Yum. These fruit tarts are creamy, sweet, all-natural, and fresh. They take about 2 hours to make so I wouldn’t classify this as quick and easy but the taste is worth the work. They can be topped with any type of fruit. I chose strawberries and my roommate, Scott, chose bananas.
I saw fruit tarts at a french bakery in Winter Park, FL and knew I had to go home and try to make some myself. I ventured over to Williams Sonoma’s and got these cute, 4-inch tart dishes.
1) The crust-
As with any pastry crust, the colder the better. Start with combining 1 1/4 cup of flour, 3 tbs of sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt. Place this mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes so it’s nice and freezing. Pour the flour mixture into the bowl of a food processor with a blade attachment. Drop in 8 tbs of very cold butter cut into tablespoons. Pulse it until the butter is in small pea-size pieces. Drizzle in 1/4 cup of ice cold water and pulse again until it comes together in a dough ball.
2) The Filling
Here’s all that goes into it:
5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups scalded milk (Milk heated to 180 degrees, just on the edge of boiling)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Cognac (I buy the little airplane sized bottle)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes with an electric mixer. It’ll will get very thick., Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.
With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Now, Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes.
Don’t be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. Don’t worry, it will be ok. I promise.
Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes. The custard will start to become pudding.
Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.
Roll out the dough to be about 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut out circles of the dough that are a little bit bigger than your tart shells. Place it into your tart shell and press ( not stretch) the dough into the shell.