January 02, 2006

Fruit Tarts

All of tomorrows desserts
Fruit Tarts, Clafouti, Dobos Tort (back to front)

I almost alway serve fruit tarts at these parties. They are easy to make, look great, and I'm partial to this sort of dessert myself after a heavy meal.

I tried out a new method of blind baking the crusts, which is to let the dough hang over the edges, bake without any extra pie weights, cool, and then trim the top with a knife. It works well, provided the dough isn't too soft, the tart pans not too high at the rim, and that you leave plenty of dough hanging over the edges. The cooked scraps also make a nice snack.

This was sort of a silly experiment to do on the day of the party, because had the crusts come out badly I would have needed to run up another batch of dough. But the dessert work was done early in the day, and crusts are pretty much second nature at this point.

Filling tarts
Derrick and meriko filling tarts

While pastry cream is common as a filling for fruit tarts, I often find it to be too heavy. I cut it 50/50 with whipped cream to provide a lighter texture and less of a pasty mouth feel. Technically this is known as "diplomat cream". Before applying the cream, a thin layer of apricot glaze is put down to help seal the bottom. This keeps the pastry cream mixture from causing the crust to become mushy.

Posted by dowdy at January 2, 2006 10:08 AM