Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fresh Fruit Tart (Pie) with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Delicious!  I had some fresh fruit laying around and really needed to use it.  After searching one of my favorite recipe sites I found this and knew that was what I was going to make.  I don't have a tart pan and didn't have time to buy one so I made mine into a pie.  It still worked very well and had wonderful flavor.  The pastry cream makes a rich, smooth filling and paired with the fruit, makes a great combination.  It is so perfect for a summer evening with friends, at least if you can leave it alone for that long.  I was mighty tempted to eat the whole thing before anyone noticed!

Tart dough:
1 large egg yolk
1 T. heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2/3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. salt
8 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Pastry cream:
2 c. half-and-half
1/2 c. sugar
Pinch salt
5 large egg yolks
3 T. cornstarch
4 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
For the topping:
2 large kiwis, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
6-9 oz. raspberries
1/2-1 cup blueberries
Apple jelly, for glazing (I used strawberry jam)

1.  To make the tart shell, whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Process briefly to combine.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses.  With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.  Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch dish.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  (If refrigerated for more than an hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.)  Unwrap and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch round.  (It works much better when still kinda cold, if the dough warms up too much it is hard to put in your pan)  Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan.  Mold the dough to the sides of the tart pan and remove the excess off the top.  Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to middle position.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen shell and over the edge, and fill with pie weights.  Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.  Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights.  Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5-8 minutes longer.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

2.  To make the pastry cream, heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.  Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.  Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla.  Transfer to medium bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

3.  To assemble the tart, spread the cold pastry cream evenly over the bottom of the tart shell.  Arrange the fruit on top of the pastry cream as desired.  Heat the jelly in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, just until slightly melted and easy to stir.  Using a pastry brush, paint a light layer of jelly over the fresh fruit.  Serve.
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