Yesterday was Mother’s Day and since I love my mother so much I decided to make her one of her favorite desserts, fruit tart. Now I’ve made a fruit tart before and this was for Connie’s birthday. That tart was pretty good but the white chocolate cream cheese filling wasn’t the same as the ones that you buy from Whole Food’s or Dredgers. This pastry cream, however was just as good, not only better. Most fruit tarts cost about $30 and I had almost all the ingredients on hand for this one and it tasted just as good as the store bought ones and my mom loved it. It did take me a while since I had to bake the crust and let it cool and made the pastry cream a day a head of time so it could chill but all of it was so worth. I used the sweet tart dough recipe from the book Baking from My Home to Yours, a very popular cookbook written by Dorie Greenspan which I borrowed from the library. The pastry cream filling is from Martha Stewart
Sweet Tart Dough
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 T) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in- you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal fakes and others the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses- about 10 seconds each- until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change- heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate and dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
To press the dough into the pan: butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy handed- press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferable longer, before baking.
To partially or fully bake the crust: center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, against the crust. (Since you froze it, you can bake it without weights). Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, carefully press it down with the back of a spoon. For partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack. To fully bake the crust, bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1. Bring milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Whisking, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Slowly add remaining milk mixture until incorporated. Pour mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking, until it begins to bubble in center and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; discard vanilla bean.
3. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter; beat on medium speed until butter has melted and mixture has cooled, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low speed or whisk by hand until smooth.
For chocolate mixture I just mixed about 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips with a teaspoon of butter and microwaved it until it was melted. I spread this mixture on the bottom of the tart crust and let the chocolate harden.
Then I covered the tart with the pastry cream and sprinkled on strawberries.
Refrigerate until ready to serve!
Wow wow wow! When I become a famous pastry chef this is one thing I’ll definitely have in my kitchen. The chocolate added a nice touch and even though I usually don’t like strawberries on my fruit tarts, I ate them all up. And the pastry cream was to die for, sooooooo good! I could have eaten the whole bowl!