Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Tart

 Summer has once again blessed us with her bounty.  The backyard has yielded an abundance of raspberries, and strawberry picking is winding down after a great season.  Vegan Son #1 and I collaborated on this dessert.  He helped make the pastry cream and designed the layout of the fruit for the top of the tart.  I made the dough.  The trick with the pastry dough is to be patient and gentle when bringing it together.  Only use as much water as is necessary--too much will make for a harder final product. 

Tart Dough
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine (1 baking stick)
- 200g (1.25 cups) cake and pastry flour (or all purpose)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp vegan cream cheese
- 3 tbsp ice cold water (more if needed)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Place margarine in the freezer for 30 mins.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together flour and sugar in a medium bowl.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together cream cheese, water, and vanilla until smooth.  Place in fridge until needed.
3. Grate cold margarine into the flour and gently work with your fingers until it resembles coarse bread crumbs (it should not take too long).  Add cream cheese mixture and use a fork to bring together into a dough.  Add a few drops of water if needed.
4. Immediately roll out into a 12 inch circle on a floured surface and transfer to a 9.5 inch tart pan.  Gently press dough into the bottom of the pan and trim to allow 1/2 inch overhang.  Fold overhang back into the pan and press into the sides.  Refrigerate until firm (30 mins).
5. While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in the bottom third of the oven.  Cover dough with foil and half fill with dried beans.
6. Bake for 20 mins, then lift up foil to see if crust is light golden and no longer wet.  Return to oven for a few mins if it is not.  When crust if light golden and dry, remove foil and beans and bake for another 5-10 mins, or until golden.  Allow to fully cool on a wire rack.

Summer Tart
- 1 tart shell (above)
- 1 recipe pastry cream, cold
- summer fruit of your choice (halved strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries is what I used)
- 1/3 cup apricot jam

1. Remove tart shell from pan and place on a serving dish.  Fill with pasty cream and smooth.  Top with fruit.
2. Heat apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until runny.  Strain out chunks then brush fruit with the jam to glaze.  If jam gets too sticky, just return to heat until it is runny again.