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Category: Desserts

Fresh seasonal fruit tarts

A glint of late afternoon light streaks the arm of a chamomile-colored couch. The harp plays a gentle tune. A three-tiered silver tray holds dainty sandwiches, tiny pastries. A soft laugh, the sound of a silver teaspoon on delicate porcelain, ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes | Makes 32 tarts
Note: Use mini muffin tins to form the tart shells.

Crust

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour

Step 1Cream the butter and sugar until fully combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Step 2Sift the flours together. Add the flours to the butter mixture and mix until the dough comes together in several large pieces. Form the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic. Let it rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Step 3Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to one-eighth-inch thick. Using a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut circles. Press the dough circles into mini muffin tins to form individual tart shells. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pastry cream

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons cake flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 egg yolks in a small bowl

Step 1Whisk the milk, flours and sugar together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat the mixture until it just comes to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon one-fourth of the mixture into the egg yolks to temper.

Step 2Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk until smooth. Cook on low heat for one minute more, stirring continuously. Do not boil. Spoon the pastry cream into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate until cool.

Filling and assembly

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 recipe pastry cream, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 pint strawberries
  • 1 (6-ounce) carton each raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
  • 4 kumquats
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/4 cup apricot or apple jelly
  • 1/2 cup water

Step 1To make the filling, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, almond flour and 2 tablespoons of the pastry cream until smooth. Add the egg and blend for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Stir in the flour to incorporate and mix until smooth.

Step 2Place a teaspoon of the filling inside each tart shell. Bake in a 350-degree oven until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

Step 3Cut the strawberries, kumquats and kiwi into small slivers and cut the raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in half.

Step 4To make a glaze, combine the jelly and water in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring to combine. Set aside.

Step 5Divide the remaining pastry cream among the tart shells. Arrange up to six tidbits of fruit on each. Gently brush each tart with the glaze. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Each tart:
136 calories; 3 grams protein; 18 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 6 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 51 mg. cholesterol; 11 mg. sodium.
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