, "Oh you guys!"  Like I was in on the joke, but I secretly wanted to crawl behind the nearest wall and call my mom. I remember later picking an orange peel out of my overalls. 

While this is a new space, and new spaces can feel a little unknown, like the first day of school, I want you to sit down with me (puts hand on your hand) and know, that this is a safe place. 

In fact, it's better here than at school because we talk about food, and life's most recent happenings, and more food. And there are no trash cans. 

Cue life's most recent happenings: Easter is this weekend.

Our Easter starts out religious and ends with confetti-filled egg fights. This tart is a cross between that: it's simple and devout, but a party in your mouth. Make it and celebrate with it and you wont regret it. 

Remember while again this space is new, I hope the only thing it has in common with the first day of school is that it is incredibly memorable. Oh, and happy April Fool's Day. If you need a prank idea, maybe you could find a freshman and trashcan.... 

creme fraiche berry tart

serves 6-8

I made this recently and took the whole thing over to my parents house. We shared a few slices and a day after delivery I got a text from my dad saying, "just polishing off the tart." This thing goes fast - it's that good.

special equipment: one 9 inch / 20-23cm tart pan

more notes: allow 4-6 hours for chill time.

for the crust:

1 cup (heaping) / 128g graham cracker crumbs
½ cup / 57g almond flour (almond meal)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (preferably organic)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (slightly over) / 57 g brown sugar

for the filling:

2 cups / 454g cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups / 454g creme fraiche (or sour cream)
⅔ cup / 150g super fine sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

for the topping:

3 cups (or more) / 680g organic berries
powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F / 180° C.

Melt the butter and mix with all of the crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Press firmly into a 9 inch / 20-23cm tart pan and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Cool crust completely before pouring in the filling.

To make filling, beat all filling ingredients together in an electric mixer. {Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature before mixing in other ingredients or you'll get lumps. If you don't feel like waiting - whip the cream cheese by itself for about 5-7 minutes.} Pour filling into shell and chill for 4-6 hours giving the filling ample time to set.

to prepare berry topping:

Please note that the berry topping shouldn't be put on the tart until right before serving, as they can make the crust soggy if the berries sit for too long. Place the berries and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.