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Fruit Tart with Cardamom Cream

I’m loving Spring. Everywhere I go, every tree, color, the smell of fresh fruit. Everything is so inspiring to me. I guess my eyes are so tired of seeing “gray” all Winter long that when I start to see all the trees blossom, is like everything starts again.  

This is also the season when I start to prepare for Summer and by prepare I mean plant my tomatoes and herbs. This year we are planting a pear tree and grapes, lets see how that goes. 

And to continue with my Spring celebration, I made a fruit tart. How can I describe it? Well, how about a flaky crust, a delicious layer of cardamom pastry cream and fresh fruits? It really is Spring in a bite. I don’t usually brush my fruit tarts with simple syrup or apricot jam like you may have seen in other recipes. I like to avoid that extra sugar but I must mention that such procedure can help the fruit preserve better. However, in our case, that tart was gone in a matter of minutes. 

For the tart pastry:
1 3/4 cups flour
6 oz unsalted butter,
well chilled and diced
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt
Cold water
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Sift the flour, sugar and salt. Place the mixture into a food processor and pulse a few times, just to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of water and pulse until the dough comes together. If the dough is not coming together, add 1 or 2 teaspoons more of water. Bring the dough together with your hands forming a disk and Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to line a 14″x5″ tart pan or a 9″ round tart pan , about 1/8″ thick. Place the pastry back into the refrigerator for another 20 minutes. Line the pastry shell with a with crumpled parchment paper and fill it with tart weights or you can use dried beans too. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly brown. Set aside to cool.
For the pastry cream:
3 Egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup cornstarch
1 tsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
Whisk together the egg yolks and half of the sugar until the mixture is pale yellow. Sift in the cornstarch and flour. Mix well. Place the milk in a saucepan, add the remaining sugar, cardamom, vanilla and bring it just to a boil. Temper hot mixture over the eggs/sugar whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into a saucepan and bring it to a boil stirring constantly. Don’t worry if you start to see lumps, it will smooth out as you stir. Boil for about one or two minutes, mixture should be thick. Stir in the butter. Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap placed directly over the top to prevent the formation of the skin. set aside to cool then refrigerate until cold.
To Assemble:
Arrange sliced fresh fruit on top (I used strawberries, blueberries and kiwi). Feel free to use whatever fruit you have on hand. Sprinkle fresh mint on top and serve.
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