Rule #1: Never show up to a party empty-handed. Nicole said this is the natural choice offering to bring to a last minute weekend Summer party. Total crowd-pleaser, every time. Just pick up a couple pints of fresh fruit from a farmer's market and some GOOD butter (Plugrá or other high-end European-style butter). You will be the toast of the party (we tried it last weekend while Nicole was visiting from Seattle, and YES it works - She is now famous among my LA friends!)
1/2 lb (8 oz) European-style butter
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 pints fresh fruit (blackberries, plums, blueberries, etc)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 lb (8 oz) European-style butter, browned
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11-inch loose-bottomed tart tin with a little butter. For crust, combine 1/2 lb room temperature butter, sugar, flour and salt. Knead with hands, adding additional flour until dough forms a ball. Roll the dough out and line your tart tin, pressing lightly into flutes. Bake the pastry crust for around 12 minutes or until lightly golden.In a small saucepan, cook the other 1/2 lb butter over moderate heat until the milk solids brown and the butter is fragrant, about 7 minutes. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until thick and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the flour, then slowly temper in the browned butter.Arrange the berries in a single layer inside the tart shell. Pour the custard over and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the custard is puffed and richly browned. Transfer to a rack and cool.
Simply wrap in a flour-sack kitchen towel and head off to the party!