When I was taking pictures of the fruit tart that I baked, I almost felt like the paparazzi taking pictures of celebrities on the red carpet. Can you notice the flash in the second picture? But then again this fruit tart is worthy of that kind of attention.
A fruit tart is like a painting. It's beautiful to look at, awe-inspiring, and subject to artistic interpretations. But the one difference is that you can actually eat this "painting".
I'm very proud of this creation. This is one of the toughest things I've attempted so far, and it was fun. Although it might seem daunting, it's actually quite simple - just do it in three pieces - make the crust first and put it in the fridge, then make the pastry cream and stick that in the fridge and then assemble it all together. I made the crust and the pastry cream the day before. The next day, I finished baking the crust, added the chocolate ganache layer, the pastry cream, and finished the assembly. See it's that straightforward.
I made this as a thank-you gift for a good friend of mine, and she was impressed, to say the least. So if you have a special day coming up, this is the baked good to make for a friend or for yourself - either way, the end result will be fantastic.
Adapted from Joyofbaking.com
Yield: One pretty big fruit tart
For the tart shell:
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 stick of unsalted butter (really cold - dice it and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes)
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar (add more if you like it sweeter - another 2 tablespoons)
1 large egg (cold from the fridge)
For the chocolate layer:
6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
a tablespoon of butter
For the Pastry cream layer:
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks (great way of using up leftover yolks)
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
Anything you like - I used strawberries, raspberries, kiwis
For the tart shell:
1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
2. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter into the dry mixture, till it looks like pebbles.
3. Add the beaten egg to the flour and mix until it comes together into a ball.
4. Flatten the disk, cover it with wrap, and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
5. Roll the disk out to 2-3 inches bigger than your tart shell (generally 11-12 inches for a 9-10 inch tart pan) - make sure the pastry is rolled out uniformly. Start from the center and go outwards.
** Don't worry - I'm still not that great at doing this and it still turned out great - just do your best to making it a thin circle.
6. Gently roll the pastry onto your rolling pin and unroll into the tart shell. Gently push the pastry to make sure it takes the tart shape.
7. Roll the pin over the top and get rid of excess pastry. Prick many holes into the crust and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes (or overnight - but cover it with wrap).
8. Preheat oven to 400F. Put aluminum foil on the pastry shell. Add a bunch of rice or beans as a weight - this prevents the crust from puffing up.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until edges are lightly golden brown and dry - be careful at this point with the crust - it is fragile since it's now dry.
10. Allow it to cool before putting the chocolate ganache.
Note: using cold ingredients are the key to making flaky crusts. Even though the crust is not puffing up here, using the cold butter will help keep the crust flaky and delicious.
For the chocolate layer:
1. Combine everything together
2. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat for 15 second intervals in the microwave until everything melts.
3. Ganache complete!
For the pastry cream:
1. Mix sugar and egg yolks. Add sifted flour and corn starch and mix until a paste is formed.
2. Heat milk until boiling. Whisk it into the egg mixture slowly to prevent curdling.
3. Put it through a sieve back into the original saucepan and stir until it thickens - you should feel it resisting movement (physics in action!)
4. Turn off the heat. Add the vanilla extract and stir it in.
5. Allow it to come to room temperature before putting it in the fridge
1. Put a thin layer of ganache on the bottom of the pastry crust.
2. Allow the ganache to solidify - putting the tart shell in the pan with the ganache in the fridge will speed this up.
This is what it looks like:
Here's where you can have fun with this: white chocolate, dark chocolate, any chocolate you like. I used semi-sweet since I had that. You can also layer two chocolates - do white chocolate first, and then dark chocolate (Wow!)
Then the pastry cream and the fruit
3. Add the pastry cream and spread it around the bottom of the crust.
4. Add the fruits in a beautiful design - be creative here! You will thank yourself for it.
Post any other designs that you make - I would love to see them.
I made a flowering kind of pattern by cutting the strawberries vertically in half and then playing around with the other fruits.
And so you get the beautiful fruit tart:
The hardest part was getting the tart in the box - I didn't realize that the tart was big.
Now, wasn't that easy? I could stare at it all day.