Friday, January 16, 2009

Fresh Fruit Tart in January

I know it seems unseasonal, but everybody loves a fresh fruit tart. The combination of a buttery crust, subtly sweet pastry cream and neatly arranged whole and sliced fresh fruit, glistening under an apricot jam glaze presents a beautiful pastry that is difficult for many people to resist! This particular fruit tart (shown directly above and below) was made at the request of my roommate for her 22nd birthday. It received many oow's, aww's and yuuum's as everyone munched down after singing happy birthday. Needless to say, it was a big hit! Most important, I believe the birthday girl was quite pleased (in fact, she said she liked it better than one from a pastry shop!)

The recipe I used for both the crust and the pastry cream filing came from this blog. I know it sounds a bit daunting: making the sweet tart dough, chilling it, blind baking it, waiting for it to cool, making the pastry cream, waiting for that to cool, washing, slicing and arranging the fruit and finally, making and brushing on the glaze. But if you space it out over a few days, you'll find that it's pretty do-able. This tart was a 3 day process for me, but everyone is different. This tart had blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and sliced anjou pears. My first time making a fruit tart was probably last spring, when I followed this same recipe. It was met with popular success then and now! The crust recipe makes 3 batches, so you can make some ahead of time, freeze it and then when you are ready, thaw and bake. I know it says you can freeze it for a month, but trust me, once your friends and family taste this fruit tart, they are going to start asking you when you'll get around to making 2 more :)

This is a tart I made from my first batch of sweet tart dough last year. It had mangos, strawberries and kiwi. But the great thing about fruit tarts is that the possibilities are endless. You can make it all berries, or all sliced fruits, or poached fruits, or any combination you like. Give it a try. In the end, you'll produce something that's as delicious as it is beautiful!