This is my favorite dessert. No seriously. I mean …… I may say that a lot in the course of this blog, but as a teenager and young adult at least, this was absolutely my fave. Anyone in my family can vouch that I chose this instead of a birthday cake every year from 14 until I moved to New York at 23. What is not to love about a fruit tart? Perfectly flaky buttery crust….creamy filling….and tart and refreshing fruit on top.
Until now though, my only hope of eating this was to either venture to an Italian bakery in the city or go back to the one in Milwaukee that served these up back in the day. For some reason making tarts always seemed super daunting. Especially considering the fact that I do not currently have any of the tools required to make this. I have no food processor, so I searched and searched until I found a crust that could be made by hand. Also- my 8-year old hand mixer that I bought in college finally kicked it the other day. So I had to find a recipe that didn’t need one.
Well, things would have been just fine if it weren’t for the fact that I had a major pastry cream fail! I followed the instructions exactly and did my best to temper the eggs and add the milk slowly. Somehow though, I still ended up with a curdle-y mess.
So, in a pinch I managed to whip up some cream cheese with vanilla and sugar and used that instead. It was great! So great that I will always do that in the future and skip the pastry cream. (Though I would like to master it eventually!)
- 1 stick of butter, cold, chopped into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1-8 oz package of cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Fresh Fruit for topping. (I used, Strawberries, Kiwi, Mandarin Oranges, Raspberries and Blueberries)
- 3/4 cup Apricot Jam
- To make pastry: Using fingertips, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal; stir in sugar and egg yolks; press mixture together to form a ball and refrigerate in plastic wrap for 30 minutes; preheat oven to 375°F.
- Roll pastry between two sheets of wax paper, making the pastry large enough to cover base and sides of a buttered 9-inch fluted tart pan; trim edges; place sheet of foil into pastry and fill with pie weights (or dried beans); bake 20-25 minutes; remove foil and beans and bake a further 5 minutes; allow to cool.
- For filling: mix together softened cream cheese, vanilla and sugar. When the tart shell has cooled, spread the filling into the shell.
- Arrange fruit over the filling. (I am a total dork and really had fun with this part.)
- For the glaze: Mix 2 tablespoons of water with the jam and heat in a small saucepan until it becomes thin and liquid-y. Using a pastry brush, spread the glaze generously over the fruit to seal it in.
- Serve day of making as if you wait too long the colors from the berries may bleed onto the filling and not look as pretty. Refrigerate any leftovers!
Adapted from this recipe.