For the last of my spruce tips I’ve had an idea kicking around that I finally put into action. Mangos have a pine-y taste to them that I thought might nicely mirror the spruce-tips, but I didn’t want to just toss a mango with spruce tips and yogurt or sugar. I once made this amazingly delicious (and gorgeous) fresh fig and rosemary tart, and with Mr. Andrew’s birthday on the horizon, I had the time and reason to go all out on a birthday desert experiment. I was a little nervous that the mango might overwhelm the spruce tips so I incorporated spruce-tips into every part of the tart.
It turned out gorgeous, delicious, and very spruce-tip-y. The crust is almost a shortbread, the lemon cream filling is beautifully silky and citrus-y, and the mangoes on top give a third texture to the tart as well as a nice pop of fruit, AND the spruce tips jump out in each component.
Birthday boy approved!
You’ll see that I began the whole process the evening before by combining spruce tips and sugar. I didn’t go whole hog and make an infused sugar to be kept for later use. I’ve actually never done that, but every time I make something sweet with spruce tips (like last year’s kick-ass spruce-tip marmelade) I try and combine the spruce-tips and the sugar ahead of time to essentially macerate the spruce-tips. It’s the same concept as mixing berries and sugar or apples and sugar and letting them sit so that the juices are drawn out and mixed with the sugar, while at the same time slightly softening the fruit. I find when I have spruce-tip goodies, like spruce-tip shortbread, when the spruce-tips are combined without this process, that the spruce-tip flavor tends to get buried and the spruce tips can sometimes become a little crunchy.