French Fruit Tart

The fruit tart, the beautiful, delicate slightly sweet table centerpiece that seems unreachable for the home baker- at least for a good quality one! I put this pretty little lady off for a while now, not wanting to spend all day making the perfect flakey crust and airy custard that cuts like butter just for it to flop and turn out runny and messy. I mean odds are, thats exactly what will happen. So I did a little research, like weeks… of research…. and I did it. I made the perfect fruit tart. Fool proof if you ask me. I have taken probably 4 or 5 recipes and methods and combined them for this beautiful and easy dessert.

Lets get to it.

Steps:

  1. We’re gonna make the custard first, because it has to cool…. all the way…. a few hours. you can do this the day before but honestly who remembers to do that. So, make it first and throw it in the fridge while you make the rest.
  2. Make the crust. I ordered this tart pan set that has one large one and 4 minis and this recipe made the perfect amount to fill these with extra dough after (which I love, personally because I hate feeling like i’m going to run out)
  3. Put it all together. ok, I know, duh… but thats the next step.
  4. Nappage that fruit. A nappage glaze is what keeps tarts looking SO good in bakeries for so long. This is what makes them look glossy and shiny while functioning as a preservative so that the tarts last for a few DAYS- perfect as a centerpiece for a dinner party and you don’t even have to worry about making it that day.

Ingredients:

  • Creme Patisserie (filling)
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 6 egg yolks
    • pinch of salt
    • 2/3 cup sugar 
    • 1 tablespoons flour
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • Pastry Crust – The preppy kitchen crust recipe worked best for me, its light and slightly crumbly while being sweet and easy to bake. Since you have to blind bake this (baking before adding the filling) you will see a lot of people recommend pie weights and all kinds of things but I didn’t utilize any of that, I was successful just blind baking until it looked slightly browned. Perfect result. Do not worry when you see it puff up during baking, it will go back down. – https://preppykitchen.com/fruit-tart/
    • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 
    • 1/2 tsp salt 
    • 16 tbsp almost room temp butter unsalted, cut into cubes
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Nappage Glaze
    • Any fruit jam (you don’t want chunks) – traditionally apricot is used but you can use any
    • sugar, 1 tablespoon
    • Water, 1 tablespoon

Steps:

  1. Warm the milk and vanilla on the stove over medium heat. Stir periodically and when warmed – almost boiling – remove from heat
  2. In a medium sized bowl whisk together 6 egg yolks, salt, 2/3 cup sugar (you can use powdered sugar or castor sugar here)  
  3. Add flour and cornstarch and whisk until very smooth. As smooth as it gets.
  4. Temper the two sauces together. All this means is that you want to slowly combine the two because if you were to add all of the hot to the eggs now you will just cook them. SO take a 1/4 cup measuring cup and get some of the warm milk and – WHILE WHISKING CONSTANTLY – add it to the egg mixture.
  5. Repeat this step about 4 or 5 times
  6. Now that the egg mixture is warmed and you have been whisking your arm off, go ahead and add the egg mixture to the pot with the rest of the milk and… you guessed it… keep whisking.
  7. Over medium heat, whisk constantly. The mixture will thicken up unevenly so do… not….. stop…..whisking.
  8. After a few minutes you will see it become very thick, you will see streaks of the bottom of the pan and thick boil bubbles spit up.
  9. Once its thick enough go ahead and remove it from the heat and place creme pat (filling) in a glass bowl.
  10. Cover glass bowl with plastic wrap touching the top of the creme pat so that it doesn’t form a shell and dry out.
  11. Once the creme has cooled down a bit, put it in the fridge to cool for over an hour.
  12. For the crust – place flour, salt and butter in a stand mixer and cream together until fully combined.
  13. Add egg yolks, powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. This dough will be crumbly.
  14. Put 1/3 of the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out to be 1/4 of an inch thick.
  15. Repeat with the other 2/3s of dough and place all 3 in the fridge for an hour… or as long as you have.
  16. After cooled, place the bottom of your tart pan on one of the pieces of dough and with a knife, trace around the circle. Place circle of dough in the bottom of your pan. Cut out one long strip of dough and place around the inside of the tart pan.
  17. Using your fingers, pinch dough together all the way around and press up against the edges of the tart pan to cover all of the creases of the pan and to combine the bottom section with the sides. Feel free to grab pieces from your dough and add to it to make sure it is evenly thick and covering the whole pan. This dough is very forgiving so it will still look nice if it is patched up all over the place.
  18. Once all of your tart pans are fully covered in dough, blind bake (baking before cream is in there) at 350 for 10-15 minutes, just until the edges get slightly browned. Set aside to cool
  19. When the crust has cooled to room temp, whisk the creme pat one more time to make sure it is not chunky and fill your tarts with your filling. You can do this using a piping bag or just a spatula making sure it is evenly distributed.
  20. Top with fresh fruit in any cute design you want.
    1. PRO TIP: if you use closed fruits (IE blueberries, raspberries and uncut strawberries) your tart will look perfect much longer. If you choose to cut strawberries or use any open fruit, it may leak into and onto the creme pat and can get sloppy faster. To combat this, you can fit more fruit on top and cover the creme completely. Google fruit tart images for inspo.
  21. For your nappage glaze, combine ingredients and warm. Mix to combine and brush lightly over fruit to fully cover.
    1. PRO TIP: use any flavor jam, but you will want it to have no chunks so if yours does have some you can combine ingredients and then strain it to remove chunks.
    2. PRO TIP: Instead of sugar in the nappage you can sub for whiskey or burbon for a fun adults twist on the tart.

ENJOY!

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