As I mentioned in my last post, the fruit this time of year is just too good to pass up, so it should come as no surprise that I can’t stop adding it to almost everything I bake. I make this tart at least once every summer and have yet to use the same combination of fruits. What’s not to love when there’s a buttery crust layered with pastry cream and fresh fruit? I love that the fruit is the centerpiece of this dessert, making it festive for any summer occasion.
It’s fun to get creative with how you display the fruit on top, as there are endless possibilities. Berries are always a great choice, but peaches, plums and nectarines would be great additions as well. I’ve always been impressed when I’ve seen these tarts in bakeries and for a long time assumed they were involved and time consuming, but they are actually quite the opposite. The dough and pastry cream come together very quickly and after a little time for chilling and baking, the tart just has to be assembled. It is best to assemble the tart as close to serving time as possible so the crust doesn’t get soggy, but it will be fine if it has to chill in the fridge for a few hours or so. With so much fruit in every bite, this tart tastes lighter than most desserts, making it the perfect compliment to any meal during these hot summer months.
Summer Fruit Tart
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. very cold unsalted butter
3-4 Tbsp. ice water
3 egg yolks, room temperature
6 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/4 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. cognac or brandy
Fresh fruit for top
1/2 cup apricot jam for top
For the dough: Place flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Cut butter into 1/4″ pieces and add to processor. Pulse about 10 times, until butter forms small bits. Add ice water and process, until dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For the pastry cream: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat egg yolks and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until mixture is light yellow. On low speed, beat in cornstarch. Bring milk to a simmer on the stove. Slowly pour milk into egg mixture, whisking constantly and then return mixture to stove. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Bring to a boil, and then return to low heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in butter, vanilla, cream and cognac. Pour through a strainer into a bowl and place foil directly on top of mixture. Refrigerate until cold.
*After making the pastry cream, remove dough from fridge and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Then roll the dough out into a circle large enough to hang slightly over the sides of a 10″ tart pan. Place dough in pan. Press down and into the sides and remove excess dough. Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and then fill with dried beans or rice. Bake 10 minutes. Remove beans and foil and prick shell all over with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake another 20 minutes, until golden brown and allow to cool.
Once everything has cooled, spread pastry cream into the tart shell and layer with fresh fruit. If desired, melt apricot jelly in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water over medium heat. Then brush the jelly over the fruit to create a glaze. Serve as soon as possible or store in the fridge until ready to use. Store leftovers in the fridge as well.
Source: Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa