Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fresh Fruit Tart With Pastry Cream

I love pastry cream.  It's a sickness.  I could probably eat an entire bowl of it, just for fun.  I wouldn't, but I could. :)  Anyway, I knew I would love this tart, and having it look so pretty and summery, and having a cute little four year old help me is even better.  This was a sweet pastry crust, a pastry cream, and then just fruit glazed with apple jelly.  It was delcious.  Noah and I gave it a perfect 10, and Aaron and Owen gave it an 8.  Aaron and Owen liked the crust best, I liked the pastry cream the best, and Noah liked all the fruit the best.  Something for everyone I guess.  The recipes (tart, crust, and cream) all came from Cook's Illustrated New Best Recipe cookbook.  Here are the recipes:
Sweet Pastry Dough
1 large egg yolk
1/2 t vanilla
1 T heavy cream
1 1/4 c flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2/3 c powdered sugar
1/4 t salt
8 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Whisk together the yolk, cream, and vanilla and set aside.  Place the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together.  Turn the dough onto plastic wrap, and press into a six-inch disk.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Unwrap and roll out between 2 lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap.  Transfer the dough to a tart pan.  Ease the dough into the corners, and remove excess from the outside.  Set the dough-lined tart panon a large plate and freeze for 30 mintues.
Heat the oven to 375.  Set the pan on a baking sheet, press a square of foil into the frozen tart shell and over the edge, and fill with pie weights.  Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.  Remove from oven and carefully remove the foil and weights.  Bake until a deep golden brown, 5-8 minutes longer.  Cool completely.

Pastry Cream
2 c half-and-half
1/2 c sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 T cornstarch
4 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 t vanilla extract

Heat the half-and-half, 6 T sugar and the salt in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.  Whisk in the remaining 2 T sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.  Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture to temper.  Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.  Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla.  Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.  Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

You assemble the tart crust first, then pastry cream, then pretty fruit, then glaze it with 1/2 c of warmed jelly (I used apple).  It's so pretty, and definitely delicious.

Tomorrow we're having fish and savory scones.


  1. The best part of this is that cute 4 year old, but that tart does look wonderful! Sure love you all. Is the chicken and rice for Noah's first day of school? Hope he enjoys it as much as Owen. When do you go to Flagstaff? Love mom

    1. Yes, the chicken and rice was for Noah's first day of school, and we're heading to Flagstaff Thursday night. Love you Mom!