Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fruit Tart

A Patriotic Fruit Tart for the 4th of July

The Crust 

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar 
1 stick of unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons of ice water (plus more if needed) 

Even though these directions seem really long, don't be intimidated! It's actually a lot easier than it sounds. 

1. In a food processor fitted with a dough blade, combine the flour and sugar. Then add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles course meal. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and water. Add the egg water mixture to the flour mixture and pulse until just combined. Continue to add more ice water, but just barely so until the dough has formed a large ball. Remove the dough from the food processor, flatten into a disk and cover in plastic wrap. The dough should be refrigerated for about 30 minutes to an hour. 

2. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough on top of plastic wrap into a large circle. Place the dough circle into a large tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the pan (with the plastic wrap still on). Only remove the plastic wrap when the dough is firmly stuck to the pan with no air bubbles.  Preheat the oven to 375 and refrigerate again for at least another 30 minutes. 

3. After the crust has become relatively firm from the fridge, make small indentations with a fork at the bottom of the crust so air can get through and the crust doesn't puff up too much when baking. Remember to place and spread out either cheese cloth or parchment paper as well as beans or pie weights so the crust doesn't puff up while baking. *note* this cannot be excluded. Your crust will be unusable you don't have something to weigh it down.  
4. Bake the crust with the weights for about 25 minutes or until the edges have become golden brown. Remove the wights, lower the temperature to 350 and continue baking for about 5 minutes. Let the Crust completely cool before use (sometimes it is even better to refrigerate it first) Also do not remove the crust from the pan until you are ready to serve. The pan keeps it from falling apart and makes it easier to travel with. 

The Custard or "pastry cream"

1 cup whole milk
  1/2 cup sugar  (separated into 2, 1/4 cup)
3 large egg yolks 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1 tablespoon flour (preferably rice flour for lightness) 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    In a saucepan, combine milk and 1/4 cup of sugar until it starts to simmer. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Pour about 3 tablespoons of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, stir well and then pour back into the sauce pan. stir constantly until the custard thickens (which happens pretty quickly). Transfer the hot custard to a bowl, add the butter and blend for about 5 minutes until the butter is completely melted and the custard has cooled. Get some plastic wrap and cover the creamy goodness, pressing the wrap tightly against the sturd so there is no air (prevents a gross filmy layer from forming). pop that sucker in the fridge for at least an hour before pouring into the crust.
    when the custard is ready to be used, blend it with the blender again to get out any lumps that may have formed while in the fridge.


    1/8 cup water
    1/4 cup sugar
    teaspoon lemon juice

    Directions (this is the easiest part!)
    In a microwave safe bowl, combine the water sugar and lemon juice. In minute long incriminates microwave and stir until the sugar has dissolved. and that's it actually. Then just take a pastry brush after the simple syrup has completely cooled and lightly cover the fruit (once everything has been assembled on the tart). Don't over glaze. This particular stuff is pretty runny and tends to leak if you are traveling. I tend to drive like a maniac and it leaked everywhere (mostly on me) when I brought it to my Mimi and Big Daddy's house for the 4th. like actually errwhere is was a sticky mess wherever that tart went. but it definitely was pretty - and delicious. (the pictures don't do it justice at all)

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