A Moment of Late Summer Bliss & a Red Currant Tart


It’s all about berries these days. And somehow, although I’ve been berry picking multiple days a week for the past 3 weeks, I’m not bored. Not a bit. Summer is good to us and we should embrace it.

A couple of days ago I made a small trip to the countryside to the summer house of my dear great-aunt and her husband. A red wooden house surrounded by woods, water, and….berry bushes! Red, black, and white currants. Some blueberry bushes too.


Currant picking is quite a straightforward business. No scratches all over your arms or small worms nesting in your goodies like when raspberry picking. Nor are there stained fingers or that awful pain in your back which you get from picking bilberries. Oh and no mosquito air force waiting to drain the blood from you.

So I picked currants with a smile on my face. I went to the sauna and cooled down on the porch with a glass of homemade red currant juice in my hand. I listened to bird songs. Peaceful. A moment of late summer bliss.


Now I have my freezer and fridge full of currants (I came home with nearly 10 liters!). I’m still figuring out what I’m gonna make from all of them. I think there will be some jam making sessions and some will be saved for cold winter days. I’m also intrigued by the idea of making black currant juice. I’ll see.

I decided to start with this red currant tart. My great-aunt served quite a similar, simple but oh so delicious, tart and I couldn’t resist making one at home too. I especially love the tartness of it and the small vanilla seeds in the filling. So pretty!



85 g sugar
200 g unsalted butter, cold and diced
1 egg (M)
pinch of fine sea salt
185 g all-purpose flour
115 g whole grain barley flour

85 g sugar
120 g quark
120 g sour cream
1 egg (M)
½ tsp natural vanilla paste or ½ vanilla pod (sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped out)
250 g red currants (or any other currants or berries)

In a medium-sized bowl quickly rub the butter into the sugar with your fingers (or a pastry cutting tool or alternatively pulse in a food processor) until well incorporated and crumbly. Add the egg and mix. Add salt and both flours and knead until everything has come together. Avoid over-working the dough - try to work as fast as possible. There should still be some small butter pieces left. The dough should feel quite crumbly but stick together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Roll the dough out and press into a 26 cm (10”) tart mold. If the dough cracks, don’t worry, just pinch it back together. Cut off any excess. With a fork, poke several holes in the bottom of the tart dough. Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes. {I didn’t use baking weights and my tart came out perfectly.}

In the meantime prepare the filling. Remove currants from stems, wash them and dry with a kitchen towel or household paper. Beat the sugar, curd, sour cream, egg, and natural vanilla paste (or vanilla seeds) in a small bowl until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the prebaked tart. Top with the red currants. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges start to brown and the filling has set. Let cool down a bit before serving.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce, if desired – especially if you want to balance out the tartness. I have to say that in Finland we would always enjoy this alongside a cup of freshly brewed coffee. We are, after all, a coffee nation.