Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fruit and Custard Tart

There's been a time or two in the history of my blog that I've lamented my lack of tart pan ownership.  I shall lament no more.  Thanks to my local Goodwill, I own not one, but two!  And I was able to create such yumminess as this.

 I found the recipe at a site called Organic Tuscany Cookbook, where they also refer to it as crostata di frutta.  I think if you say it that way before you eat it, half of the fat and calories are removed. 

I actually had a lot of fun working the dough...

 mount "egg"-suvius
....in fact I think the dough enjoyed it too.

Had a little difficulty getting the darned thing on my plate.  No difficulty at all getting it into my face. 


Recipe time:

For the rich shortcrust
500g (1 lb) plain (all-purpose) flour
300g (10 oz) butter
200g (7 oz) sugar
4 egg yolks
Zest of 1 untreated lemon
For the custard
125 g (4 oz) sugar
500 ml (1 pint) milk
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons flour
1 fresh vanilla pod (I just used a bit of vanilla extract)
250 ml (1/2 pint) whipping cream
Fruit to cover (that will not go black) e.g. strawberries, kiwi, figs, raspberries etc.

For the rich shortcrust
Line an ovenproof tart dish with baking paper.
On a wooden work surface, mix together the flour, sugar and butter, cut into little pieces. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar, until it is completely worked in. Work lightly so that the butter does not melt.
Make a mound out of this mixture and make a well in the center. Add the eggs yolks and lemon zest (careful not to grate the bitter pith in too!)
Work the ingredients together, first with a fork, then with your hands, until you have a smooth, soft pastry dough.
Wrap the pastry dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes (ideally 2 hours, especially in warm weather).

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.
When the pastry has rested in the refrigerator, roll out to the size of the tart dish, cover with more baking paper and weigh down with dry beans, rice, or another, smaller, baking dish. This will prevent the pastry rising. You should try and achieve a 1 cm (half-inch) thickness. If you have pastry left over, use to make delicious cookies!
Bake at 160°C/320°F for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is golden. u Remove the beans etc and baking paper and allow to cool.

For the custard
Split open the vanilla pod and place in a saucepan with the milk. Bring to the boil gently.
In a large bowl, vigorously beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the result is light in colour and frothy.
Add the flour and beat well.
Add the milk gradually, (remove the vanilla pod, scraping the seeds back into the milk) beating constantly with a whisk.
Slowly reheat, stirring constantly only in one direction until quite thick. The custard will thicken even more once it cools. Allow to cool, covering with clingfilm/saran wrap to avoid a skin forming.

To assemble
Fold whipped cream into the cooled custard. Fill the base with this and decorate with fruit.
This pie is best enjoyed at room temperature soon after it has been made, i.e. not refrigerated.

Just for kicks and giggles, here's a picture of a really odd dish I made yesterday.

I won't blather on about my excess of butternut squash (but there's a lot of them).  In my search for something different to do with them, I ran across Giada's recipe for Butternut Squash Lasagna
Shoulda known right then to stop before I started.
In all fairness, it wasn't bad.  It was just...strange. 
Think sweet potato pie meets cheesy noodles. My daughter kept saying "it tastes like pie!"  And coming out of the oven it smelled quite heavenly.  Just not something I think we want to eat for dinner again.   


grace said...

atta girl--i like to see grown women playing with their food. :) the tart is perfect. the casserole is...interesting. :)

♥peachkins♥ said...

I love fresh fruit tarts!

The Peach Kitchen
peach and things
blowing peachkisses

Julie M. said...

Yea, I wouldn't be too sure about that lasagna either. Some things are just best left unfooled around with.

I love that your dough smiled back at you! I think I need to pay more attention to mine in the future. After all, a happy dough is a tasty dough!

My Little Space said...

Julie, I can feel that you're having so much fun here! haha... Your pie looks lucious. Love the fresh fruits in it. Btw, I have a little something for you. Please feel free to stop by and collect it. Thanks & enjoy your day.
Cheers, kristy

Brenda said...

Your tart looks scrumptious Julie. Gorgeous! I wish my pie dough smiled at me! :o)

The Japanese Redneck said...

Glad you were able to get tart pans!

Looks good.

The Blonde Duck said...

I love the happy dough.

Monet said...

This looks lovely! I'm lamenting though because in my move, I lost the bottom of my removable tart pan! I'm even more disappointed after seeing this lovely custard tart. I want to make it so badly I may just have to go and track down another.

teresa said...

i have a tart pan, but it doesn't have a removable bottom, which makes it a bit harder to use. this is so lovely, and i really like that lasagna too!

Keeley said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I really need a tart pan for so many reasons. I've never even realized that I may be able to find one at Goodwill. I'll have to stop in there soon. I purchased a nice set of Pottery Barn dishes at our local Goodwill this summer.

Krista said...

I'm in the market for tart pans too. I'm supposed to be teaching a whole class on tarts and tartlets in 20 days and I don't even own a proper pan! I never even thought to look at the Goodwill! Your tart looks spectacular...love that you were playing with your food. : )

That casserole does sound...well...weird. Oh well. At least you gave it a try.

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Haha, your dough made me smile! :) Sometimes I have that difficulty with plating too. So I eat it, and get another serving for a better picture. And then I eat that one too.

I have a hard time figuring out what to do with butternut squash too. I only seem to like it sweet - like sweet potato casserole or something - but not in a soup or anything savory.

Mimi said...

I'm always happy when I have a little dough. I probably smile just like that.
The tart looks delicious.

newlywed said...

I was just at Goodwill...never would have though just to find a tart pan there! It's been on my wishlist for months. Love the idea that if you call this a crostata, it is healthier. I agree.

Kim said...

Your sense of humor is infectious! I love the mount egg Vesuvius and the smiley face on the dough! So cool that you found a tart pan at Goodwill. The tart looks gorgeous and believe me when I say I'd love to dip my spoon in that creamy filling. (It's been way too long since I've had a sweet treat).

I've seen a lot of recipes for butternut squash to be paired with pasta and cheese. It seems to work for some people and then others not so much. I think it looks gorgeous and I'd like to try it to find out for myself.

Ingrid said...

SCORE!! Especially on the crostata! :)

Pie lasagna? Interesting! lol

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Yeah to the Goodwill for the tin, that rocks! This looks fab, I'm just so in love with it!!!

Oh man I was so excited when I saw you did a butternut squash dish, sad :( it wasn't a good one.

Ironjack said...

great looking tart!

You know that butternut squash dish doesn't look half bad. What if you added more savory elements to it to make the sweetness act as an accent rather than a major component?

Reeni said...

What a scrumptious fruit tart! I made butternut lasagna before and loved it...although it was a little on the sweet side.

Kristen said...

that looks so yummy! and fun too!


Julie, thanks for stopping by my blog, Gg - Notes on the Journey and leaving a comment on my movie review. Welcome.

Your site looks delicious and fun. A good recipe and a lump of dough smiling ~ what else could a person ask for.


Mindy said...

The tart looks heavenly! I think that is one of my favorite desserts... really and truly. And what an interesting lasagna recipe. You never know though... sometimes those funny combinations turn out fabulous. Worth trying every once in awhile at least, right?