If Nadège Nourian were heading to your house for dinner, she could easily pick up a box of cotton-candy macarons or elegant La Mancha cake (made with saffron crème brûlée, honey and blackberries) from one of her eponymous Toronto pastry shops.
Most often, though, the dessert that this fourth-generation French baker chooses to share with friends is a fruit crumble she whips up at home.
10 raspberries, halved
10 blackberries, halved
5 strawberries, quartered
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
½ cup dry red wine
½ star anise (break a single star in half)
½ orange, zest only
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup butter, softened and divided
¾ cup icing sugar, sifted1 small egg, beaten
1½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted and divided
3 apples, peeled, cored and cubed
¼ teaspoon salt
Mix berries with 2 tablespoons sugar and let rest in fridge.
Meanwhile, combine wine, spices, zest, honey and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan. Mix well and simmer over low heat, covered, for 30 minutes.
Strain out solids and return wine to pan. Add reserved berries and bring just to a boil. Cool, transfer to a container and refrigerate.
To make the dough, blend ¼ cup butter with icing sugar, either by hand or with an electric mixer. Slowly incorporate egg, then 1 cup flour.Mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
To make apple filling, melt 2 teaspoons butter in a deep skillet with 2 tablespoons sugar. Add apples in three batches, letting each addition soften before adding the next, to give the compote texture. Make topping by combining remaining flour with remaining butter and sugar as well as salt to make a smooth dough. Use a cheese grater to break down the dough into a uniform crumble and refrigerate.
To assemble, roll dough as thinly as possible and fit into a buttered 8- or 9-inch tart pan. Chill briefly, then fill with apples. Drain berries and spread overtop. Scatter with crumble mixture and bake on a tray at 350 F for 35 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.