Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Fruit Tart

Today's weather is a little chilly, compared to the steamy days we've seen in the last week. Days like today make me want to bake, rather than grill. With the weekend right around the corner, it's the perfect day to make a fresh fruit tart. One of my favorite summer desserts, a fresh fruit tart is easy to make, but you need to be organized.

Start with your favorite tart pastry. I prefer a sweet pastry crust for this recipe, rather than a traditional pie crust. Another variation is a shortbread cookie crust. Depending on how confident you are in your pastry skills, and how much time you have on hand, you'll select the type of crust that's right for you.

Today's weather is actually perfect for making pastry, since it's cool outside, but for the sake of time and to give confidence to those who are terrified at the thought of making a pate sucree, our recipe will use a shortbread cookie crust.

This tart is filled with a decadent vanilla bean pastry cream. To make the pastry cream, you will need to measure everything very carefully, and have all of the necessary equipment close by (whisk, small and medium sized bowls, a sieve, etc.).

The type of fruit you use is completely up to you. My favorite fruits to use on this impressive tart are blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

Pastry Cream
3 ½ qt. milk, whole

1 ½ # granulated sugar
3 each vanilla bean, split
½ oz. sea salt
4 oz. Butter
1 oz. gelatin

1c. egg yolks
6 oz. Cornstarch
2c. half & half

Rub the split bean with the sugar. Save the bean for vanilla sugar, do not add it to the pastry cream.

Combine the eggs with the half and half, and cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring sugar, milk, salt, gelatin and butter to a boil.
Temper in the egg mixture. If the mixture doesn't thicken immediately, you may have to continue to cook this again over low to medium heat, whisking constantly until it is the consistency of pudding. Strain if necessary.

Sprinkle with sugar and cover immediately with plastic wrap
Chill until completely cold. While the cream is cooling, prepare the crust and slice the fruit.

To prepare the crust, take two boxes of Walker shortbread and crush them into crumbs with a food processor. Dump the crumbs into the bottom of a tart pan and press them firmly down and up the sides. Bake the crust at 350 until golden brown. Watch it carefully, so as not to burn it. Shortbread is high in sugar and fat and is prone to burning, if it is not watched carefully. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside.

Cool the crust completely. Once cooled, fill with the chilled pastry cream and arrange the fresh fruit on top. Serve cold.

Interested in making one of these at Mirepoix? Check out our Pies & Tarts class this Saturday! Call today to reserve your place at 248.543.4390.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home