Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fresh Fruit Tart

Fresh Fruit Tart with Lemon Curd

This may be one of the most beautiful desserts I've ever made. I can't take the credit though. The berries get it all. It's the time of year when fresh, beautiful fruit is in abundance and this dessert showcases it like no other.

I used a pate sucree for the tart crust in a 12-inch tart pan, and a lemon curd filling, although you could also use a vanilla pastry cream or a cream cheese filling instead. The fruit is arranged on top and brushed with an apricot jam glaze for a glossy shine.

Almost too beautiful to eat!

Pate Sucree
adapted from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard
enough for two 9- or 10- inch tarts, or 16 mini tarts

1/2 pound butter, softened but still cool
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
3 cups pastry flour, sifted
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. Place the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly creamed. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar and mix for 30 seconds.
2. Add the salt and egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
3. Add the flour and mix until the dough just about comes together, about 30 seconds. Add the cream, then pulse the mixer on low speed for 15-30 seconds, or until the dough is smooth.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl, divide it in half, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 4 hours. At this point, the dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or may be rolled out and frozen for up to 1 month.
5. When you remove the dough from the refrigerator, it will be very hard. To make it pliable enough to roll out, you must soften it without warming it up too much. I cut the dough into several pieces and gently kneaded each piece, then gathered the pieces back together into a ball.
6. After rolling the dough out and lining the tart pan, place the tart shell in the freezer until ready to bake, at least 30 minutes (not necessary to wrap), or up to one month, well wrapped in plastic.
7. Place a parchment liner over the dough and fill with dried beans or uncooked rice and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove the liner and the dried rice/beans, prick the bottom of the tart shell with a fork, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. The tart shell may be baked a day ahead.

Lemon Curd
adapted from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard
makes about 2 cups

2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cups lemon juice, or 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup lime juice
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse for about one minute. Combine the lemon sugar, eggs, and egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl such as a stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk together for 30 seconds. Place the bowl over the simmering water and immediately begin whisking and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and continue to cook and stir with a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl, until the curd has thickened and reached a temperature of 160 degrees F.

Rinse and dry the bowl of your food processor. Using a mesh strainer, strain the curd into the food processor bowl. Pulse the food processor while you add the butter a piece at a time, until the texture is homogenous. Transfer the curd to a container with a lid and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lemon curd. Allow the curd to cool completely and then place the lid on your container and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or up to one week.

Apricot Glaze
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon of water

Heat the jam and the water gently in a saucepan until smooth. Strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl. Add more water if needed to adjust the consistency.

To assemble the fruit tart:
Place the tart shell on a serving platter. Fill with tart shell with lemon curd, leaving a little space for the fruit. Arrange your choice of fruit on top of the lemon curd and using a pastry brush, brush the apricot glaze over the fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (This tart is best eaten the same day as it is assembled.)

10 comments:

  1. That looks beautiful. We made a fruit tart last summer, vanilla cream filling, but our fruit on top was not so artfully arranged! It was one of the best desserts we've ever made.

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  2. Nicole, I'm anxious to try it with vanilla cream too, but I made this for someone who loves lemon curd, so I'll have to wait!

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  3. I think this tart is absolutely gorgeous!! It looks quite delish too;)

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  4. what a perfect fruit tart!!! I simply love Sherry Yards books.....I need to start using them!
    cheers
    Dennis

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  5. So beautiful! I'm invited to a 4th of July party this year and I wanted to make a fruit tart - maybe this will be the one?

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  6. thank you for your nice comment that gives me great pleasure,
    me too I love your blog and I think it is wonderful with great recipes that make me drool
    as this tasty fruit pie to be a treat for the taste
    thank you and goodnight

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  7. This is so beautiful!! And Lemon Curd is one of my all time favorites! Maybe we can "can" some?? ;-) Yummy!!

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  8. Almost too pretty to eat..... ALMOST ☺!

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  9. looks yummy i do like fruit pizza!

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