Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fruit Tart

This is my second culinary foray using my tart pan (see the first here).    Now that spring is finally on here (for the most part, we still get snow every two weeks or so), fruit desserts are on the brain.    The colors alone make you think of a picnic in the park.  
Growing up, the local HyVee sold fruit pizza, and it was definitely a favorite.    This is the fancy, pretty version of fruit pizza.    It was really easy to make and looks really impressive.   In fact, you can buy a fruit tart at Whole Foods.    For $25.    Don't be tart-timidated.   You can do this!
What You Need
You need a tart pan.   If you don't have one, and you don't think that you'll be tarting it up on a regular basis you could probably modify this with a pie pan or even a small round pizza pan.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened and sliced
1 (8oz) package of cream cheese (I used low fat), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Your choice of fruits that can be sliced or layered.  I opted for strawberries, kiwi, mandarin oranges and blackberries.    Blueberries and raspberries (if they were in season and weren't so expensive right now) would also be awesome.
I found this tart recipe on the Food Network.    It also includes a glaze.  The glaze is good, but probably not necessary, especially if you are going to eat the tart right away.   Which you will.   It does add a pretty shine to the tart. 
6 oz frozen limeade concentrate, thawed (use the rest to make margaritas)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
What You Do
Preheat the oven to 350.
In your food processor combine the crust ingredients.   Process until the mixture forms a ball.  It will happen pretty quick.    Press the dough into the tart pan including up the sides (that's what makes it so pretty when you get ready to serve).    Bake for 10-12 minutes.   Set aside to cool.
To make the filling, put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat until smooth.   Then smooth it onto the cooled crust, going almost all the way to the edge. 
The fun and colorful part:  decorate the top of your tart with the fruit of your choice.   Start at the outside and work your way in with rings of different fruit.   If you're using strawberries and kiwi, slice them into even sized pieces.    If you're using mandarin oranges, drain the juice first.   Blueberries, blackberries or raspberries are easy.
If you decide you want to do the glaze, combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium until it's clear and thick, just a few minutes.   Let it cool and then use a pastry brush to smooth it over your masterpiece.   You won't use it all.   You might want to make a second tart, since the first one won't last longer than one meal.    Then nothing will go to waste.   You do what you've got to do.   
Put your tart in the fridge until about 20 minutes before serving.    Most tart pans have a removable bottom so you really can (gently) pop the tart right out.    Use a big chefs knife to cut the tart into the right amount of slices.   Like two.   One for you and one for your friend/spouse/family member. 

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