Monday, July 07, 2008

Summer Fruit Tart

It had been so long since I'd done anything inspiring in the kitchen, that I needed to make up for lost time.   So why not spend half a day and a little too much money making this incredible fruit tart?

I'm not much of a baker, and not all that into things like pies and cakes, but when a co-worker brought this tart into work, I was blown away by the fact that it somehow managed to taste and feel light, which is a perfect thing in the heat of summer.  And of course, I had a new tart pan waiting to be used, so this tart seemed like the perfect thing for a 4th of July barbeque. 

You'll definitely need some patience and some fine, fine music to keep you company in the kitchen when you make this.  My soundtrack of the day was James Brown, and it was a perfect way to pass several hours in my kitchen.  Not to mention that the tart was a huge hit at the barbeque!  Even my highly skeptical french friend, an experienced pastry baker, gave it a thumbs up.

This recipe came from my co-worker's partner, and I think she got it from a magazine called Cuisine at Home.  She suggested using much more lemon juice than the original recipe called for, and I heartily concur.

For the crust, process in your food processor with the pastry attachment:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used a combo of white and whole wheat)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 t. salt
Minced zest of 1 lemon

Then, add and pulse:

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk (but be sure to save the white, because you'll use it later)

Pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs.  Don't worry about it holding together, because you're now going to press it into your tart pan.   Make sure to lightly butter the pan, and have the oven pre-heated to 400.   Bake the crust until golden, and cool completely.

Now for the filling, combine:

1 egg white
1/2 cup lemon curd (I used this brand - no preservatives and totally delicious!)
3 whole eggs

In a separate bowl, combine:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 T. cornstarch
pinch of salt

Now mix the flour mixture into the lemon curd mixture and set aside.

Over medium heat, combine:

2 cups milk
1/3 cup honey

Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then slowly mix it into the lemon curd mixture.  Now pour the whole mixture back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until it's thick and bubbly.  This should take less than 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from the stove and:

2 T. butter, cubed
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons, or to taste (original recipe called for juice of 1/2 lemon)

Stir it all up until it's smooth, and pour it into the cooled crust.

Cover gently, making sure not to touch the custard with whatever you use to cover it, and refrigerate and let set for 4 hours. 

Now it's time to make the glaze.  Melt about 1/4 cup apricot jam and whisk in the juice of half a lemon.  Gently glaze the tart and then it will be time to gently scatter the berries over the top of the tart:

1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 pint fresh blackberries

Dab the top of the berries with a little more glaze, garnish with sprigs of mint, and it's time to serve!  Do your best not to dig into the tart before it's time to go to the party.  This may be harder than you think!


S for Kitchen Confit said...

There is nothing like fresh fruit. I just had some amazing blueberries last week. Though I've had a hankering for apples lately, and made an apple tart, even though apples are out of season.

Soup and Song said...

Wow, thanks for your comment, s for kitchen confit! Your blog looks beautiful and your apple tart recipe looks delicious. I will definitely bookmark your blog and visit often. Happy eating!

Chip said...

You go Tart! Tarts are Funny!