I think some recipes tend to make themselves overly complicated and therefore, scary. For example, I made a Challah recipe the other day (stay tuned: soon to be blog-worthy) and just because I was running short on time, I skipped some steps and mixed everything together instead of in separate bowl, and just in general, stressed less. It turned out great!
Same goes for this tart. The original 5 recipes that I looked at gave me heart palpitations just scanning them. I got ADHD just trying to read through them in one sitting. So, for you today, I will attempt to distill these five recipes into one condensed version: the one that I ultimately made. Maybe the more complex versions are more delicious but in ignorance bliss I contentedly remain.
- 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom (or four tartlet pans)
- 1 1/3 C. flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- A few tsp ice water (add as needed)
- 1 ¼ C. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ Tbsp. sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/8 C. flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 generous Tbsp liqueur (Grand Marnier, Amaretto, Brandy…)
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- (I also melted half a bag of semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler to spread in the tart crust before adding the pastry cream. This is a nice addition and also serves a dual purpose of preventing soggy crust)
Sweet Pastry Crust:
1) Mix all the pastry crust ingredients. You don’t need to do it in any special order, but try not to over mix, and just crumble it into pea-size bits with your fingers until all the elements are equally dispersed. Flatten into a disc and cover with Saran wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes. (Meanwhile, start your pastry cream.)
2) Have ready an 8 – 9 inch (20 – 23 cm) tart pan with removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a circle. The pastry should be about an inch larger than pan. Lightly roll pastry on your rolling pin and unroll onto top of tart pan. With a small floured piece of pastry, lightly press pastry into bottom and up sides of pan. Roll your rolling pin over top of pan to cleverly and neatly get rid of excess pastry. Prick bottom of dough (prevents puffing). Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill the butter and to rest the gluten.
3) Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Fill tart pan with pie weights, rice or beans, making sure the weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed over the entire surface. Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is dry and lightly golden brown. Remove weights and cool crust on wire rack before filling.
1) In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together with a wooden spoon. Add the flour and cornstarch and mix to a smooth paste.
4) Meanwhile, in a saucepan heat the milk and vanilla on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
5) Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30-odd seconds until it thickens dramatically.
6) Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the liqueur (if using). Pour into a clean bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool. If not using right away refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days. Beat before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.
1) Heat the apricot jam or preserves and liqueur/water in a small saucepan over medium heat until liquid (melted). Remove from heat and strain the jam through a fine strainer to remove any fruit lumps. Let cool until it is only slightly warm.
To Assemble Tart:
1) To remove the tart from the fluted sides of the pan, place your hand under the pan, touching only the removable bottom not the sides. Gently push the tart straight up, away from the sides. The fluted tart ring will fall away and slide down your arm.
2) Spread a thin layer of the apricot glaze or melted chocolate (if using) over the bottom and inner sides of tart. Let dry.
3) Spread the pastry cream into the tart, filling about 3/4 full.
4) Go wild with your amazing decorating skills!
5) After arranging the fruit, gently brush a light coat of the glaze on the fruit. Do not put it on too thick or it will look like Jell-O. The idea is to make the fruit look shiny. If not serving immediately, refrigerate.
This fruit tart is best eaten the same day as it is assembled. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. Serves about 8 – 10 people. Bask in the glory of the completed fruit tart.