Tuesday, March 11, 2008

sunday supper: tart take two

It just drives me crazy when something doesn't come out well. After the various glitches with last week's tart, I was compelled to take another stab at it. But I didn't want more lemon curd, I just wanted a good crust. So this week, I went for a classic fresh fruit tart, and made some small adjustments in the guilt department.

First off, I made the crust with half whole wheat flour, half white flour. Though this crust came out far better than last week's butter party, the 50/50 ratio of whole wheat to white did end up with a grainier texture than I generally would have liked. So I recommend not using more than 30% whole wheat.

These classic fruit tarts usually have a thick, creamy filling - like pastry cream - but there are several different kinds that could work. Actually, that lemon curd that I made last week could be a good fruit tart base. But I generally prefer something in the whipped cream family over something in the custard family. It's also a lot simpler to make. So I started with mascarpone cheese, milk, sugar and vanilla. Of course, I screwed that up by sloshing in way too much milk, making it far too runny to fill the tart, but had no mascarpone left to correct the balance. Instead, I turned to some plain greek yogurt. This turned out to be a very happy accident. Not only was the cream filling much lighter, but the tang of the yogurt really added to the flavor of the tart. It worked well with the fruit, and cut the sweetness of the crust nicely. In fact, I was happy just scooping up the cream right out of the bowl with the leftover berries.

I definitely could have done a better job of layering the fruit to look professional and really hide the cream, but I admit, I was in a rush to finish it and eat before "The Wire" came on. Recipe after the jump:

For the crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 large egg, beaten
1-2 tbsp ice water

For the cream:
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup 2% strained Greek yogurt
1/3 cup milk or cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract, or the seeds from one vanilla bean

For the glaze:
2 tbsp apricot preserves
2 tbsp berry liquer (like creme de cassis) or water

For the topping:
3-4 cups of berries or fruit of your choice. I used sliced strawberries, kiwis, and blackberries.

To make the crust:
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Pulse in the butter cubes until it is evenly incorporated and resembles pebbles. Add the beaten egg and about 1 tbsp of ice water and pulse until it comes together in the bowl. You may need to add another 1/2 or 1 tbsp of water if the dough is too dry to hold together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for a minute to make sure the butter is incorporated evenly, then flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and place in the refrigerator to rest for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the dough from the fridge and roll out between two sheets of wax paper to about 13 inches in diameter. Carefully line a 9 or 10 inch tart pan with the crust, pressing lightly to fill the corners and stick to the sides of the pan. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to cut away excess dough. Return the pan to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Dock the crust several times with a fork. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray, lay into the tart crust, then fill with dry beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:
Using an electric mixer, beat together the mascarpone, yogurt, milk, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy and thick. Spread evenly into the cooled tart shell up to about 1/4 inch from the top of the crust. Arrange the berries and sliced fruit over the cream filling. Combine the apricot preserves and liquer or water and heat over a low heat until well combined. Brush the glaze over the berries evenly.


Leah said...

Sissy tells me this was delicious, and once again I dream of Wonka-vision...

B said...

mmmm. that looks ridiculously delicious.