Category Archives: Tarts

Fruit Tart

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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

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My new food processor! Dry ingredients.

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Adding butter.

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Adding in the egg yoke.

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Sweet tart dough.

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Ready to bake.

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Cooling.

Ingredients
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

Directions
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.

Pastry Cream

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Milk, sugar and vanilla.

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Egg yokes, cornstarch and sugar.

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Stirring in butter.

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Ready to refrigerate.

Ingredients
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

Directions

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.

Assembly

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Spreading melted chocolate over the cooled crust.

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Pastry cream.

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All done!

Directions

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!

Grade: A++++++++
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!

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White Chocolate Fruit Tart for Connie

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Isn’t it funny? It seems like the people who are closest to you are the ones that are hardest to choose things for. This applies me to along the terms of desserts. I was pondering over what to make Connie for her birthday party and suddenly the idea of a fruit tart popped in my mind. I remember how much she likes fruit tarts because she’s always happy when her mom buys her a fruit tart. For this special occasion I had my mom buy me a new tart plan with a removable bottom from Target. Since it’s winter, I opted to stick to canned fruits using canned peaches, mandarins, and pineapples. I found this recipe from my favorite site, All Recipes. The recipe was fairly simple to follow and I like how decorating the tart is complete up to you. You can use whatever fruits you like, perhaps in the summer I shall use kiwis and strawberries.

From All Recipes.

Making the crust:

My new pan!
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Mixing butter and powdered sugar.
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Stirring in flour.
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Spreading the dough over the pan. I poked holes in the crust with a fork to be safe.
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After baking and cooling.
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Making the filling

Melted white chocolate.
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Combining cream cheese and heavy cream.
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Spreading filling out.
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Decorating

My beautiful fruit design.
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Crust
3/4 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

FILLING:
* 1 (10 ounce) package vanilla or white chips, melted and cooled
* 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, undrained
* 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced (Omitted, but instead used one thawed out strawberry)
* 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
* 2 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced (Omitted and replaced with canned peaches)


Directions

1. In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour; mix well. Press into an ungreased 11-in. tart pan with removable bottom or 12-in. pizza pan with sides. Bake at 300 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
2. For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat melted chips and cream. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Spread over crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice; set juice aside. Arrange the pineapple, strawberries, oranges and kiwi over filling.
3. For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool; brush over fruit. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Grade: B+
I really liked the crust. It was so simple to make and very buttery and flakey. The filling was pretty good, however I’m not a big fan of cream cheese. I did like the fruits that I chose which added a nice flavor. My friends really enjoyed it and we ate 2/3’s of it before heading off to bed.

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Apple Bavarian Torte

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The other day I was sitting around housing surfing away on the internet and being lazy. What do you expect? I’m a second semester senior, no reading for Gov AP, and it’s a three day weekend. Doing one of my favorite things to pass the time which is going on allrecipes.com and typing in various words and then finding the highest rated recipe. I decided to type in “torte” and out popped a recipe for an Apple Bavarian Torte. Lately, I’ve been liking the idea of desserts with fruits in them so this was perfect. I clicked on the picture to look at the recipe and it said that this torte was baked in a spring-form plan which was perfect because my mom had bought me a pack of 3 which I haven’t used yet. Also the recipe looked pretty simple and the pictures were very gorgeous. Since we have family dinner’s every Sunday I thought this would be the perfect time to try out this recipe. While shopping for the ingredients I first stopped by Lucky’s where apples were $1.99 a pound and cream cheese was something around $3. Being the bargain hunter I am I only bought 3 apples and drove on over to Trader Joe’s to buy cream cheese which is only $1.69. So from now on I’m definitely always heading over my new favorite store Trader Joe’s, who doesn’t love the free samples and extremely cute decor? Although the parking sucks and I’m always afraid I’m going to hit someone.
Anyways…
My mom’s side of the family loved the tart and I did too. My uncle ate two slices and today I ate two slices too. I was so proud of myself! It turned out very professional and the only thing that I would like to change is to learn how to cut apples better! I wanted to cut nice slices and then layer them but instead I ended up with some nice-ish slices and chunks. Props to my grandpa who always cuts apple pieces for me. Also, 4 apples was way too much for the torte and I even used a 9.5 spring-form pan so I just piled some apples on top. The only thing I changed from the recipe was omitting the almonds because I didn’t feel like buying them.

Beautiful granny smith apples ready to cut!
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My apple pieces.
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Ingredients

Apple pieces with cinnamon sugar mixture.
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Dough for the crust. I had to mix it with my hands.
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Pressing the dough into the pan.
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Cream cheese mixture.
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Pouring cream cheese mixture into pan.
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Ready to bake.
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Cooling off.
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1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 apple – peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F(230 degrees C).
Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, and flour. Press crust mixture into the flat bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Pour cheese mixture over crust. Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon. Spread apple mixture over all.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F(200 degrees C) and continue baking for 25 minutes. Sprinkle almonds over top of torte. Continue baking until lightly browned. Cool before removing from pan.

Grade: A++
This was one of the most delicious tortes I have ever tasted. I loved the apple cinnamon mixture and the creamy filling. The crust was very buttery and crumbly. The juices from the apples caramelized up leaving a very sweet taste on the crust. If I could, I would have eaten the whole thing. I will definitely make this again in the future.

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