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Small Fruit Tart (9”)

This small fruit tart is the perfect summertime dessert! When berries are in abundance, this is a great way to use them, even if they aren't very sweet. For a larger dessert, see our 11" Fruit Tart recipe.

Apricot jam is the traditional glaze for cheesecakes and tarts because it looks glossy and adds a tartness that enhances the flavor of fruit and berries.  The glaze is thinned slightly with a liqueure, brandy, or vanilla extract--though you might like to try tequila!  If your fruit isn’t as sweet as you’d like, add a bit of honey as well.

Glazed Fruit Tart
Tart Crust

Crust

1 cup pastry flour

2 tbls sugar

6 tbls butter, chilled

1 egg or 2 yolks

Mix flour and sugar, then cut in cold butter with a pastry blender to resemble coarse crumbs.  Stir in egg and form a flattened ball.  Chill for half an hour, then roll out two inches larger than your 9” tart pan.  Gently roll dough over rolling pin and transfer to pan, trimming excess by rolling the pin over the top of the pan. Prick surface with fork.

Bake in preheated oven 350° F for 20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

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French Pastry Cream

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

1 pinch salt

½ cup milk

2 eggs yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk, scalded

In a two-quart saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Add milk, stirring until cornstarch is dissolved.  In a separate pot, heat one cup of milk on medium heat just to the boiling point (scalded).  Slowly add hot milk to sugar mixture and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Continue to stir and boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.

Beat egg yolks until thick and yellow.  Stir half of the hot milk mixture into the yolks, then add the yolk mixture back to the saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring, until mixture thickens enough to mound slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Pour into a bowl and stir in a teaspoon of vanilla.  Cover with plastic film pressed onto the surface of the custard.  Chill for about 45 minutes until slightly set.

Meanwhile, select fresh fruit for the top of the tart.  If you want a spectacular presentation, you can use a pastry board with measured markings to plan your design.  Choose berries or sliced fruit in contrasting colors.  Kiwi and strawberry is a popular combination.

For the arrangement pictured here, 6 ounces of blackberries, 3 kiwis, and a dozen grapes were used.  Once the custard has set a bit, it can be spooned into your cooled tart crust and the surface smoothed.  The berries can be pressed lightly into the custard to keep them upright.

Fruit Design Planning

Glaze

¼ cup apricot jam

1 tbls liqueur, brandy, or tequila

1 tsp honey or maple syrup, optional

If you plan to serve your tart immediately and don’t expect to have leftovers, you might not need a glaze.  The glaze will help to protect the fruit from oxidation.  However, if your fruit is sour, you may find that a glaze with honey or maple syrup will improve the flavor.  Also, the glaze helps to smooth any blemishes in the berries.
Fruit Tart, Sliced

Heat the apricot jam in the microwave on high for 45 seconds or on the stovetop.  Press through a seive to remove any pieces of fruit; stir in liqueur and honey. Brush over fruit and berries, then continue to dab or pour over pastry cream.

Chill tart uncovered in the refrigerator until fully set, then cover.

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