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Fresh Fruit Tart

I know it's not officially summer yet, but to me it's been here already. I been wearing my sandals and shorts since late March. Living in Georgia, the heat can be very intense some days. I am thankful that I now have air conditioning in my car. Last summer, I was stuck in my hot car in rush-hour traffic every day for hours. Now, I can roll up the windows, turn on my air and cruise. You guys have no idea how happy I am!

Anywho, when I think of summer. I think of fresh fruit. No... really I do. I think of a fruit stand!

Stay with me....

That's what we did in my childhood, we went to local fruit stands & markets during the summer for our fruits/veggies. Our fridge was packed with delicious Georgia Peaches, watermelon slices, grapes, and citrus. Have you guys tried frozen grapes? They are a great snack for kids.

So I made a fresh fruit tart for dessert! I haven't gotten a hold of one in good while, so the craving was there. Plus, I haven't made one since college. I remember making them in class and being in awe of the shine. Harmony Glaze is some good stuff!!! I ended up making a quick five minute glaze from cooking dried apricots down. I think I want & need more shine, so I'll make a proper jelly next time. After all we do eat with our eyes first.

The recipe I wanted to try out was straight from Joy of Baking. I love experimenting & trying recipes, seeing what works & what I would keep or discard if I make it again. See my thoughts below the recipe!

Fruit Tart Recipe

-recipe via Joy of Baking- (8"-9" tart pan)

Pastry Crust:

1.5 cups (195 g) flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113g) butter, room temp

1/4 cup (50g) sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups (300ml) milk

1 teaspoon vanilla, or 1/2 vanilla bean

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup (50 g) sugar

2 T flour

2 T cornstarch

For the crust: Whisk flour & salt together in a bowl, set aside. Place butter in the bowl of your electric mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat until softened. Add in the sugar, beat until light & fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating until just incorporated. Add all of the flour mixture into the bowl, mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 mins, or until firm.

Lightly spray a 8''-9'' tart pan with a removable bottom. Evenly pat chilled pastry onto the bottom & up the sides of the pan. **I found it easier to first rolled my dough out onto plastic wrap & then placed it into the pan**

Preheat oven to 400F/205C. Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork. Place tart on a baking pan, and bake crust for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350F/180C, and continue baking for 15 minutes or until dry & lightly golden. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

For the pastry cream: In a medium size bowl, mix egg yolks & sugar together. Sift the cornstarch & flour together, and add to egg mixture. Mix until you get a smooth paste.

In a saucepan, bring the milk just a boil. Remove from heat, and slowly add to egg mixture, whisking constantly so it doesn't curdle. Then pour egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until boiling, whisk constantly. When mixture comes to a boil, whisk for another 30-60 seconds until it thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour into a clean bowl & cover surface of pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool to room temp. Refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days.

Assembly: When the tart crust is completely cool you can start assembly. Spread a layer of apricot glaze onto the bottom & sides of the crust. Let glaze dry for 20 mins. Spread pastry cream in the shell, use an offset to get a smooth & neat. Then add your fruit! Go crazy! It's best eaten the same day it's assembled.

My Thoughts! Comments!

Very straightforward recipe. It did leave me wanting more though. The pastry cream needed more sugar, that's for sure. It was kind of blah, nothing special in taste. You can add liqueur to jazz it up & I might just do that.

The tart shell in itself is delicious. Would I use it again? I think so!!

Let me know if you tried this recipe!! Also, what's your favorite summer fruit?

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