Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fresh Cherry & Blueberry Tart

On Sunday, we had dinner guests.  Without embarrassing one of my faithful readers, let’s just say we were meeting a family members new flame and I wanted this meal to be just "so".  I was striving for the delicate balance of tasty, not showy; mildly memorable, not over the top.

I settled on a squash and scallop pasta, with a CSA summer salad.  Still eager to somehow acknowledge the motivating factor behind the get-together, I added a homemade fruit tart.  Fresh fruit and pastry scream summer to me, and offered (I hope!) a slightly festive end to the meal.

If you want your custard to work the first time, do not multi-task.  It would not be advisable to place your custard on the burner and then sneak in a quick table setting and candle arrangement.  You'll end up passing any salvageable custard through your soup strainer to de-clump it, and redo a second batch anyway.

What would you have prepared to impress but not inundate a new guest?  I'd love to hear your comments! 

Cherry & Blueberry Tart
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and chopped into pieces  
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • 1 cup milk (full fat)
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • Fresh in-season fruit. I used CSA cherries and blueberries from my farmers market
  • 1/4 cup jam for sealing (apricot works well, though I had strawberry on hand) 
      • Pastry: Using fingers, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal; stir in sugar and egg yolks; form a dough ball and refrigerate in plastic wrap for 30 minutes; preheat oven to 375°F.
      • Roll pastry between two sheets of wax paper, making pastry large enough to cover base and sides of a buttered 9-inch fluted tart pan; trim edges; place sheet of foil into pastry and fill with pie weights, dried beans or rice; bake 20-25 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake a further 5 minutes; allow to cool.
      • Custard: In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and flour until thick; heat milk in saucepan until almost boiling; remove from heat. Slowly dribble hot milk into egg mixture, whisking continuously, until all of milk has been added. I continued whisking to remove clumps.  Next, return custard to pot and cook, over low heat, until custard has thickened and coats the back of a spoon (4-6 minutes), stirring often to prevent sticking. Place piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of custard (this prevents a 'skin' from forming) and allow to cool completely, in frige for 25 minutes+. 
      • To assemble: Spoon custard into baked shell and smooth. Place fruit "attractively" over tart. Heat jam in the microwave for about 45 seconds until it is liquidized and brush  over the fresh fruit to set and seal the tart. Allow to cool completely.
      • Refrigerate, and serve same day.

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