When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

You’re a Tart July 10, 2008

Filed under: Baking,Tarts — pastrybrush @ 1:23 am
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…a Fresh Fruit one

About a week ago I had 4 egg yolks left over from making a meringue and was trying to decide what to make. I found a recipe for pastry cream that used exactly 4 egg yolks. Now I had to make the decision of what to make. Do I want to make chocolate éclairs or a fresh fruit tart?

After asking a few people the answer was a tart. The end product was very pretty but the recipe needed some modifications.

This fruit tart has a lemon shortbread crust with a pastry cream filling and an apricot jelly glaze.

First thing first, the lemon zest in the shortbread crust over powered the flavor from the rest of the tart. Next, I used a vanilla paste in the pastry cream which left little black speaks from the vanilla beans. I have no problem with this but it could be off putting to some. Also, the recipe for the pastry cream did not make enough for my liking and the cream was also too thick. But it did have a good flavor.

About a month back I had made Napoleons and I loved the pastry cream that was part of the filling. To fix the pastry cream I decided next time to use the recipe from the CIA’s Baking and Pastry book. Also, instead of the apricot jelly that I used as a glaze I will use a glaze that had a clearer color (Apple Jelly) since if you look at parts of the tart it looks like someone blew snot on it 🙂

I would never do that….hehehe, no I won’t that is gross.

So below is the recipes that I believe would make a better tasting fresh fruit tart. The crust recipe is from the Joy of Cooking minus the lemon zest, and the pastry cream is from Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft

Shortbread Crust

Courtesy of Joy of Cooking

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

8 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened, cut into 8 pieces

1 large egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease and flour the bottom, but not the sides of a 9 1/2 or 10 inch two-piece tart pan. Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Then cut the butter into the flour mixture and blend until it resembles coarse crumbs. Next, mix the egg yolk into the dough until it comes together in a ball. If dough is too soft or sticky, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pat the dough evenly over the bottom and sides of the prepared pan and prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Bake the crust for 18 to 22 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool completely before filling.

Pastry Cream

Courtesy of Culinary Institute of America

This recipe makes 3 lbs of pastry cream. You will only need to use approximately 1 lb of it. So with the excess you can fill éclairs, cream puffs, make a Boston Cream Pie, or just eat it straight. It is that good. It would help to have a scale on hand since this recipe measures almost everything by weight.

32 fl oz milk (4 cups)

8 oz sugar (approx. 1 cup)

2 1/2 oz cornstarch

10 1/2 oz large egg yolks (approx. 13 egg yolks)

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Combine 3 cups of milk and 4 oz of sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch with the remaining 4 oz of sugar. Stirring with a wire whisk, add remaining 1 cup of milk. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract, stirring with a whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Temper the egg mixture by adding about one-third of the hot milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return the mixture to the remaining hot milk in the saucepan. Continue cooking, stirring vigorously with the whisk, until the pastry cream comes to a boil and the whisk leaves a trail.

Pour the pastry cream into a large shallow container or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the cream, and cool over an ice bath.

Store the pastry cream, covered, under refrigeration.

Assembling the Tart

Shortbread tart crust, cooled

1 lb Pastry Cream, cooled

2 cups whole small berries, sliced strawberries, or thinly sliced fruit

1/4 cup apple jelly melted

Spread the pastry cream evenly over the crust. Arrange fruit in a single layer over the pastry cream. Using a pastry brush, brush the fruit lightly with the melted apple jelly. Serve and enjoy immediately.

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