ONLINE EXTRA — FESTIVE FRUIT TARTS: Peaches and Cream Tart . . . Lemon Curd and Strawberry Sunburst Tart, etc.
Peaches and Cream Tart
SWEET NUT CRUST:
½ cup nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
3 tablespoons superfine or baker’s sugar
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
4 teaspoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons peach or apricot preserves
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
About 3½ cups peeled and sliced peaches (see cook’s note)
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
To prepare the crust: In a food processor with a metal blade, pulse the nuts and sugar together until the nuts are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse 15 times to mix. Add the flour and salt; pulse just until the mixture has both large and small flakes. Transfer to a bowl. Whisk together the egg yolk and cream. Mix into the flour mixture with a fork to moisten all of the ingredients. Knead the dough lightly so it holds together and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten to a 6-inch disk, wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Lightly spray the bottom of a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan with cooking spray. Roll pastry disk between lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap to a thickness of 1/8-inch and measuring about 12½ inches in diameter. Loosen the top sheet of plastic; turn the dough over into the pan and remove the second sheet of plastic. Press lightly into the sides of the pan and roll a rolling pin over the top edge of the pan to remove excess dough. (If there are cracks, patch with some of the dough scraps.) Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line the pastry with aluminum foil and spread a thin layer of pastry weights or dried beans over the bottom. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and let sit 5 minutes then carefully remove the foil and weights. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and place back into the oven for five minutes. Cool on a rack.
To prepare the filling: Melt the preserves in a small saucepan and brush over the bottom and sides of the tart shell. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Arrange the peaches in overlapping circles in the shell and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Protect the edge of the pastry with foil strips. Bake in a 375-degree oven 15 minutes.
Whisk together the egg yolks, cream, sour cream and vanilla. Pour over the peaches and continue baking about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the custard is golden brown.
Cool on a rack. Remove the sides of the pan and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before serving.
Cook’s note: Frozen peaches can be used in this recipe. Defrost before putting into the tart shell.
Yield: Serves 8.
1½ cups less 2 tablespoons unsifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1¼ teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium Chinese eggplant
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 medium red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
3 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
To prepare the crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the pieces of butter and shortening; toss to coat with the flour. With your fingertips, a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until a combination of large and small flakes forms. Drizzle 4 tablespoons ice water around the edge of the flour mixture and work together with a fork. Add another tablespoon ice water if the dough is too dry. Gather into a ball and transfer to a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 48 hours.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 11-inch removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a 14-inch circle. Carefully fold into quarters. Place the point in the center of the prepared pan and unfold the dough, pressing lightly into the sides of the dish. Trim the edge by rolling a rolling pin over the top. Pierce in several places with a fork. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or freeze 15 minutes. Line the pastry with aluminum foil and spread pastry weights or dried beans over the bottom. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Put back into the oven for seven minutes. Cool on a rack.
To prepare the filling: Combine the garlic, oregano and olive oil; let stand 30 minutes.
Cut the eggplant into about ½-inch slices. Line a shallow sheet pan with paper towels and lay the eggplant in the pan. Sprinkle with salt. Place another layer of paper towels on top. Lay a second pan over the first and weight with two heavy cans. Let stand 30 minutes. Remove paper towels and wipe with clean, damp paper towels to remove the excess salt. Arrange in single layers on baking sheets.
Set aside 2 tablespoons of the seasoned oil. Lightly brush the eggplant on both sides with the remaining oil. Broil about 4 to 5 minutes per side until lightly charred and cooked through. Drizzle the eggplant with lemon juice and set aside to cool.
Heat the reserved 2 tablespoons seasoned oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until soft and golden in color, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon each parsley and mint. Cool for 10 minutes.
Spread the onions in the cooled tart shell and arrange the eggplant in concentric circles on top. Scatter the tomatoes and olives over the top; sprinkle with pepper. Sprinkle the feta evenly on top.
Bake in the lower third of a preheated 375-degree oven about 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining parsley and mint on top. Serve at room temperature.
Yield: Serves 8.
Lemon Curd and Strawberry Sunburst Tart
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup sour cream
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 11¼-ounce jar lemon curd
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1½ pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons currant jelly
To prepare the tart shell: In a large bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar and salt. Add the pieces of butter and toss to coat with the flour. With your fingertips, a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until large flakes form. Whisk together the sour cream, egg yolk and vanilla. Drizzle around the edge of the flour mixture and work together with a fork. Add a tablespoon ice water if the dough is too dry. Gather into a ball and transfer to a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 48 hours.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a 12-inch circle. Carefully fold into quarters. Place the point in the center of the prepared dish and unfold the dough, pressing lightly into the sides of the dish. Trim edge. Pierce lightly in several places with a fork. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or freeze 15 minutes. Line the pastry with aluminum foil and spread a thin layer of pastry weights or dried beans over the bottom. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside five minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and put the shell back into the oven for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.
To prepare the filling: In a food processor or with a whisk, beat the lemon curd with the lemon juice until smooth. With an electric mixer, beat the cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form, then fold in the lemon curd. Spoon into the crust, spreading evenly. Top with the sliced berries. Melt the jelly in a small saucepan and brush gently over the berries. Refrigerate up to three hours before serving.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10.
Fresh Fruit Tart with Shortbread
1 stick butter, room temperature
1½ tablespoon shortening
5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 cup flour
1 egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 ounce brandy (optional)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream together butter, shortening, confectioners’ sugar. Add egg yolk. Beat in flour and salt — a stiff dough will result. Pat dough into 10 inch springform pan — bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes in the meantime. Soften cream cheese and then beat in 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar. Set aside. Bring granulated sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add brandy —- add fresh fruit — poach for 5 minutes.
Drain fruit and reserve sugar sauce. Allow tart shell to cool completely. Spread cream cheese mixture in tart shell — arrange fruit — brush with reserve sugar sauce
Fresh Fruit Tart Supreme
PECAN TART SHELL:
1¼ cups flour
½ cup soft butter
¼ cup finely chopped pecans
3 tablespoons sugar
Combine all ingredients and pat firmly into a 9½-inch fluted metal tart pan with removable sides (or use pie pan). Bake at 400 degrees 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool before filling.
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
½ cup fresh whipped cream
1 3¾-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
Combine all ingredients and beat until thick and smooth. Pour into pecan tart shell and chill.
Prepare thin crescents or slices of fresh fruit in season and arrange in circle with seedless green grapes and blueberries over chilled, filled tart shell. Use cantaloupe, peach, banana, strawberries, etc.
Summer Fresh Fruit Tart
1 15-ounce package Pillsbury All Ready Pie Crusts
1 teaspoon flour
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cups butter, softened
¼ to ½ teaspoon almond extract
Fresh fruit (grapes, nectarines, peaches, kiwi fruit, starfruit, pears, raspberries and strawberries)
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare pie crust according to package directions for unfilled 1-crust pie using 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom or 9 inch pie pan. (Refrigerate remaining crust for later use.) Place prepared crust in pan; press in bottom and up sides of pan. Trim edges if necessary. Bake at 450 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool.
In small bowl, cream powdered sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed 4 minutes after each addition. Blend in almond extract. Pour into crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Before serving, arrange desired fresh fruit on top of filling. Brush fruit with melted apple jelly, if desired.
Yield: Serves 10 to 12.
European-Style Fresh Fruit Tart
¾ cup butter, room temperature (1½ sticks)
1½ cups flour
3 tablespoon powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
Juicy berries, peaches, kiwi, beans, etc.
1½ to 2 cups apple juice
2 tablespoon cornstarch
For crust: Mix together butter, flour and sugar. Pat evenly into 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool.
For cream filling: Mix cream cheese, eggs and sugar and pour over cooled crust and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool.
Fruit: Arrange sliced fruits decoratively over cheese filling. Combine fruits for dazzling color. i.e. strawberries and kiwi, peaches and raspberries, pineapple rings with mandarins in hole, etc.
A Little Taste of Heaven Fresh Fruit Tart
2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup. whipping cream, chilled
Assorted Fresh Fruit (some suggestions):
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix Bisquick baking mix with sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Mix in egg until soft dough forms. Pat dough into 12-by-10-inch rectangle on greased and floured cookie sheet. Pinch edges to form ½-inch" rim. Bake until edges just begin to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool crust on a wire rack for 2 minutes. Remove crust with spatula onto wire rack. Cool completely.
Prepare fruit: rinse, slice, halve as needed. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in small bowl on low speed until smooth. Beat in cream on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Spread over crust to within ¼ inch of rim. Arrange fruit on top. Be creative. Children may enjoy helping, too. Brush with jelly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Cut into portions.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10.