Sunday, June 1, 2008

Summer Tart

Today I found myself thinking about my previous travels in Europe. Specifically, I was thinking about the bakeries. I'm not sure what got me started, but I couldn't stop thinking about the beautiful pastries that call out to me when I'm traveling overseas. The urge was pretty strong, so I decided I might as well try to make a special dessert to go with our dinner tonight.


Whether you're in a large city or a tiny village, there are certain treats that seem to be in every bakery window. The fruit tarts always look the best to me, with the shiny, colorful fruit covering the delicious custard and flaky crust. I really don't do much baking, but the ambitious baker hidden within me decided I needed to make one of these tarts to enjoy at home.

Making the crust wasn't too bad, but it did end up drier than I expected. I did the best I could to make it stick together, but rolling it out just wasn't happening. I ended up lifting the tart crust into tart pan, and just using my fingers to push it to the edges of the pan. I also didn't read the directions closely enough, so my larger tart pan meant the crust did not go up the sides of the pan as expected. Still, the crust came out of the oven looking as expected, and I moved on to the next step.


The pastry cream (like a custard) was pretty easy to put together. I used vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, because I'm too cheap to buy real vanilla beans. I know, a good cook should use vanilla beans, but I'm trying to keep my grocery budget under control. The custard was thick and tasted unbelievably decadent, and at this point I knew the end result would be a good one.


The last step was putting it all together, and this is where you creative types could get all fancy. I'm not the most artistically inclined person, so concentric circles was my stab at pastry art. Slightly crooked, but I was still pretty proud of myself :) The final product was one of the best looking creations I've ever made, and I had a hard time cutting the first slice. One taste, though, and I was ready to eat the whole thing! Tonight's tart was just a random treat for Joe and I, but I have a feeling this dessert will show up again at an upcoming dinner party. I can't keep this pretty treat just for us!

To keep this from being too long a post, I'll just tell you the recipe is from Joy of Baking online. The full recipe can be found here.

13 comments:

Jaime said...

beautiful tart! i love fresh fruit tarts :)

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Looks excellent.

Katie said...

Wow, this look s absolutely fabulous!! GREAT job! YUM!

Joelen said...

Love the tart Erin!! Perfect for the summer :)

Elly said...

Wow, the tart looks perfect! Great job. I'm with you on the vanilla beans. I'd love to buy them, but we are too broke ;)

Tiffany said...

That looks delicious. I've always wanted to try making one of those tarts- so pretty and tasty!

annieseats said...

Gorgeous! I don't even like kiwi that much but this makes me want to add it to my next tart.

Erin said...

Thanks for all your kind comments! I was proud of this one, so I'm glad to read others thought it was as pretty as I did :)

A World in a PAN said...

Congratulations! Your fruit tart looks delicious!

Nicole said...

What a gorgeous dessert! And it totally matches your plates! Too funny. Tarts are so fresh and beautiful. I need to make more. Pastry dough is not my forte though.

A World in a PAN said...

You inspired me! This morning I bought strawberries at the local market and we made a strawberry tart for desert.
Forgot to mention you have very nice plates!

Jann said...

Your tart turned out great-this is one of my favorites and it always is a crowd pleaser.This one looks particularily creamy! There is no comparison to the baked goods that you find in Europe and abroad~it all comes from the differences in the soils-the milks,the wheats, flours,butter-the salts. .... then they display their creations so well.The Europeans have way too much experience and "history" on us as far as foods go. I usually find myself druling/drooling,either way, when I see the window displays in Paris or even Italy.....if I lived there I would be as big as an elephant!

hornedfroggy said...

This tart is GORGEOUS!! :)