Summer Fruit Tart
July 19, 2008
I am a big proponent of using seasonal fruits whenever possible and it’s berry season right now. This is a favorite summer party recipe since it has the biggest wow factor for a minimal amount of work. I recently made this tart to bring to a friend’s BBQ pool party and sadly I didn’t even get to sample the fruits of my labor (can I get a rimshot for that terrible cliché/pun?) as it looked like a pack of wild wolves descended on this tart not long after I had placed it on the dessert table.
Oh well. I suppose I’ll have to make another one.
SUMMER FRUIT TART (adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. sugar
1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
2-4 Tbs. ice water or cold heavy cream
Combine flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 to 20 seconds. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks; add ice water. With machine running, add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick. Gently press dough into a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing into edges. Trim the dough flush with pan. Chill tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes.(There will be left over dough and if you’re ambitious, make some mini-tartlets with the leftover dough.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Line with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake until edges are just beginning to turn golden, about 15-17 minutes. Remove parchment paper and weights; continue baking until deep golden all over, 20 minutes. Cool tart shell completely on wire rack. Remove tart shell from pan.
Vanilla Pastry Cream
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped to loosen
4 large egg yolks
1/4 C. corn starch
Bring milk and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep for 10-20 minutes.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl (or in an electric mixer) until pale and fluffy. Add corn starch and mix until incorporated.
With mixer on low, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Remove vanilla bean and slowly add remaining milk mixture until incorporated. Pour mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold.
Spoon cold pastry cream into the tart shell. Arrange fruit on top in whatever fashion you’d like. I usually only need about a couple cups of any kind of fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, figs, kiwi, etc.) Refrigerate.
Top with apricot glaze if desired. This is really necessary if you not serving your tart immediately as the fruit may wilt or even turn moldy.
3 Tbs. apricot jam
2 Tbs. water
Heat jam in small saucepan over low heat, stirring until thinned. Pass through a fine seive into a small bowl. Brush glaze over fruit.
I tried a different design this time instead of the ubiquitous concentric circles of fruit. Have fun picking different colored fruits and designs.