One of the reasons I love baking is how beautiful the products are. The gleam of a finished pumpkin pie, the perfectly crystallized top of a blueberry muffin, and the wonderful play of colors and shapes on cupcakes all make me swoon. But there is one baked good that tops them all in terms of gorgeousness (in my opinion) - the colorful fruit tart!
I love getting creative with the different patterns you can make with the different fruits on these tarts. That's not all! Brushing on a fruit glaze gives the fruit that irresistible sheen that stops me dead in my tracks every time I pass by one on display.
I made mine with a layer of chocolate on top of the sweet pastry crust to prevent the crust from getting soggy and to add another layer of visual appeal...also to add another layer of yum.
This may be one product that I enjoy looking at more than eating...although it's a pretty close race!
Adapted from joyofbaking
For the sweet pastry crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat your oven to 400F. Combine the butter with the sugar. Mix in the egg, salt and flour. Knead together until it comes into a ball and cover your dough with some saran wrap. Pop it into the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Mold your dough into a classic tart pan and prick the bottom and sides with a fork to prevent the crust from puffing up during baking. Pop it back into the fridge for another 15-20 minutes. Finally put your dough that is now in your tart pan into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Optional: if you want a layer of chocolate like I did, melt 1/2 cup of chips in the microwave for about 1 minute and spread over your cooled crust. Let this cool and harden by placing it in the freezer for a few minutes.
**Note I didn't use a classic tart pan since we were kindly gifted this pan with tart rimming and opted to use it instead**
For the pastry cream
1 1/4 cups milk (skim or whole)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
This part is super fun! In a heat proof bowl, mix your egg yolks and sugar together until its a gorgeous pale yellow color. Sift the flour and cornstarch into the egg mixture and mix together. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat up the milk and vanilla until it just starts to bubble. Remove it from the heat and very slowly add it to your egg mixture. Do this slow so that you don't end up with curdled eggs! If you do, it's okay you can strain it out. Pour this mixture now back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it's boiling but make sure you are whisking constantly. Once it's boiled, continue to whisk for another 30-60 seconds until the mixture has thickened into pastry cream!
Pour this into another bowl and immediately cover your pastry cream with foil. Make sure you lay your foil directly over your pastry cream to prevent the formation of a film on top. Cool to room temperature. Prior to using, re-whisk the mixture to remove any lumps that may have formed.
Assorted sliced fruits
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon water
Layer your pastry cream over your crust (or chocolate). Now the best part: get creative layering different kinds of fruits all over your tart! Make circles, lines, or zig zags. Experiment with different colors and different fruits. Have fun!
To get that gorgeous glaze, heat the water and jam over medium high heat in a sauce pan and stir until your jam takes on a more liquid consistency. Brush this over your fruit toppings and enjoy!!