Fresh Fruit Tart

Fresh Fruit Tart

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I confess that in addition to biscotti, I have an innate fear of making tarts. Tarts are some of the most stunningly beautiful desserts out there, and nearly half of the bookmarks in my dessert folder are various incarnations of tarts, but there’s something about cutting in little cubes of cold butter (“work quickly but make sure the butter has been incorporated”), chilling the crust pastry for x hours, rolling out the pastry with your fingers/water bottle because you keep forgetting to buy a rolling pin, making the custard filling (“temper the eggs with the hot – scalding, not boiling! – milk mixture”) that makes me think aiyah! I will make this tart one day, but not today. Probably not tomorrow either.

And then…

Last Monday the graduate student whom I’ve been working with successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis (hooray! :D) and we threw her a party that afternoon. I was originally planning to make a cheesecake, but then I saw #15841 on Tastespotting and there was no going back.

This recipe is easier than it looks. I took some shortcuts but the final product still tastes pretty darn good. The only reason why I used mascarpone cheese in the filling is because I happened to have a container in the fridge, but feel free to substitute the filling described here with your own à la custard, pastry cream or vanilla pudding and the like.

If you’ve been putting off making your first tart because you think it’s too complicated and takes too long, then give this a try and I hope it will help you overcome your fear just as it did for me. Happy tart making!

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Congratulations again to Dr. A.H.!

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Fresh Fruit Tart

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Pat-in-pan pie crust

From here at Nicole’s For the Love of Food
(I halved the recipe to make a thinner crust)

– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tsp sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used corn oil)
– 1/8 cup (2 tbsp) milk

Directions for the crust:
  1. Heat the oven at 425F.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  3. Add the oil and milk, and mix until combined. It may seem oily but it’s okay.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and pat into a 9-inch baking dish. A tart pan would be best, but I used a 9-inch springform pan and it turned out fine. A pie dish should work too. I pricked the bottom with a fork because I’ve heard that some crusts puff up.
  5. Bake for 10 min or until the crust is a light brown.
  6. Let cool while you make the filling.

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Mascarpone and cream cheese filling

Adapted from here at Michelle’s The Accidental Scientist

– 1x 8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature
– 1x 8 oz. container of mascarpone cheese
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Note: I also used 1/8 tsp of ground cardamom when I made this, but couldn’t really taste it with the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese. That’s why I left it out in the above recipe.

Directions for the filling:

Beat cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

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Putting it all together

– crust, cooled
– cream cheese and mascarpone cheese filling

– ~8 strawberries, sliced lengthwise
– 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
– ~1/2 cup blueberries

– 3 tbsp apricot jam
– ~1 tbsp water

Directions:

Here’s your cooled crust

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and your filling

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I used a Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off to “pipe” the filling into the crust.
You could also just use a spatula to spread it evenly.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

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Layer sliced strawberries in a ring

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Followed by the sliced kiwi

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Top with the blueberries.
To make the glaze, warm the apricot jam and water in the microwave and gently spread over the fruit.
Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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6 Responses to “Fresh Fruit Tart”

  1. em Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous tart, Jackie. Glad you have gotten over your fear of tarts. Next up: biscotti…?😉

    I have a fear of pie crusts that have butter in it, so I think I’ll definitely be saving that pat-in-pan pie crust recipe. Thanks for posting. One day – seriously! – I’ll try it out…

  2. toxobread Says:

    That pat-in-pan pie crust recipe is a lifesaver. I definitely would not have even attempted this tart if I didn’t find that recipe. Do give it a try and let me know how it goes! (Maybe I could have a little taste too? hehe)

  3. Nicole from : For the Love of Food Says:

    I love your presentation!! I will have to try your version now! It’s been 2 weeks since I made this for the first time, and I’ve now managed to make it 4 times!! The fourth time was a huge one. I’m glad you made it and posted about it!! Can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog!

  4. toxobread Says:

    Hi Nicole, thank you so much! As soon as I saw your post I knew I had to give it a try – it’s a fabulous recipe and I am sure I will make it again… probably very soon!

  5. Maya Says:

    This is a great recipe – make the tart ahead and assemble when you need it. looks wonderful!

  6. MBP - Fresh Strawberry Tart « Toxo Bread Says:

    […] jam – One 9-inch tart shell I used the same “foolproof” recipe as the one for my fresh fruit tart, but you can substitute it with your favourite sweet tart crust recipe. – Ripe strawberries, hulled […]

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