baking success on saturday! the williamsburg greenmarket had amazing cherries, piles of rhubarb, and lots of beautiful jewel-like red currants. i stocked up, got a few extra fruits from the market, and went home to get started on my project: fruit tarts.
fruit tarts are a lovely yet mildly labor-intensive activity. you’ve got three components to prepare: pastry cream, dough (i made pâte sucreé), and fruit to wash, de-stem, pit, and slice. but none of this really requires a technique that’s difficult to master, so it’s nice to put on some music, make a capuccino, and get started by washing that fruit. (the slicing & de-stemming part gets saved till the end.) the pâte sucreé mixes up easily in the kitchen aid and then hangs out in the fridge for a few minutes, before getting rolled out, draped into a variety of mini tart pans, and baked. the pastry cream comes together easily and quickly too – the only slightly tedious part is to push it through a sieve, but i don’t recommend skipping this step. once the tart shells and pastry cream have cooled down, the assembly can begin…
this is the part that lets you fancy yourself an artiste… and tests your skills in geometry and structural stability. in the end it doesn’t matter; even if your arrangement of fruit is hideous, the tart will still taste like heaven. but i like this part… arranging the fruit in spirals, pyramids, and fans is very satisfying to me.
i made a double batch of pâte sucreé using the joy of baking recipe here
the pastry cream recipe is from smitten kitchen’s recipe for strawberry tart. (double batch.)
for the fruit, obviously whatever you like and can get your hands on is a good choice. some of the tarts ended up with a strawberry-rhubarb filling (which somehow i didn’t take a snap of. hmmm.) for the filling, i pretended like i was making this pie, but just threw all the ingredients into a glass baking dish covered with foil and into the oven it went for close to one hour.
i don’t think it’s worth the space to re-type these recipes here. if you’re keen to make fruit tarts, the links above will take you there. they really are a great use for all this fabulous summer fruit.
(photos by laurakinsey)