8.29.2010

Fruit Tarts (Tartes Aux Fruits)


Summer fruits are at their peak and there's no time better than now to sink your teeth into one. But even better, you can pair them up with delicious desserts like tarts, cobblers, crisps, and even cheesecake for a flavorsome combination. 


With some fresh strawberries, kiwis, grapes and cantaloupe on hand, I decided I would make fruit tarts using a recipe I had found a while back on Sweet Almond's blog.


I was worried about making the pastry cream because from what I've heard, it isn't a simple task. My biggest concern was the egg curdling and guess what? The egg ended up curdling. But, I did not give up. With a few words of advice from one of my close friends who happens to be the bomb at making pastry cream, my second batch of pastry cream was a complete success.
 

The pastry crust came out excellent on the first try (of course I had the help of my lovely KitchenAid). I think I'm going to keep this recipe for future pies and tarts. It was spot on flaky, buttery, and complemented the rich and delicious pastry cream.


Some type of fruit glaze would have been the finishing touch to these fruit tarts, but unfortunately, I didn't have any on hand. Regardless, these fruit tarts were painfully perfect. I made them three times in the past week and something tells me, that's not the last time I'll be making them this month :)


Fruit Tarts (Tartes Aux Fruits) 

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Ingredients:

For the pâte brisée (crust):
250 g all purpose flour  
125 g (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon granulated sugar  
1/8 teaspoon salt  
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract  
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

For the pastry cream:
1 cup whole milk (don't use low fat versions please)
2 egg yolks
40 g granulated sugar
30 g corn starch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


Directions:

For the crust:
To make the dough, use either a food processor, a mixer or a bowl and the best tools : your hands! Combine all the ingredients except the water. Work the mixture until crumbly. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until you form a dough. It is very important not to over work the dough otherwise your crust will shrink in the oven and you will not have that light, flaky kind of crust. wrap the dough and chill for at least 30 min. This step can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Just wrap the dough well and keep it in the fridge.  


For the pastry cream:
Heat the milk in a pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, sugar and corn starch and mix until well combined. (I combined the sugar and egg yolks first, and then added the cornstarch gradually)
Gradually, add the hot milk. Put the mixture back in the pan and cook, stirring continuously until it thickens. Off heat, stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let cool at room temperature then into the fridge for up to 2 days. When ready to use, whip the cream and fold it into the COLD pastry cream.

Preparing the tart shells Preheat the oven to 375. Remove the dough from the fridge and if it got too hard, let it sit for about 15 minutes. Flour your work surface and roll out the dough to about 1/4 in thickness. Arrange the dough on the mold (s) of your choice. Pick the entire surface of the dough with a fork and layer a piece of foil on top of it. Fill the foiled pan with beans. This will help the crust keep its nice shape. Cook the crust for 10 minutes then remove the foil (and the beans!) and continue baking until lightly brown. Cool completely before filling.

Tart Assembly
Fill each tart with the cream and your choice of fruits. In this particular one, I used : strawberries, figs, pineapple and mango. Use any type of glaze to make the tarts look shiny: fruit glaze, apricot jam...etc. This is optional though.

3 comments:

  1. These fruit tarts that you have created are beautiful, wow!
    I can't imagine being able to replicate these.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just a heads up, it's really easy to make your own fruit glaze.
    1 tablespoon of ANY preserves/jam/jelly
    1/2 tablespoon water
    1 teaspoon sugar
    Combine them all in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir it until it thickens.
    Then you can brush it on your crust to prevent it from becoming soggy and on your fruits to make them look shiny and add to the presentation!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much for the heads up! I am definitely going to try that next time!

    ReplyDelete

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