Monday, June 14, 2010

Fresh Fruit Tart

by Darla

Fresh fruit tarts are always so gorgeous in the bakery cases, but they seem pretty intimidating to make at home. When I finally invested in a tart pan, this was the obvious first choice for my first tart. It’s such a classic, and they’re just so beautiful! I was a little worried at first, because they really just seem complicated, but once I finally made one, I realized that, in this case, looks are definitely deceiving. Although there are quite a few steps involved, they are all quick and simple. Excluding various chill times, this recipe only takes an hour or so! It’s definitely worth trying out, and not as scary as you might believe.

Start by making the dough for the tart shell. You’ll need vanilla, heavy cream, all-purpose flour, an egg yolk, confectioners’ sugar, and cold, unsalted butter, plus a pinch of salt.

In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, cream, and yolk; whisk and set aside. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice. Distribute the butter pieces evenly over the top and pulse 12 to 15 times, until the mixture looks like course sand. With the processor on low, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together (10 to 12 seconds). Turn the dough onto the counter or a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Once the dough is chilled, roll the it out to a 12-inch circle. You can use a small amount of flour to prevent sticking, if desired, or you can roll the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. Once the dough is rolled out, gently pick it up by rolling it onto your rolling pin. Unroll the dough over a 9-inch tart pan (preferably one with a removable bottom).

Gently lift and press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan.

Cut the excess dough by rolling your pin over the top of the tart pan and remove the leftovers.

Place the prepared pan on a plate and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and place on a baking sheet. Cover the tart with a piece of foil, wrapping it over the edges, and fill with pie weights (pennies or dried beans work well as weights). Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and weights carefully, then replace the tart shell to the oven and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before using.

For the pastry cream, you need unsalted butter, corn starch, vanilla, egg yolks, sugar, and half-and-half. If you don’t have half-and-half, you can use a mixture of equal parts heavy cream and milk.

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the half-and-half, six, tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Add the remaining sugar and whisk for 15 to 20 seconds. Add the corn starch and whisk until combined, about 30 seconds.

Gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half mixture into the egg mixture. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened and looks glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter pieces and the vanilla. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it gently into the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until cold, at least three hours.

When you’re ready to use the cream, just remove the plastic wrap and give it a good stir. It’s good to go! Now all you need is some fruit…

I chose traditional fruits tart selections for the fruit, but you can mix it up however you like. I used one pound of strawberries, one small container each of blackberries and raspberries, two kiwi fruits, and one can of mandarin orange slices (in fruit juice). You will also need about a quarter of a cup of apple jelly for the pretty shine over the fruit.

Fruit Tart Once the crust is completely cooled, assemble your tart. Fill the tart shell with the pastry cream then add the fruit. You can place all of the fruit on top randomly or you can create a design like I have.

Remember that apple jelly I mentioned? Time to use it. Melt it in a small saucepan over medium heat and brush it over all of the fruit, covering each piece completely. Now, I don’t use apple jelly. It’s tasty, and it certainly makes your tart look very beautiful, but my family like a little raspberry jam melted over the top instead. It does not make quite the same impact, visually, but it really tastes delicious. What can I say? We’re big raspberry fans around here.

As you can see, using raspberry jam in place of the apple jelly (which melts clear) gives everything a little red hue. It’s still very lovely, though, and the taste is fantastic. These seem very complicated and difficult the first time you make one, but they’re actually quite easy and they take no time at all! If you have a tart pan, definitely try this out. If you don’t have a tart pan…buy one so you can try this out!! Enjoy!

Fresh Fruit Tart
Makes one 9-inch tart

Ingredients

FOR THE TART SHELL
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

FOR THE PASTRY CREAM
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
5 egg yolks
3 tablespoons corn starch
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 slices
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Apple jelly
Assorted summer fruits

To make the tart shell: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, cream, and yolk;whisk and set aside. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice. Distribute the butter pieces evenly over the top and pulse 12 to 15 times, until the mixture looks like course sand. With the processor on low, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together (10 to 12 seconds). Turn the dough onto the counter or a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Once the dough is chilled, roll the it out to a 12-inch circle. You can use a small amount of flour to prevent sticking, if desired, or you can roll the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Once the dough is rolled out, gently pick it up by rolling it onto your rolling pin. Unroll the dough over a 9-inch tart pan.Gently lift and press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Cut the excess dough by rolling your pin over the top of the tart pan and remove the leftovers.

Place the prepared pan on a plate and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and place on a baking sheet. Cover the tart with a piece of foil, wrapping it over the edges, and fill with pie weights (pennies or dried beans work well as weights). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and weights carefully, then replace the tart shell to the oven and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before using.

To make the pastry cream: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the half-and-half, six, tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Add the remaining sugar and whisk for 15 to 20 seconds. Add the corn starch and whisk until combined, about 30 seconds.

Gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half mixture into the egg mixture. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened and looks glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter pieces and the vanilla. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it gently into the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until cold, at least three hours.

Fill the cooled tart shell with the chilled pastry cream and top with fresh fruit.

Melt the apple jelly in a small saucepan over medium heat. Brush the melted jelly over the entire top of the tart, covering each piece of fruit. Remove from the tart pan and serve when ready.

adapted from Baking Illustrated

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sunioc June 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm

hrm… there's no recipe or instructions, and several of the lines between pics are incomplete sentences.

Reply

2 Heather :D June 14, 2010 at 8:49 am

Even on your big moving day, you're posting to your blog…. Amazing LOLOL You're awesome! <3

Reply

3 bttrflybabydoll June 14, 2010 at 9:18 am

Looks gorgeous!! I love the picture showing the fruit placement! So cool!

I agree with Heather. You ARE awesome!

Reply

4 Sugarbear June 14, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Thank you, Sunioc, for the heads up! I had some serious glitches going on last night, but I think it's all sorted out now! :)

Thanks Heather & Andrea! I don't know about awesome, but I am really committed to this little blog of mine and I want everyone to know that! :)

Reply

5 Anonymous June 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

oh la la, love the fancy moving picture!! plus, it looks delicious :) ~ k

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6 blackviolettea* June 17, 2010 at 12:30 pm

looks really tasty! you`re genius in cooking!:)

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7 Angie September 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm

That is beautiful! Oh it looks delicious!

Reply

8 Veronika March 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Hello,

I was wondering how I’d have to adjust the recipe, quantity of ingredients, and baking time, if I wanted to make small fresh fruit tarts that look the same.

Thanks!

Reply

9 Laura November 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Looks fantastic, and sounds fantastic. :)

Reply

10 Leticia September 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

Wi! I wonder.. what´s half-and-half? International reader over here! haha

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