This is an instructable for how to make a delicious and beautiful fresh fruit tart. Last winter I fell in love with the fruit tarts from 'La Farine' in Berkeley, CA (http://www.lafarine.com/tarts)
My boyfriend and I decided that we wanted to try our hand at making one ourselves. We were really pleased with how it turned out and wanted to share it with others and demonstrate how easy it actually can be! and delicious too.
Step 1: Ingredients
Here's a list of the ingredients that you'll need:
For the fruit topping:
1 nectarine or 2 plums (I have made it with both)
For the pastry cream:
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
A pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
(we modeled our recipe after this one)
1 pie crust
We didn't have very much time to make this so we ended up purchasing a graham cracker crust, like one you would use for a cheesecake.
Step 2: Make the Pastry Cream
To make the pastry cream, combine egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Then, whisk in the cornstarch until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
On the stove, heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.
Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla.
Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve. You can use a spatula or a spoon to push the pastry cream through the mesh.
After you've finished, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream. This will help to prevent a skin from forming.
Refrigerate the pastry cream until it's cold and set. We didn't have much time so we took ours out after only about 2 hours, other recipes recommend at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
Step 3: Slice the Fruit
Slice the plum into thin slivers and cut up the strawberries into flat pieces.
You can arrange the plum slices in a ring to get an idea for how it'll look once it's assembled on the tart.
Step 4: Place Strawberries & Fill W/ Pastry Cream
Line the bottom of the crust with the sliced strawberries. Most people won't expect to find fruit at the bottom so it'll be a delicious surprise!
Then, evenly fill the crust with pastry cream. Smooth out the surface so that it's relatively flat.
Step 5: Arrange the Nectarine Slices
This is the most fun part! creating the fruit topping.
First, start by arranging the slivers of nectarine around the border of the tart. Leave a little space between each one. Try as best as you can to keep a circular hole in the center of the tart that isn't covered in nectarine. You can see that we didn't do the best job at this. No worries if it isn't looking quite right. Later on it'll be covered in strawberries and blueberries.
Step 6: Arrange the Strawberries & Blueberries
After you're happy with how the nectarines look, arrange the strawberries in a floral shape in the center of the tart.
(unfortunately I was so focused on this step that I forgot to take pictures!)
When arranging the strawberries, use the larger pieces for the outer ring and work your way inwards, placing one on top of another. Layer them in an alternating pattern.
Then, where there's just a little space in the center add the blueberries until there's a small pile of them.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Step back and admire your work! It's delicious too.