So it’s been a while. I’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff on a personal level and its just been a drag to get up and bake. But I’m out of my funk and back at it. I really need to build this blog. A couple weeks ago I attended the IFBC in Sacramento. I was able to meet so many inspiring bloggers that motivated me to grow this into something. There were so many talks that were so helpful for me. By far, one of my favorites was the one by Stefani Pollack from Cupcake Project. Her story was so inspiring, and her work is just incredible. She’s an Instagram guru. She gave a wonderful talk on massive Instagram growth and even offers an online webinar that I purchased as soon as I got back. Hopefully, soon I’ll be seeing some results!
Something I really loved about this conference was it was real. It wasn’t a bunch of people who were internet famous. A lot of the attendees were newly blogging. It showed us that with the right work you WILL succeed, but at the same time it won’t happen overnight! Anyways enough with that. Let’s get to the guest of honor.
Fruit Tarts are the dessert people bring to a gathering when they don’t know what else to bring. It’s the safe dessert.It’s even safer then Red Velvet Cake It’s got fruit, cream, and hopefully a good crumbly crust. You can’t really go wrong with bringing one. Being the picky baker that I am, I cannot get myself to eat a ready fruit tart. They skimp out on the vanilla bean, and for the most part, you end up with some artificial vanilla flavoring that makes the pastry cream taste like cough medicine. Of course, they also skip the heavy cream and just use milk, which yields a not so creamy pastry cream that kinda separates in the fridge. Oh, and there’s the soggy crust. By the time you put a slice, it’s just drenched in the separated pastry cream, making it seem like your eating baby food. At that point, there is no texture difference between the cream and the crust.
My absolute favorite part is the big glob of gel that they put on top of all that fruit. Yes, I would love a side of fruit with my blob of glue. By they, I mean your regular old chain grocery stores. I’m talking your average 10 or so dollar fruit tart. Of course, if you’re going to the trouble of going to a high-end bakery and spending about double that on a simple fruit tart you might as well just make it yourself. I mean really, it’s not that hard. I’ll walk you through it!
This recipe is pretty straightforward but does need some attention to detail. There are a few components that will make or break your tart.
- Pulse the flour and almond meal with the cold butter until it resembles small peas. This makes the crust crumbly.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours. It yields a much better end result.
- The Pastry Cream is probably the hardest part. Just have all your ingredients on hand to make the process easier.
- You can use a mixer or just a normal whisk to beat the egg yolks. I personally use my mixer. If you use a bowl and whisk put a damp towel underneath it so your bowl doesn’t spin while you’re whisking.
- Don’t boil the milk and cream mixture. You want to scald it, which happens before it boils.
- The most critical step in making a pastry cream is tempering the egg yolk mixture. That means pouring your milk and cream mixture very slowly while constantly whisking the yolks so you slowly bring the egg yolks to the temperature of the milk mixture without scrambling them.
- Once you place the pastry cream mixture back in the pot you must constantly stir it over low heat until it thickens. Once it thickens continue to stir for another 4 or so minutes. This cooks out the starch and prevents it from separating.
- Lastly, I like to pour the finished cream through a sieve to make sure there are no little bits of scrambled egg in it.
Bakery Style Fruit Tart and Vanilla Pastry Cream
- Tart Crust:
- 6 TBSP Cold Butter
- 3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Almond Flour
- 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Vanilla Pastry Cream:
- 7 Egg Yolks
- 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Half and Half
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- 1/4 Cup Cornstarch
- 1 TBSP Cold Butter
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Fruit or toppings of Choice
- Step 1 Begin by preparing the tart crust. In a food processor pulse the All-Purpose Flour, Almond Flour, and Butter until it resembles small peas.
- Step 2 Add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and egg. Pulse until it comes together.
- Step 3 Dust a surface with flour and scrape the dough into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Step 4 Meanwhile, make the Pastry Cream. Scrape the Vanilla bean and set aside. Pour the milk and heavy cream into a saucepan and heat over low heat.
- Step 5 In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the egg yolks, vanilla bean scraping, sugar, and salt. With the paddle attachment beat until thick and and pale. Add the cornstarch and mix until combined.
- Step 6 After the milk mixture has scalded, place the mixer on low and VERY SLOWLY pour the milk mixture until it is all incorporated.
- Step 7 Once everything is incorporated, pour it all back into the saucepan with the empty vanilla bean pod and heat over medium-low heat while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. Once the cream thickens, continue to stir for a couple of minutes to cook off the starch.
- Step 8 Finally, stir in the cold butter and vanilla extract. Pour through a sieve and discard the vanilla pod. Cover with plastic wrap making sure it’s touching the surface of the cream so it doesn’t form a skin. Refrigerate for an hour or freeze for 20 minutes.
- Step 9 While the cream is cooling, preheat your oven to 350 F. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Place in your desired tart pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the shell is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool completely before filling.
- Step 10 Fill the tart shell with the cooled custard and top with your desired fruits, nuts or chocolates. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.