The ultimate, classic, French Tart.... a delicious fruit tart consisting of crisp, buttery pastry, a Crème Anglaise filling and a top of fresh fruit, with a glossy glaze.... yum.. This is a showstopper of a tart, worthy of the Great British Bake-Off, where they are always banging on about "Crème Pat" - which is a slightly more heavily set custard - I prefer Crème Anglaise. I first learned to make this in France, while on holiday with my grandparents, in those days where local markets sold heaps of fragrant strawberries and supermarkets were a voyage of discovery for those without modern phrase books!
The beauty of this pudding is that you can make the pastry base some time in advance, and then add the cold crème Anglaise and fruit later. Top tip - keep a small piece of the raw pastry. If, when it cooks, the tart develops a crack or a hole, just plug the hole with some of the raw pastry while the tart is still hot from the oven. The residual heat will cook the pastry, and the hole will disappear.
|Tarte Aux Fruits|
Tarte aux Fruits
Pâte Sucrée (French Flan Pastry)
6oz/150g plain flour
1 pinch of salt
3oz/75g caster sugar
3oz/75g butter, cut into small pieces
3 egg yolks
¼ tsp vanilla essence
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and mix it gently (pulses work best) until it is in crumbs. Take it out, use your hands to make the ball of pastry and let it rest for an hour. This is so that the pastry isn't over-worked and tough.
It needs to rest for an hour in the fridge (wrapped in plastic) before using, and again for another 20 minutes after being rolled out.
Line an 8” loose bottom flan tin with th pastry. Prick the base of the tart with a fork so that air bubbles do not get trapped underneath and spoil the shape. Bake blind before use (10-15 minutes in the oven on 180 deg C with foil/parchment and baking beans/old rice and lentils to keep the base flat. Remove the parchment and do another 5 minutes afterwards so that the pastry is pale golden and not damp - nobody likes soggy pastry!).
1 egg yolk
½ oz/13g caster sugar
¼ pint/5fl oz double cream
1 tsp cornflour
2 drops vanilla
Mix the yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla, using a small whisk. In a milk pan (preferably non-stick), warm the cream to blood heat. Pour this mixture onto the yolk mix, whisking gently until it is all incorporated. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and heat it. Stir the custard lovingly until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Allow to cool.
Fruit and Glaze:
1lb/450g large strawberries/perfect raspberries
1 small jar redcurrant jelly or sieved strawberry/raspberry jam
1 tsp arrowroot or cornflour (arrowroot is best)
To assemble the tarte:
Pour the thick crème into the tart base. Arrange the fruit. Melt the jelly in a pan, add the arrowroot (slaked (mixed) with a little water in an eggcup). Bring the jelly up to nearly boiling, stirring with a whisk so that you kill off the lumps. Sometimes the cornflour/arrowroot is cloudy at first, and will then clear. Strain through a mini sieve and pour over the fruit, covering as much as you can without drowning it. Chill until set.
If you decide to make the tart with apricots or nectarines, it is best to poach the fruit and skin it first. I would also recommend you used an apricot glaze (which you can buy in a supermarket) as the colour is nicer with the fruit.