Fruit Tart

This is one of my all-time favorite desserts. I have made hundreds of pate brises (pie crust). This time I tried something new. I followed (and I mean followed) a recipe from Martha Rose Shulman, one of the premiere cookbook writers. The recipe makes two 9″ pie crusts, but I made an extra large tart, so I used the entire thing for my tart.

  • 12tablespoons unsalted French-style butter at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup plus one tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon skinless almond flour, sifted
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten, plus 1 to 2 teaspoons beaten egg
  • 2¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon cake flour, sifted

I did not follow it exactly because those extra tablespoons, the extra teaspoon of egg, or a tablespoon of cake flour made zero sense. It was delicious

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, and salt on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle and add confectioners’ sugar. Combine with butter at low speed. Scrape down the bowl and paddle again, then add almond flour and vanilla and combine at low speed.

Gradually add egg and a scant ½ cup cake flour (55 grams). Beat at low speed until just incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and paddle. Gradually add the remaining cake flour and mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overbeat. The dough should be soft to the touch.

Scrape the dough out of the bowl and gently press it into a ½-inch-thick rectangle. Double-wrap airtight in plastic and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. I did it overnight.

When you are ready to roll out the dough, take it out of the fridge and roll over dusted flour with a mat or parchment paper underneath. Once I rolled out the door, I returned it to the fridge before putting it in my pie pan. It gets soft.

Lay the dough in the tart, put parchment paper over the dough, pour in “baking beans,” and bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Then take out the beans and bake for another fifteen minutes. Take out and cool.

Pastry Cream:

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp. unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Combine the milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.  A few minutes.

Whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl. Do this prior to warming the mixture in the saucepan.  You can’t wait around in between each step, it comes together quickly.

Once the mixture is ready, take about 1/2 cup of it and pour it into the cornstarch mixture, constantly whisking.  Continue until the entire mixture is incorporated, about 1/2 cup at a time, and do it quickly.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, continually whisking.  In about 2 minutes, the mixture begins to thicken.

Take the mixture off the heat, add in the butter ( the butter stops the mixture from cooking – again, already cut up ), and continue to whisk until the butter has completely melted and is totally incorporated. 

Pour into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap (pushing the plastic wrap right to the surface of the cream so there is no air).  Refrigerate for a few hours until cool.

Once the tart and the pastry cream are cool, it is time to make the tart.  Put the cream inside the tart and use a spatula to even out the cream.  Take apple jelly and mix it with the fruit. Gives the fruit a little sheen. Be creative.