Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bake 52: Fresh Fruit Tart

This is my week to host!  I chose this recipe because I am completely obsessed with fresh fruit desserts right now, and it doubles if they have some kind of cream.  And, I think, pastry cream is what Heaven will be like.  I think you just get a spoon and giant tubs of pastry cream for being good on Earth.  For those reasons, all rolled into one, I chose this recipe.  I also don't have a lot of experience with tarts so that was an added bonus, I got to learn something new.  And what I learned, didn't really have to do with tarts at all.  

I planned on sticking really closely to the recipe, being the host and all.  I had to keep stopping myself from making mini tarts or going rouge in some other way.  And then when it came time to make the tart, I realized a few things.  
1.  I was completely out of powdered sugar, of which I needed 2/3 cup.
2.  I hadn't bought nearly enough of the right fruits.
3.  My tart pan was 2 inches larger than what the recipe specified.
4.  I didn't have apple jelly.

I had to make some adjustments.  Thank goodness for the Emergency Substitution section of the book!  Did you know you can make your own powdered sugar (or a substitute for it anyway) in your blender???  Yeah, that's what I did.  1 cup sugar and 1 tsp cornstarch, and blended until fine.  I had to wait about 3 hours for the powdered to settle before I could open my blender though. (slight exaggeration).  For my second problem, I decided to just use what fruit I had and for the third, I don't know that I make enough tarts to justify more than one size of tart pan (even though I do have some minis) so I just used my 11 inch pan.  And I just left the apple jelly off and sprinkled with my homemade powdered sugar. :)

I think all in all, it went well.  My crust was pretty crunchy which was probably because I had to roll the dough out thinner to fit in the larger pan and I probably should have baked it less since it was thinner but didn't.  I loved the presentation of the tart, it looks impressive.  I wasn't thinking it would after just getting the kiwi and strawberries on there but after it was done, I was okay with it. I wasn't as blown away by the dessert as I thought I would be.  It was still good, but I thought it was better a couple hours later when the crust had softened up.  

I hope everyone either liked it or at least enjoyed the process this week and learned something helpful. :)

Fresh Fruit Tart
1 egg yolk
1 T heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 T butter (cold), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cups half and half
8 T sugar, divided
5 egg yolks
*1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds removed and reserved.
3 T corn starch
pinch of salt
4 T butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large kiwi, peeled and sliced 3/8 inch thick
2 cups raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup red current or apple jelly

For the pastry cream:  Bring the half and half, 6 T sugar, salt, vanilla bean and vanilla seeds to simmer in a medium saucepan over med-high heat, stirring occasionally.  As the half and half mixture begins to simmer, whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining 2 T of sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth.  Slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the simmering half and half into the yolks to temper, then slowly whisk the tempered yolks back into the simmering saucepan.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook whisking vigorously, until the mixture is thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface, about 30 seconds.  Off the heat, remove the vanilla bean and stir in the butter.   
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface 
and refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 3 hours.
For the Tart Shell:  Whisk the egg yolk, cream and vanilla together in a bowl.  Combine flour, powdered sugar, salt in the food processor and process to combine.  Scatter butter pieces over the top 
and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  With the machine running, add egg mixture through feed tube and process until mixture comes together around the blade, about 12 seconds (mine took way longer than 12 seconds).  
Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Before rolling out, let sit at room temp for 10 minutes.  Roll out on a floured surface to 2 inches larger than pan size (11 inches for a 9 inch pan).  
Transfer to tart pan (the hardest thing ever, it took me two tries and still looks like a crime scene) trim the edges by rolling the rolling pin over them. 
Place pan on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375.  Remove tart pan from freezer and line frozen dough with 2 sheets of aluminum foil (I only had parchment) and fill with pie weights, pennies or dried beans.  
Bake for 30 minutes or until the tart shell is golden brown and set, rotating halfway through.  Remove foil and weights and continue baking for 5-10 minutes longer or until the shell is fully baked and golden.  Remove from oven and cool completely about 1 hour.
Spread chilled pastry cream evenly over the bottom of the cooled tart shell.  Shingle the kiwi slices around the edge of the tart, then arrange 3 rows of raspberries inside the kiwi.  Finally arrange a mound of blueberries in the center.  (Or do what I did and just throw a bunch of fruit on there.)  Melt the jelly in a saucepan over med-high heat, stirring occasionally to smooth out any lumps.  Using a pastry brush, dab the melted jelly over the fruit.  To serve, remove outer metal ring of tart pan, slide a thin metal spatula between the bottom of the pan and the tart, carefully slide the tart onto a serving platter or cutting board.  Serves 8-10
*if you don't have a vanilla bean (which I also didn't have) you can substitute 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.


  1. Once again, yours looks beautiful! I had trouble get the dough into the dish as well, I ended up throwing the dough in and patting it down:)

  2. Your tart is gorgeous!!! Great pick this week!

  3. Such a great pick! Yours looks amazing. I love the close-up shot you took.

  4. I agree, I love the custard!

  5. seriously, picture perfect. You rock so hard!

  6. cONGRATS on hosting, the recipe looks great and so do the pictures!!


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