Summer berries

4th of July Summer Fruit Tart

So it has been just over a month since my husband and I celebrated our first 4th of July.

We spent the day shopping at the markets and baking, and the evening celebrating with friends. Our good friends have a gorgeous rooftop deck that overlooks South Lake Union, giving us a perfect view of the fireworks. We had pulled pork and coleslaw for dinner, followed by this tart for dessert. While I know it is a bit (or very) cliché, I felt that to celebrate my first independence day I needed to bake something in the classic red, white and blue. Topped with gorgeous summer berries this was a delicious finish to a great summer night. 

Fireworks-4.jpg

This recipe is adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook Cake Days. One of my favourite cookbooks for cakes and cupcakes, almost everything I have baked from it has turned out wonderfully. 

A few notes on this recipe.

  1. Feel free to substitute any fruit you want for the topping. The original recipe calls for peaches and raspberries, but I believe this tart base can support almost any fruit combination you can come up with. Be creative!
  2. When you are making the crème patisserie you really want to keep the heat down low after adding the egg mix, otherwise you might end up with scrambled eggs. However, this does mean that it will take quite a while to thicken to the right consistency – mine took over 30 min. I know this makes for a slightly more time consuming recipe, but it is worth it knowing that you will be able to cut nice slices of the tart without the entire filling running away.
  3. I always prefer to whip cream by hand. If you are using an electric mixer, be very careful. The line between soft peaks and butter is smaller than you think!
  4. Finally, feel free to use any form of dried bean as a substitute for the baking beads. You certainly do not need to go out and buy fancy ceramic baking beads – I personally have a bag of dried chickpeas in my cupboard solely for the purpose of blind baking.

Ingredients

Tart Shell
110g unsalted butter
225g plain flour
80g caster sugar
1 egg
Crème patisserie
500mL milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
5 eggs yolks
200g caster sugar
20g plain flour
20g cornflour
150mL double cream
To finish
raspberries and blueberries (or any other summer fruits)

 
 

Method
To make the pastry, rub the butter and flour together with your fingertips until it forms a breadcrumb-like consistency.
Stir through the sugar and then add the egg, mixing gently to incorporate.
Knead gently until it comes together into a smooth dough.
Cover with clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 20-30 min.
Once rested, roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface until approximately 5mm thick.
Gently press into your tart tin (I used square for ease of cutting, but a round tart would work just as well!).
Prick the base several times with a fork and refrigerate the tart case for 20-30 min.
While the tart is chilling, preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
Line the tart base with baking paper and fill with baking beads.
Bake blind for 12 min, then remove the beads and bake for a further 15 min until lightly golden.
To make the filling, bring the milk and vanilla to a boil.
In a small bowl, mix the egg yolks, sugar and flours to form a thick paste.
Once the milk is boiling, remove from the heat and add 4-5 tablespoons to the egg mixture, stirring to make a thick liquid.
Pour this liquid into the pan of milk and return to a low heat.
Bring back to the boil, stirring constantly, and allow to thicken.
Once thick enough to coat the back of the spoon (this may take up to 30 min) pour the crème patisserie onto a baking tray to cool. Make sure you cover it straight away with clingfilm to prevent a skin from forming.
While the crème patisserie is cooling, whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks. 
When the crème patisserie is cool (approximately 30-40 min) scrape into a bowl and stir until smooth.
Fold together with the cream, then pour into the cooled tart base.
Refrigerate for 1-2hr until set.
Arrange the fruit on the top, and enjoy!