First Time Fruit Tart

April 13, 2009 at 12:18 am 1 comment

Easter went great :). There were a total of 6 of us, and we managed to squeeze into our apartment just fine. Everyone loved the food too, which made me very happy! Here’s what I served:

  • Apps: Hummus with carrot sticks and pita chips; Baked Brie en Croute with Raspberry Preserves and Herbes de Provence Flatbread
  • Salad: Organic spinach and arugula with roma tomatoes and evoo/lemon juice dressing

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  • Dinner: Baked Honey Ham, Steamed Asparagus, Boiled “Confetti” Potatoes (red bliss, yellow fingerling, and blue potatoes), Peas, Carrot Souffle, French Rolls, Cranberry Harvest Rolls
  • Dessert: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Dilemma Cheesecake Assortment and…..Fruit Tart!

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The fruit tart came out great, which is good, because it actually takes quite a bit of work. Here’s how I made it, with full recipe and proportions available here .

 

I started with preparing the Pate Sucree – this is a basic pastry dough, modified for sweeter dishes with the addition of egg yolks and extra sugar. A food processor makes this recipe a whole lot easier. You start with combining flour and sugar in the food processor.

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Once blended, add 2 sticks of butter, cut into small pieces, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

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Separately beat the egg yolks and ice water, then add to the food processor while it is running to create a well-formed dough. The dough should not be sticky, and if it is too dry, add additional ice water. Once dough comes together, remove from the food processor and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour. You can also make the dough up to a month ahead of time and store in the freezer.

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Next step….Pastry Cream. There was one thing that intimidated me about this recipe – it called for vanilla beans. I’ve never actually used vanilla beans before, but have seen others use it, so I thought I could handle it. However, when I looked for them at the grocery store I couldn’t find them! Turns out they keep the vanilla beans (and the saffron) behind the customer service desk because people steal them! Why do they steal them? Because they think that $15 for a jar of 2 vanilla beans is too expensive. Yea, I think so too, but I pay for them like I should :).

First step for the pastry cream involves placing the milk, vanilla bean, and sugar in a pan to heat until almost boiling.

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In a separate bowl. egg yolks are mixed with sugar, cornstarch, and flour. The cornstarch and flour act as thickeners to turn the liquid mixture into a creamier pudding—like consistency.

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When the milk mixture is heated, you remove the vanilla bean and slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, while whisking constantly. It’s important to start off pouring just a little bit of the hot milk mixture, and then whisking to temper the eggs – this means bringing the egg mixture slowly up to temperature without scrambling them. If you just poured the entire hot mixture in you’d have some pretty fancy scrambled eggs :).

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Once everything is combined, you bring it back to the stove and heat until 160*F before transferring to a large bowl and whisking in a small amount of butter. Let this chill until completely cooled before using.

I made both the Pate Sucree and Pastry Cream yesterday, and put everything together this morning. First step was rolling out the dough (using my Williams-Sonoma French Rolling Pin and Pastry Board) – the recipe called for making a 9-inch tart, but I had an 11-inch pan so I made it bigger.

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Press the dough fully into the tart pan and prick all over with a fork. Line with parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans (ummm, I lined with foil and used a glass pie pan on top to weigh it down – tart ended up sticking a little to the bottom so my lesson is that I need to buy pie weights 😛 ). Dough is then baked until golden brown and left to cool.

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Separately, heavy cream is whipped with sugar to form soft peaks, and then is folded into the pastry cream.

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Spoon mixture into cooled shell add berries, and ta da! The recipe calls for glazing the berries with jam, but at that point I was tired and went the route of powdered sugar – just as good :).

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Aaaaaaaaaand….instead of a traditional Easter basket, my parents brought an arrangement from Edible Arrangements . LOVE THOSE!!! It’s all fresh fruit (pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew & strawberries) made to look like flowers. Mmmmm, I’ll be eating this all week!

Sorry for the long post! Fruit tart is complicated :P. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Maggie

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Gaby  |  April 13, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Love love love the tart and everything else sounds amazing! Happy Easter!

    Reply

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Disclaimer

Although I am an RD, information in here is not to be used as medical advice. All exercise programs/nutrition are targeted toward my own personal health and goals. Before starting any program, be sure to check with your doctor and/or registered dietitian. To find an RD in your area, go to www.eatright.org .

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