Fresh Fruit Tarts

This recipe is for one big tart or four little tarts. The shells of individual tarts will bake a little faster, so watch them carefully as they bake. Also, use any fruit you want. Apples and bananas don't work well because they get brown and mushy. You can also use just one kind of fruit or many different kinds. For this recipe, I used some figs from my tree in my backyard! Go foraging in your neighborhood and see what you can find.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: One 9-inch tart or four 4-inch mini tarts
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Ingredients

Crust:

3 large (42 grams) egg yolks

1/4 cup (57 grams) heavy cream

2 3/4 cups (413 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 cup (226 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

Pastry Cream:

4 large (56 grams) egg yolks

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch

Pinch of kosher salt

2 cups (480 grams) whole milk

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons (5 grams) pure vanilla extract

Topping: (see Cook's Note)

1/2 cup (165 grams) apricot jam

2 tablespoons water

1/2 pint strawberries

1/2 pint blueberries

1/2 pint raspberries

1 kiwi

1 mango

2 figs

Directions

Special equipment:
9-inch tart pan with removable bottom or four 4-inch tart pans
  1. Make the crust: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and heavy cream. In the bowl of a food processor with a blade attachment, pulse the flour, butter, sugar and salt until no big chunks of butter remain. Slowly add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture. Blend to combine but don't overwork the dough.
  2. Remove the dough and, turning it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead it 4 or 5 times to incorporate.
  3. Divide the dough in half if making one large tart. Divide the dough into four pieces if making mini tarts. Flatten the dough pieces into discs with your hands, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to overnight. (Freeze any remaining pieces for another project for up to 3 months.)
  4. Make the pastry cream: Put a damp kitchen towel under a medium bowl and whisk together the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar until the yolks are lighter in color, about 2 minutes. (The towel will ensure the bowl doesn't slide around.) Add the cornstarch and salt, whisk again, and set the bowl aside.
  5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and the remaining sugar 1/4 cup sugar and cook until the mixture almost boils, 4 to 5 minutes. With one hand, start whisking the egg yolk mixture; with the other hand, slowly drizzle the hot milk into the bowl, whisking until all the milk is incorporated.
  6. Pour the custard back into the saucepan and continue cooking, stirring constantly, on medium-high heat, until the mixture is thick and one bubble plops up on top, about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove the custard from the heat and pour into a clean medium bowl. Don't scrape the pot if the bottom looks burned or like scrambled eggs. Now, stir in the butter and vanilla. Keep stirring until the butter melts. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl so it is touching the pastry cream, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Bake the tart shell or shells: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is a circle (about 9 inches across and 1/2 inch thick for one large tart and about 6 inches across and 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick for four mini tarts.
  10. Lay the dough onto the tart pan, and then using your fingers, gently press it down. Try not to tear the dough or make it too thin. Ideally, it should be an even thickness all the way across.
  11. Using a sharp knife, carefully trim the edges so the dough is perfectly even with the top of the tart shell (see Cook's Note). Place the tart shell on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Using a fork, poke a bunch of holes in the bottom of the tart shell to keep bubbles from forming during baking. Refrigerate the tart shell for 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining tart shells if using.
  12. Remove the pan or pans from the fridge and lay a piece of parchment over the chilled dough. Fill the uncooked tart shell with pie weights or dried beans or uncooked rice.
  13. Bake for 10 minutes, then, using oven mitts, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Remove the pie weights and parchment. Return the baking sheet to the oven, continuing to bake until the crust is golden brown, 5 to 8 more minutes. Let the pan or pans cool on a wire rack.
  14. Make the glaze and finish the tart: In a medium pot over medium heat, cook the apricot jam and water. Stir with a fork as it cooks until the mixture is a thin, shiny liquid, about 3 minutes.
  15. Take the pastry cream from the fridge and, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed, beat the pastry cream to loosen it up. Spread the pastry cream in a thin 1/4- to 1/2-inch layer on the bottom of the tart shell.
  16. Carefully cut the strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, mangos and figs. Arrange the fruit so there is no visible pastry cream. (You can make the tart look awesome by laying the fruit in cool patterns.)
  17. Once the fruit is arranged, use a soft pastry brush to paint it with the warm apricot glaze. Don't leave any bare spots. Make sure to glaze all the fruit. Take your time.
  18. Cut and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Cook’s Note

Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. This recipe is appropriate for children of various ages. When a recipe calls for cooking on the stove or using a knife, an adult should do those activities and let the child assist, if age appropriate. You can switch up what fruits you use! Don't discard the dough scraps: If you poke any holes in the dough or if it tears, just fix it with dough scraps.

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