Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fresh Fruit Tart

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

Pastry Cream

• 2 cups half-and-half

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• pinch table salt

• 5 large egg yolks, chalazae (chords of egg white attached to the yolk) removed by pulling them off with fingers

• 3 tablespoons cornstarch

• 4 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into 4 pieces

• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Tart Pastry (Pate Sucree)

• 1 large egg yolk

• 1 tablespoon heavy cream

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

• 2/3 cup powdered sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon table salt

• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), very cold, cut into 1/2-

inch cubes


Fruit and Glaze

• fruit, unwashed

• 1/2 cup apple jelly

     1. For Pastry Cream: Heat half-and-half, 6 tablespoons sugar, and salt in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring to dissolve sugar.

      2. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until sugar has begun to dissolve and mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in cornstarch until combined and mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

      3. When half-and-half mixture reaches full simmer, gradually whisk simmering half-and-half into yolk mixture to temper. Return mixture to saucepan, scraping bowl with rubber spatula; return to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on surface and mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer mixture to medium bowl, press plastic wrap directly on surface, and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 48 hours.

      4. For the Tart Pastry: While pastry cream is chilling, whisk together yolk, cream, and vanilla in small bowl; set aside. Pulse to combine flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; pulse to cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With machine running, add egg mixture and process until dough just comes together, about 25 seconds. Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and press into 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 to 48 hours.

      5. Remove dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Unwrap and roll out between lightly floured large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to 13- inch round. (If dough is soft and sticky, slip onto baking sheet and refrigerate until workable, 20 to 30 minutes.) Transfer dough to tart pan by rolling dough loosely around rolling pin and unrolling over 9- to 9 1/2- inch tart pan with removable bottom. Ease dough into pan corners by gently lifting dough with one hand while pressing dough into corners with other hand. Press dough into fluted sides of pan. (If some edges are too thin, reinforce sides by folding excess dough back on itself.) Run rolling pin over top of tart pan to remove excess dough. Set dough-lined tart pan on large plate and freeze 30 minutes (can be sealed in a gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag and frozen up to 1 month).

      6. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Set dough-lined tart pan on baking sheet, press 12-inch square of foil inside frozen tart shell and over edges and fill with metal or ceramic pie weights. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Remove from oven and carefully remove foil and weights by gathering edges of foil and pulling up and out. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Set baking sheet with tart shell on wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. 

      7. To Assemble and Glaze the Tart: When tart shell is completely cool, spread cold pastry cream over bottom, using offset spatula or large spoon. Arrange fruit on top of pastry cream.

      8. Bring jelly to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to smooth out lumps. When boiling and completely melted, apply by dabbing and flicking onto fruit with pastry brush; add 1 teaspoon water and return jelly to boil if it becomes too thick to drizzle. Remove outer metal ring of tart pan, slide thin metal spatula between bottom of crust and tart pan bottom to release, then slip tart onto cardboard round or serving platter; serve. The pastry cream can be made a day or two in advance, but do not fill the prebaked tart shell until just before serving. Once filled, the tart should be topped with fruit, glazed, and served within half an hour.

      How to arrange fruit: Peel 2 large kiwis, halve lengthwise, and cut into half-moon slices about 3⁄8 inch thick. Arrange them cut-side down in an overlapping circle propped up against the inside edge of the pastry. Sort two 1⁄2 pints of raspberries by height, discarding any blemished berries, and arrange them in 2 tight rings just inside of the kiwi, using the taller berries to form the inner ring. Sort 1⁄2 pint of blueberries, discarding stems and blemished berries, and mound them in the center. Use apple jelly to glaze this tart.


The Food Librarian said...

Seriously, can anything be any better than this? It is stunning!

Big boys Oven said...

awesomely beautiful, just lovely the fruit composition,

Irene said...

Wonderful!!! I made a fruit tart yesterday for Easter - great minds must be thinking alike here. :) The rose in the middle (magoes?) is stunning, I just love it. So happy to find your blog!

Courtney said...

Hi! I stumbled across your tart and am dying to make it tonight/tomorrow for the boyfriend's b-day.

One question - do you have any instructions for the mango (presumably?) flower atop the tart?

Would be much appreciated... wonderful photos and recipes, thanks for sharing!