Fresh Summer Fruit Tart
Make a 11-inch tart; Serves 8
This fruit dessert is one of our signature desserts when we entertain in the summer. It’s a stunning presentation with a do-ahead strategy, and tastes fresh and light at the end of a meal. We’ve used a broad range of summer fruits in this particular version, but the tart would be just as beautiful if only one or two fruits were used. The crust is a sweet crust, Pâte Sucrée, that tastes more like a shortbread cookie than pie crust; it’s a delicious pairing to the silky vanilla pastry cream. Adapt this presentation to different shapes and sizes of tart pans including rectangular pans or petite tartlets.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 water, ice cold
3 oz. white chocolate, melted
Pastry Cream Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
6 large yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Fruit Topping Ingredients:
16 strawberries, similarly sized, sliced
3-4 kiwi, peeled, halved, sliced
1-2 peaches, peeled, sliced
1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blueberries
12 oz. apricot preserves
1. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together and whisk to evenly distribute ingredients.
2. With a pastry blender, or by pulsing in a food processor, cut together the butter and the flour mixture until coarse with some butter pieces left the size of small peas.
3. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts, and 1 tablespoon of ice water. Stir or pulse to combine. Add additional cold water by the tablespoon until the dough just comes together in a ball. Avoid adding too much water.
4. Pat the dough into a flat disk and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
5. Roll the dough out to a 1/8-inch thickness and place in a removable bottom tart pan. Trim the edges to the top of the tart pan. Chill again for one hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Dock or prick the crust with the tines of a fork to vent the crust as it bakes. Place pie weights inside the tart crust and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust springs back when touched, and the edges are beginning to turn golden brown. (Baking times will vary based on the pan and crust thickness.)
7. Allow the tart crust to cool in the pan placed on a cooling rack.
8. Once cool, melt the white chocolate in a microwave (in 30 second intervals), or over a hot water bath. “Paint” the melted white chocolate on the bottom and sides of the cooled crust in a thin layer leaving the top edge “unpainted.” Allow the chocolate to cool and harden. (This thin layer of chocolate keeps the tart’s crust from becoming soggy, and will not be noticeable in the final product.)
Pastry Cream Directions:
1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan or microwave until quite hot, nearly boiling.
2. In a 3-quart saucepan, place the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Whisk to combine. Temper the eggs by adding a 1/2-cup of the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture whisking vigorously. Continue adding the hot milk in 1/2-cup increments, continuously whisking until all milk is added.
3. Over medium heat, place the saucepan. Cook the mixture, continuously whisking. The mixture will begin to thicken, then reach the boiling point. Remove from heat. Add the vanilla. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until melted after each addition.
4. Transfer the custard to a large glass bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent the formation of a “skin.” Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until ready to assemble.
5. Spoon and spread the cooled custard into the cooled tart crust. Fill the crust to a quarter-inch below the top of the tart’s crust. (Chill if adding the fruit topping later.)
Fruit Topping and Assembly Directions:
1. Prepare the fruits by washing, peeling, and slicing.
2. Beginning at the outer edge, place the first ring of fruit overlapping the slices evenly. Continue adding “rings” of fruit taking care to arrange evenly and overlapping in such a way that each fruit layer is even in height compared to the next ring.
3. Just prior to serving, gently heat the apricot preserves in a small saucepan until it becomes thin and “pourable.” Strain the preserves through a sieve to remove any fruit pieces. Cool, but while the jam is still fluid, paint the fruit with the apricot glaze using a pastry brush.
4. Chill for at least 30 minutes to set the glaze, cut into wedges and serve on your best dessert plates! (Serve soon after applying the glaze; the preserves’ sugar content may cause some fruits to weep or release juices, e.g., strawberries.)