Mixed Berry Tart

Who doesn’t love a good fruit tart? Fruit tarts are a perfect balance of textures and flavors. A buttery, flaky shortcrust pastry crust topped with a creamy French vanilla custard is the classic base for a sweet tart. Your combinations for toppings are endless; this is one of the many reasons why I love fruit tarts so much. Fruit tarts have become increasingly popular across America due to its elegance and freshness. I have prepared a tart topped with an assortment of berries and a blueberry glaze. The burst from the berries are the perfect balance to the sweet custard and flaky crust. This recipe feeds up to 12 people, making it ideal for parties and get-togethers.

Ingredients:

  • For the crust:
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 cup chopped unsalted butter, frozen
    • ¼ cup confectioners sugar
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 2 tbs vodka, kept in the freezer
    • Excess cold water as needed
    • 1-2 cups of a pie weight, such as rice or beans
  • For the pastry cream:
    • 5 egg yolks
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • ¼ cup heavy cream(optional)
    • 3 tbs unsalted butter
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 3 tbs cornstarch
    • Zest of 1 lemon
  • For the toppings
    • 20-30 strawberries, halved
    • 1 cup blueberries
    • ¾ cup raspberries
    • 2-3 tbs blueberry jam
    • 2-3 tbs water
    • 1 tbs sugar
    • Mint(optional)

Procedure

  • For the crust:
    • Place all the dry ingredients to a food processor and blend until completely mixed
    • Add the frozen butter and keep pulsing until the mixture resembles sand
    • Add the egg yolks and vodka and keep pulsing until you get a shaggy dough
      • *if still too dry, add cold water until the dough comes together
    • Using your hands, press the shaggy dough until it combines and form into a big ball
    • Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least one hour
  • For the pastry cream:
    • Add the milk, cream(optional), sugar, cornstarch, zest, and egg yolks to a medium saucepan
    • Whisk this mixture together until homogenous
    • Place the saucepan on medium heat and keep whisking until the mixture thickens. 
      • This will take 5-10 minutes
    • Once thickened, remove from the heat and slowly add the butter
    • Strain the mixture in a bowl, press the top with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge until even more thickened
  • Baking the tart shell
    • Flour a work surface and roll out the tart dough until it is wide enough to cover a tart shell
    • Place the sheet of dough on a buttered tart shell, poke the bottom with a fork multiple times, and cover with your pie weight lined in plastic wrap
    • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes
    • After baked, remove the pie weights in plastic wrap and bake again for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden
  • The Glaze
    • Combine the jam, sugar and water in a saucepan and cook on medium heat until sticky
  • Assembly
    • Pour the pastry cream into the tart shell and even the top with an offset spatula. 
    • Decorate any way you like with the berries and finish by glazing the fruits and garnishing with sprigs of mint

Chef’s notes:

  • When making the crust, it is important to keep everything as cold as possible. This is why we use frozen butter and cold liquids. We keep everything cold so that we can have solid layers of butter in out crust and this will lead to a more flaky end produce
  • When making the pastry cream, remove from the pot when still mostly a liquid. The custard will continue to thicken in the fridge, so if the pastry cream is at the perfect consistency when you remove it from the pot, it will be too viscous after its cooled down and will be very hard to add to the tart shell
  • Resting the tart crust in the fridge will allow the flour particles to hydrate in the liquids and the gluten to relax

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