I promised a recipe to use pastry cream in and I’m making good on that promise.
Perhaps the best part of summer is the fresh fruit. My peach tree has decided to ripen all at once and I’m thrilled. Sure, we’ve become a world where you can buy most produce year round. But that year-round produce is usually, well, um, crap. But summer produce, summer fruit, it is the best.
One of the prettiest pastries has to be the fruit tart. I have to resist the impulse to buy one every time I see one in the display case of a bakery. Those vibrant colors cause serious salivation. I took about 900 of the exact same picture of my tart for this very reason. It’s so pretty. (Too bad I forgot to take it out of the pastry pan before I took the pictures. Oh well, it’s still show stopping.)
So if you want to have an edible piece of art to behold, then devour- a little hesitantly at first, then without mercy after its beauty has been desecrated-then first make yourself some Vanilla Orange Pastry cream as instructed in my earlier post. You will want it to be on the thicker side. So use more like 1/3 cup cornstarch instead of 1/4 cup.
You can make the pastry cream the day ahead if you wish.
To make your crust, whiz together 1 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup cold butter, 2 tablespoons sour cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until it looks like coarse meal.
Turn it out into a tart pan (this recipe will make about an 8″ tart.) Press the crust thinly and evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan.
If you don’t have a tart pan, you can use a pie pan, but you won’t be able to get the tart out of the pie pan and it won’t have the lovely fluted edge. But it will still taste great.
Bake in a 375 oven until it is lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
Let it cool completely before proceeding. Squeeze in the pastry cream.
And smooth it out.
Now all there’s left to do is put on the fruit in whatever pattern you fancy. I like fruits with contrasting colors: Strawberries, peaches, kiwis, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.
You don’t want to add the fruit too far in advance because they can become a bit weepy or discolored (especially those peaches) after several hours. So I like to add it just before serving.
The next step is optional, but gives the tart a nice shine. Mix 1 tablespoon frozen lemonade concentrate with 1/4 cup peach preserves (or any other light colored jelly.) Then brush gently over the fruit.
Refrigerate it until you are ready to eat it. After I made this one, I kept opening the refrigerator to gaze upon its beauty. I even made my kids and husband gaze. I think you could open a gallery just of fresh fruit tarts. It could be next to the Guggenheim.
Enjoy the fresh taste of summer!