Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fruit Tart

I had not, in my memory, actually tasted fruit tart before my parents requested I attempt to make it for our guests At the risk of sounding biased, it was utterly mouth-wateringly delicious. Not only did I learn how to make the softest (if you know what I mean) custard from scratch, I also discovered the secret of getting the fruit atop the tart to glisten with such brilliance…
This recipe is taken from Jane Price’s ‘Kitchen Classics: Pastries and Breads’

Fruit Tart
Shortcrust Pastry
  • 150g of Flour
  • 2 tablespoons of Castor Sugar
  • 90g of Unsalted Butter (chopped)
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of Iced Water
Custard Filling
  • 250ml of Milk
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 55g Castor Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
  • Strawberries, Kiwi and Blueberries, to decorate
  • Apricot jam, to glaze

Yep, to glaze.

Shortcrust Pastry
Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk and iced water. Mix to a dough with a flat bladed knife and a cutting action, and then gather it together in a ball. Press the dough evenly into a circular 23cm tart dish (a 10 × 34cm rectangular dish can be used). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Line the pastry-lined tin with baking paper and spread a layer of uncooked rice evenly over it. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and rice, and bake for another 20 minutes, or until cooked on the base and golden brown around the edge. Set aside to cool completely.
Custard Filling
To make the filling, put the milk in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil. Set aside while quickly whisking the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl, until light and creamy. Whisk in the flour. Pour the hot milk slowly onto the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Wash out the pan, return the milk mixture to the pan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring with a wire whisk. Boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the vanilla essence, and leave to cool, stirring frequently to avoid a skin forming. When cooled to room temperature, cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
Cut the strawberries in half across what would be their equators and slice the kiwi. Spoon the cold custard into the cold pastry shell, then arrange all the fruit over the custard, pressing in slightly. Heat the jam in the microwave or in a small saucepan until liquid and sieve to remove any lumps. Using a pastry brush, glaze the fruit with the jam. Serve the tart on the same day, at room temperature.

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