Introduction: Fresh Fruit Tart With Almond Graham Crust

With summer coming to an end, now is a call for a last celebration of this seasons fruits. This is a recipe for a fruit tart consisting of a crisp almond graham crust and a decadent vanilla pastry cream. Top it will fresh fruit and you have a colorful, delicious dessert!

The basic steps are:

1. Make crust dough and chill

2. Make pastry cream

3. Roll dough and bake crust

4. Assemble tart

Recipe adapted with changes from Brown Eyed Baker.

Step 1: Make Crust Dough and Chill

For the crust, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups all
    purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 sticks (16 tbspn) cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp salt

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, almond extract and heavy cream. Set aside. In a food processor, add the flour, powdered sugar and salt. Pulse to combine. Scatter the butter over the top of the flour mixture and pulse about 15 to 20 times, or until the mixture resembles a course meal. With the food processor running, add the egg mixture and continue to process until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press together. Wrap up and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. The dough can be made up to a day in advance.

Step 2: Make Pastry Cream

For the pastry cream, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

While the half and half warms, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy. Next, whisk in the cornstarch until the mixture is pale yellow and thick.

Once the half-and-half reaches a simmer, gradually pour it into the egg mixture while whisking to temper the eggs. Return the combined mixture to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold and set, approximately 3 hours. The pastry cream can be made a day in advance.

Step 3: Roll Dough and Bake Crust

Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until workable). Unwrap and place between 2 lightly floured large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll out until about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick and transfer to a 9- to 9½-inch tart pan. Ease the dough into the pan corners and press against the sides. If some sections of the edge are too thin, reinforce with the excess dough. To remove the excess dough, run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough all over with a fork and set pan on a large plate in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the tart crust from the freezer and cover the edges with aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil; Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Set the baking sheet with the tart shell on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Step 4: Assemble Tart

To assemble the tart, you will need:

  • Tart crust
  • Pastry cream
  • Your favorite fresh fruit and berries, such as strawberries, kiwis, blueberries, raspberries, and mandarin oranges.

Spread the cold pastry cream over the bottom of the tart shell with a spatula. Arrange fresh fruit slices in overlapping rings. To serve, remove the outer ring of the tart pan and place on a serving platter. Cut into 8 wedges, and enjoy!

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