Wild Strawberries and a Fresh Fruit Tart – A Fruit Tart in 3 Parts

Wild Strawberries and a Fresh Fruit Tart – A Fruit Tart in 3 Parts

Meal type Dessert
By author Lina Bifano, via Chef Chad Pagano

Ingredients

Pastry Cream (adapted from a recipe by Chef Chad Pagano)

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 1 Whole egg
  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/4 stick butter (or 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier™ (or any other tasty liqueur)

Crust (makes 3)

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Large eggs (beaten)
  • 3 to 4 cups all purpose flour (sifted)

Baking & Assembly

  • 50g dark chocolate (100g for a thicker layer)
  • 2 tablespoons Apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons Warm water

Directions

Pastry Cream (adapted from a recipe by Chef Chad Pagano)
1. In a large pot over low heat, dissolve the first 1/3 cup of sugar into the milk and bring to a boil—be careful not to scorch. Remove from heat.
2. In a separate medium bowl, mix the eggs with the cornstarch and the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. Beat constantly until smooth.
3. In a steady, thin stream, slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture. **Use a hand mixer to beat while you pour, and be sure to pour slowly or the eggs will cook.
4. Pour it all back into the pot and, using a hand mixer, continue to mix over low heat. The mixture should boil and become thick and turn lemon yellow in color. Once this happens, remove from heat.
5. Stir in the butter and liqueur. You can also use vanilla extract or another flavoring of your choice.
Crust (makes 3)
1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth.
2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add all remaining ingredients except for the flour.
3. Slowly add the flour (you might not need all 4 cups) until the mixture comes together like a cookie dough. It should be soft but not at all crumbly. **Top tip: Sift the flour over a large paper plate first, then bend the sides of the plate and use that to pour it into the mixture; it gives you more control so you can pinpoint the moment you reach the perfect consistency.
4. Divide the dough into thirds (each crust takes 1/3 of the dough). Place the portion you’ll work with in a plastic zipper bag and refrigerate for 3 hours. Freeze the other two portions.
Baking & Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a circle approximately 1/4-inch thick.
3. Lay the dough over the tart pan (there is no need for greasing). Push the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim the excess. Using a fork, poke holes across the bottom and sides.
4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. (Traditionally, you could also do this by laying a piece of parchment over the crust and filling with dried beans or pie beads—either way works.)
5. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
6. While the tart crust is cooling, melt some good quality dark chocolate (I like Leonidas 70% Dark Cocoa bars). Spread a thin layer over the entire crust. Let the crust and chocolate cool and harden before removing from the tart pan.
7. When ready, remove the tart from the pan, fill with cream, and cover with sliced fresh fruit.
8. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of apricot jam with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Gently brush over the top of the tart for a shiny finish. You can also choose to sprinkle powdered sugar on the tart for a more rustic look. Enjoy!
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