Monday, June 27, 2011

Vanilla Pastry Tart with Fresh Fruit

I made a cake for my sister-in-law the week before Kitty's birthday. It was gorgeous and delicious and I can't wait to blog about it. But then I was caked out. So I decided to make a tart for Kitty's birthday 'cake'. She's crazy about raspberries and blueberries, so I thought she would love it.

I made this once before and the pastry cream didn't set up quite right. So I was so relieved when everything worked out perfectly. Except that it got eaten up too fast.

As I was photographing the tart, I realized it would make a perfect Fourth of July dessert. We may have it again this weekend.

Vanilla Pastry Tart with Berries


For the tart dough:
1 large egg yolk
1 TB heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 TB cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the pastry cream:
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch salt
5 large egg yolks
3 TB cornstarch
4 TB cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
Fresh raspberries
Fresh blueberries


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.

Bring 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 (the original recipe said this takes 30 took me 90 seconds).

Remove pan from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.

Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. 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.)

To make the tart shell:

Whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl and 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.

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, preheat the oven to 375° F. 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 (on center rack), 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.

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.

*Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats*

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