Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fruit Tarts

Fresh fruit tarts - beautiful, right?  Too hard to make? - not really. 

Homemade fruit tarts look extravagant but they really aren't all that complicated.  It's three easy steps really - make the crust, make the pastry cream and then pile on the fruit.  No problem - right?   What's even better is that the crust and the cream can be made in advance and then assembled just before serving. 

There seems to be a wide range of recipes for crusts and fillings.  Everything from phyllo dough and refrigerated pie crust to whipped cream and lemon curd fulling.  I ended up pulling my recipe together from 2 different sources.  The crust came from and the filling recipe came from  As for the fruit - well, that came from Kroger. 

The Sweet Caillat Crust

Makes 4 mini single layer tart crusts or 1 large crust
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • -- Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
Instructions: Preheat over to 400°. Place the butter, oil, water and salt in a small saucepan and heat on high just until the butter melts and bubbles form around the edge; a slight browning will result in a slightly nutty flavor, which is delicious. You can also heat the mixture in a microwave. Set aside for a few minutes to cool.

With a wooden spoon, add 1 cup of the flour and all the sugar to the butter mixture; beat together, slowly adding more flour until the mixture forms a ball, then add more flour until the mixture doesn't stick to the sides of bowl or pan.

Press dough into mini tart pans with a removable bottoms.

Bake 10-15 minutes, or until crust is golden; watch the edges so that they do not burn.

Pastry Cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in half and half.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Let boil for 1 minute.
Stir half of mixture into egg yolks.   

 Return mixture to saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook and stir 2 minutes until thickened.

Pour mixture through a strainer into a bowl.

 Set bowl in an ice bath to chill for 5 minutes.

Place plastic wrap on surface of cream and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Cut up some fresh fruit to adorn your tarts.

I used fresh strawberries,



and mango.

Now you're ready to assemble.  Fill each tart crust with pastry cream and then pile on the fruit.

Yes, I know, I overdid it on the pictures.  I just couldn't stop myself.  These were too pretty.  (I am so ready for summer fruit - I can taste it.)  



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