Gastronomy’s Fruit Tart

(Yield: One 10-inch Tart or Four 4-inch Individual Tarts*)

Tart Dough Ingredients:

1/4 cup almond paste (look for it at Walmart, but it’s expensive–see recipe for it below*)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
pinch salt
3 egg yolks
1 ounce whipping cream
2 cups cake flour

Method:
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, blend all of the above ingredients until combined, but do not over-mix! Chill dough for 10 minutes.

Roll out dough on floured board to 1/4″ thickness and place in a 10″ fluted pie tin with a removable bottom. Bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees, remove from oven and store in a cool, dry place.

Mock Pastry Cream Filling Ingredients:
(1) 5.1 ounce box of vanilla Jell-O pudding (disregard package directions)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

Method:
Combine by hand all of the above ingredients until mixed. Chill for one half hour.

Remove tart shell from pie tin. Fill tart shell with pastry cream and level the amount. Arrange with your choice of fruit (strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, pears, apples, etc).

Apricot Glaze Ingredients:
1/4 cup apricot jelly
1/4 cup hot water

Method:
Combine apricot jelly and hot water to make a glaze. Using a pastry brush, apply the glaze over the finished fruit tart.

*Option for individual Fruit Tarts:
Form the crust to fit your small pie tins and follow above instructions.

*How to Make Almond Paste:

  • *1.5 cups whole blanched almonds
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • Yield: 1 lb (2.5 cups) almond paste

1. Place the whole blanched almonds and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar in a large food processor (at least 7 cups in volume) fitted with a steel blade. Process the nuts and sugar until the nuts are very finely ground, stopping periodically to scrape the sides of the processor bowl. The sugar will help prevent the nuts from turning into almond butter, but still be careful about overprocessing.

2. Once the almonds are very finely ground, add the rest of the powdered sugar and pulse until it is completely mixed into the ground almonds.

3. Stop the processor and add the egg white and the almond extract, if using. Turn the processor back on and process the almond paste until it comes together in a clump in the food processor.

4. If it seems very sticky, add a little more powdered sugar, a spoonful at a time, until it is smooth.

5. You can use the almond paste at once or wrap it to use at a later date. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then store it in a zip-top bag. Wrapped this way, the almond paste can be kept for up to 3 months in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. Make sure to bring the almond paste to room temperature before using it in recipes.

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