Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Feature: Fruit Tart

Has anyone ever gone to Wegman's and purchased that decadent looking fruit tart?  I mean seriously... the largest one is priced around $20, but after indulging myself to celebrate my brother's anniversary with his girlfriend this past week, I'd have to say... it is totally worth it.  I love these things!  They are light, refreshing, and have multiple flavors from all the fresh fruits that are placed on top of the tart.  Please evaluate it's beauty...

Fruit Tart - fresh fruit glazed with liquid sugar in a whipped cream-like filling and sweet pie crust
(Photo by author)

For me, this just emphasizes the taste of spring... yet to come!  To be honest, this isn't something I think I could pull off making.  So I went on an internet search to find the perfect recipe...

(Fruit Tart Images from Google Images)

This is one recipe that particularly looked yummy (unless you want to go buy Wegman's...).  This Mixed Fruit Tart was posted by the Food Network, but I've added it here for your convenience.

For the tart crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and slightly softened at room temperature
1 egg yolk

For the frangipane:
6 ounces almonds, toasted, and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 3/4 cup apricot preserves
Assorted fresh fruit, including strawberries, kiwi, mango, blackberries, fig, blueberries, and star fruit, sliced
2 tablespoons water


To make the crust, put the flour in a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix. Using your hands, make a well in the center. Place the butter pieces and egg yolk in the well. Using your fingers, work the butter and egg yolk together until well combined then work the butter-egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined. The dough will be crumbly, but when you squeeze a handful in your hand, it should hold together.

Sprinkle into a 10-inch pie or tart pan. Press the dough firmly and evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Make ropes of the dough and press them onto the walls, making sure not to let the crust thicken at the corners. It should make a clean right angle where the sides meet the bottom. Chill the crust at least 30 minutes or, covered, up to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. To make the frangipane filling, in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the almonds and sugar just until sandy. Do not over-process, or the mixture will become pasty. Add the butter and process just until blended. Add the eggs and process until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla and flour, and process until smooth (you have just made a frangipane). Spoon the frangipane into the unbaked tart shell. Bake until the frangipane is golden brown and puffy and the crust is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes.

Let cool. Spread 3/4 cup apricot preserves or a little leftover custard on the surface of the baked tart to act as a bed for the fruit. Slice fruit and arrange it decoratively. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup apricot preserves with water until boiling and smooth. Brush the fruit with the apricot preserves to protect the fruit from drying out and make it glisten.

Wine Pairings...
I can't think of anything that goes better with fruit tarts other than ice wine.  Remember my explanation on ice wine production?  Here are a couple of suggestions that you might enjoy...

My personal preference would be Mazza Vineyard's Vidal Ice Wine.  This wine is luscious with apricot and honey flavors that will match the above recipe perfectly.  Not only is this wine exceptionally tasty, but it's an award winner and it's a Pennsylvania wine! (~$43)
Mazza Vineyard's Vidal Blanc Ice Wine
(Photo from Google Images)

Another award winning Vidal Blanc Ice Wine is produced by Seven Mountains Wine Cellars in Pennsylvania.  Again, this wine has bright acidity with honeyed apricot flavors that is very enticing.  (~$43)

Last, but not least is Eskimo Kisses, an ice wine produced by Presque Isle Wine Cellars in Pennsylvania.  Another award Vidal Blanc Ice Wine winner emphasizing apple, honey, floral, and apricot flavors, this wine would be perfect with the fruit tart. 
Presque Isle Eskimo Kisses
(Photo by author)

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