Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fruit Tart

I knew I had some kiwis in the fridge!  But when I searched for it, my wife told me that she had turned the fruit into juice!  Well, I was in the mood for making a fruit tart and thus, I resorted to using whatever fruit that was available in the fridge and in the larder!  And so my tart was topped with a hodge-podge of fruits.  Anyway, like Chef Wan used to say (a long time ago!) it is not the looks that matters but how it tastes.   But, of course now it is 'you eat with your eyes first, then with your mouth'!

I guess critics are hard to please but then again I was happy to learn that my kids had only praises for my fruit tart especially the pastry cream (borrowed from Stephanie Jaworski)  The three stages that it took to create the tart was, to me, quite daunting as I always love recipes that are simple to prepare!  But, I must say that this fruit tart, in spite of it's illustrious batch of fruits, was well worth the effort.

Sweet Pastry Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used soft brown castor sugar)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven at 200 C. Beat sugar and butter until creamy.  Gradually add the egg and finally the flour.  Mix just until it forms a ball.  Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.  Roll out on a floured surface and place into greased moulds.  Prick the base of the pastry with a fork but not right through.  Refrigerate again for another 15 to 30 minutes.  Bake blind at 200 C for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180 C and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.  Once done, take out of the oven and let cool for about 3 to 4 minutes before brushing the surface with beaten egg white.  Set aside or cool completely and keep in an airtight container.

Pastry Cream
  • 300ml fresh milk
  • 3 large eggs (I used 3 whole small-ish eggs)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (again, I used soft brown)
  • 2tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2tbs cornflour
  • (I added 1 tsp vanilla essence and 1 tsp butter)

Mix sugar and eggs yolks.  Add the all-purpose flour and cornflour and mix until a smooth paste.  Meanwhile bring the milk to just boiling, then add to the flour mixture gradually (tempering) all the time whisking constantly to avoid any lumps.  Bring this mixture back to the boil, again, whisking constantly.  Take off the heat and continues to whisk briskly for another 30 to 60 seconds.  Finally whisk in the vanilla and butter.  Set aside in a bowl to cool.  Cover with cling film.

To assemble :
Spoon the cream into the pastry crust and level it.  Arrange pre-cut fruit (of at least 3 different color)  Brush with apricot conserve (I used apricot jam, warmed with a little bit of water and sieved).  I would suggest that this fruit tart be served immediately!

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