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Posts Tagged ‘pastry cream’


Fruit tarts are probably my favorite dessert ever. I remember birthdays when I wanted a fruit tart instead of cake. This one has a flaky crust and pastry cream that isn’t too heavy. Plus, I found some delicious strawberries at the farmers market. I thought about just strewing them on top stems and all because they were so beautiful, but who wants to de-stem strawberries as they eat a tart? It’s one thing to create beautiful pictures, but my goal is to make food I want to eat above all. So, standard strawberry formation.

I love when the summer fruit starts coming in, there are endless desserts to make. When they look this pretty, you can’t go wrong!

Strawberry Tart

1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 9-inch pie crust from this recipe

Roll out the dough into a round large enough to fit into your tart shell with some excess. Don’t pull it because it will shrink more, just coax it into the corners and cut off any excess. Place a piece of buttered foil into the shell and put dry beans or rice into it to hold the shape while it bakes (it’s called blind baking). Bake at 375 for 10 minutes and then remove the beans and prick with a fork to allow air out if it puffs up. Bake for another 20 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove and cool.

For the pastry cream, bring the milk to a boil. In a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch with a whisk. Slowly add a bit of the hot milk and whisk vigorously to temper the eggs. Pour into the remaining milk in the pan and continue to whisk until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer if you wish, and add the vanilla and any additional flavorings you wish (cognac or brandy are nice). Add the butter and whisk until incorporated and melted. Refrigerate until cool.

Pour the pastry cream into the cooled shell. Arrange the strawberries however you want on top. Optional, you can heat some apricot jam with a little water until a little runny and brush it over the top.

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It’s peak stone fruit season, so I came home from the farmers market with peaches, nectarines, and plums. The plums were already ripe so I immediately set to work on a tart. I made some delicious sherbet with the peaches and nectarines, as well. But now for the plum tart.

I intended to leave a piece of this to photograph in the morning, but it was a little runny and I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit to make it less so. I will hopefully make another one soon and update the post, but until then, here’s the new recipe. It’s loosely based on a tart recipe from Ina Garten, I originally used another recipe for the pastry cream.

Plum Tart

For the pastry dough:

1 1/4 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and cold

2 tablespoons Crisco vegetable shortening, cold

1/4 cup ice water

For the pastry cream:

5 egg yolks, room temperature

3/4 cups sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup 1% milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Bourbon

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 pint plums, sliced

1/4 cup Apricot jam

1 tablespoon hot water

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until combined and the pieces are the size of peas. Slowly add the ice water in a drizzle just until it comes together. Turn out on a floured board and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together with a hand mixer for a couple minutes until thick. Add the cornstarch and combine. Bring the milk and cream to a simmer and then slowly add to the egg mixture. Return the whole mixture to the pan and cook over low heat with a wooden spoon until it thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Switch to a whisk when it starts to get thicker. Cook for another couple of minutes until it is the consistency of pudding. Stir in the vanilla, bourbon, and butter, and then strain through a sieve. Chill in a bowl with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Keep rotating the dough as you roll it out so that it doesn’t stick to the surface. Put into the tart pan making sure not to stretch the dough because it will shrink. (Mine did anyway) Cut off the excess and patch any holes carefully. Line the tart shell with a buttered piece of aluminum foil and fill with baking beans (beans reserved just to use for blind baking). Place tart shell on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and dock the bottom of the tart (prick with a fork so that it doesn’t create steam bubbles). Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the shell is lightly browned. Let cool.

Spread a layer of chilled pastry cream on the chilled tart shell. Arrange the slices of plum around the tart. Combine the jam and hot water to create a glaze and brush over the tart so that it doesn’t dry out.

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