Don’t you love walking into pastry shops or bakeries and seeing all the lovely arrangements of decadent desserts, artfully decorated with fresh fruit, chocolate and nuts?? Something about the way they are displayed makes me want to try and buy one of each… it’s really a practice in self-control when I find myself confronted with these situations…
One of the desserts that my mom would always enjoy buying in the summer is a large summer fruit tart and while it wouldn’t last long once it got home, it was also one of those treats where we could have as big a slice as we would like! Perfect when you are a kid!!
As an adult, it is one of those desserts I have put off making since I wasn’t sure how to make that lovely, clear glaze on top but I finally decided to confront my insecurities head on and make this!
Mei absolutely enjoyed our shopping trip to buy all the fruit that we would want for our tart and enjoyed “helping” me chop it all up. As usual, I wound up buying twice as much fruit as I would need, as she quickly and effortlessly ate all the bits of fruit that were either too small or not “perfect” in some other way to make the cut for the tart. She even got to try kiwis for the first time, and its a good thing we got a lot of those – she really LOVED the kiwi!!
If you make all the different parts of this dessert during nap times, it comes together very nicely and then all you have to worry about is fending small children and husbands off of eating all the pastry cream and fruit before you assemble it and taking a fork to the tart before it has chilled properly….!
While all the parts of this was chilling, I spent a lot of time looking around on Pinterest and other places for ideas on how to arrange the fruit on top, this is just so much fun since there are endless possibilities and being made with fresh fruit, it is just good for you and a lovely dessert that is sure to impress – if you are looking for a dessert to take with you to a dinner party or some other gathering… just be sure you have made enough – this dessert goes quickly!
I found this particular recipe in an issue of America’s Test Kitchen “Best Summer Desserts: Foolproof Recipes for All Our Favorite Summer Treats” (2012) and aside from one modification, this is one recipe that I will make over and over again.
The tart shell bakes up rather firmly, and I would prefer to bake it a bit less next time, since parts of it were rather hard to cut through with a fork – but after a day in the fridge, the shell softens a bit (if you manage to have any left the next day). Also this recipe made me sad not to have a dozen or so mini tart shells to make some portable, individual portions to share (or not).
What kind of fruit would you put on your tart?
Ingredients: for one 9-inch Classic Tart shell/dough
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 TBS heavy cream/ whole milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 C all-purpose flour
- 2/3 C confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 TBS unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled
Whisk the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla together in a bowl. Process the flour, sugar and salt together in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter butter on top and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 pulses. With processor running, add egg mixture and continue to process until the dough just comes together around the processor blade (about 12 seconds) – it might not take all of the egg mixture for the dough to come together. If you use it all and it winds up being a bit too sticky, you can always knead in extra flour later, after it has chilled once.
Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a 6-inch disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for one hour. Before rolling the dough out, let it sit on the counter to soften slightly, about ten minutes. The dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to one month. If frozen, let the dough thaw completely on the counter before rolling it out.
Roll the dough into an 11 inch circle on a lightly floured counter (if at any point the dough becomes too soft or sticky to work with, slip the dough onto a baking sheet and freeze or refrigerate until workable. Place the dough round on the baking sheet, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for about 30 minuets.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator; discard the plastic but keep the dough on the baking sheet. Loosely roll the dough around the rolling-pin and gently unroll it onto 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, letting excess dough hang over the edge. Ease the dough into the pan by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the corners with the other hand. Leave any dough that overhangs the pan in place.
Run a rolling-pin over the top of the pan to remove any excess dough. Wrap the dough -lined tart pan loosely in plastic and place on a large plate, freezing until the dough is fully chilled and firm, about 30 minutes before using.
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375F. Set the dough lined tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly press a piece of parchment paper over the tart pan and fill with pie weights or dry beans.
Bake until the tart shell is golden brown and set, about 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Carefully remove the weights and parchment paper and continue to bake the tart shell until it is fully baked and golden, about 5-10 minutes longer. Transfer the tart shell with the baking sheet to a wire rack and letthe tart shell cool completely before filling.
Ingredients: for Classic Fresh Fruit Tart
- 2 C half and half or heavy cream
- 1/2 C sugar, divided
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3 TBS cornstarch
- 4 TBS unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 recipe of Classic Tart Dough, fully baked and cooled
- 4 C fresh fruit of your choosing
- 1/2 C apple or apricot jelly
Bring the half and half (or heavy cream) and 6 TBS of sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally.
As the half-and-half mixture begins to simmer, whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 2 TBS sugar together in medium bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk 1 C of simmering half and half mixture into the yolk mixture to temper, then slowly whisk the tempered yolk mixture back into the remaining half and half mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until the mixture is thickened and few bubbles burst on the surface, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to clean the bowl, lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface, and refrigerate the pastry cream until chilled and firm about three hours. (Pastry cream can be refrigerated for up to 2 days).
Spread the chilled pastry cream evenly over the bottom of the cooled pre-baked tart shell. Shingle fruit slices around the edge of the tart in towards the center. Finally, arrange a mound of blueberries in the center.
Melt the jelly in a small saucepan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to smooth out any lumps. Using a pastry brush, dab the melted jelly over the fruit. To serve, remove the outer metal ring of the tart pan, slide thin metal spatula between tart and tart pan bottom, and carefully slide the tart onto a serving platter or cutting board.
Chill the tart, allowing the jelly to set then slice and serve!