Today we start our once-in-a-lifetime epic adventure on the John Muir Trail. We’ve been planning this for over a year and I simply cannot believe it’s finally here. While we are trekking up and down, over and around mountain passes, streams, rivers, and trails I have a whole bunch of fun stuff scheduled to share with you. From guest posts and personal posts to round-ups and Friday Faves, it will be anything but quiet on greens & chocolate while we are gone. In addition, based on Marc’s estimations of our daily mileage, I’ll try to keep you updated on where we are and what beautiful scenery we are taking in every couple of days. How does that sound?!
So today we are starting the trail in Yosemite Valley, specifically at Happy Isles. According to our JMT guide book, this part of the trail has some pretty spectacular views of waterfalls, including Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall. The total elevation change from our start to finish today is roughly 3900 feet but we’re also going to be taking on the challenge of Half Dome which is a challenging and steep hike up a granite rock (side note: it was declared ‘perfectly inaccessible’ back in the 1870’s) which has become perfectly accessible now thanks to cable wires that hikers must use to climb. Our total mileage for today is roughly 12 miles including Half Dome, but puts us only 8 miles into the trail.
While we’ll be eating homemade instant oatmeal, gobs of trail mix, Clif Bars, and homemade rehydrated dehydrated chili, I’m thinking you need a little better dessert than the instant pudding we’ll also be having. How does a quick and simple Almond Berry Tart sound?
Tarts always look and sound much more intimidating than they really need to. While it could be time consuming if you insisted on making your own puff pastry, I find the frozen puff pastry from Pepperidge Farm does the trick for me. It is in no way lacking of flaky and buttery layers, which is crucial for a good puff pastry, and saves so much time!
Aside from thawing out the puff pastry, the only real work in this tart is to make the filling, which is a simple combo of cream cheese, a little cream (or milk), powdered sugar, and vanilla and almond extracts. Topped with a sprinkling of berries and you have one tasty and impressive dessert! I’ll be dreaming of it (in my tent under the stars) tonight!
almond berry puff pastry tart
- 2 sheets puff pastry thawed
- 1 egg beaten
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the puff pastry on parchment paper, and brush with beaten egg wash.
- Poke the puff pastry thoroughly with a fork (otherwise it will puff up a lot).
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Let cool completely.
- Make the cream filling by beating together cream cheese, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and the extracts.
- Spread filling over cooled puff pastry.
- Top with berries and almonds.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours to let filling set.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Cut into square/slices and serve.