Fruit Tart + Cream Puffs
This weekend, I went on a crème pâtissière binge to redeem myself for making a horribly stiff pastry cream for a Frasier cake recently. First, I made a fruit tart using BBC's recipe for the sweet crust and Chef John's recipe for the crème pâtissière. Then, I made cream puffs using Martha Stewart's recipe and my recollections of The Great British Baking Show for the technique. The crème pâtissière was the common denominator - you can use it to fill the tart and the cream puffs.
With my elastic pants stretched a little tighter than they were this morning, I'm slouched on the couch writing this post and feeling pleased with the end-result, but dissatisfied with my decision to eat not one but two servings of each. (I won't reveal what I consider one serving to evade judgment.)
The recipes I linked above are perfect without any adaptations. In case you're wondering why I don't often post full recipes, it is because I usually find fantastic recipes on other sites that don't need tinkering. I don't believe in "adapting" recipes just so I can post it on my blog.
That being said, the one thing I should add here is how to bake the tart crust. For some reason, the BBC recipe stopped short of explaining how to bake it.
For a 6-inch tart pan, blind-bake the tart crust at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. If you're using a larger tart pan, increase the cook time using your intuition (or using Google search). Be sure to prick the crust with a fork prior to baking, and use parchment paper and pie weights/dried beans to weigh down the crust so it doesn't rise in the oven. After 20 minutes, remove the parchment paper and pie weights, and bake for another 1-3 minutes. Keep your eye on the tart crust during this time - it can go from perfect to burnt in 30 seconds.
After the crème pâtissière and tart crust have cooled, spread the crème on top of the tart crust and top with your choice of berries or sliced fruit. To create a shiny glaze for the fruit, mix a spoonful of apricot jam with a sprinkle of water and brush the glaze on the fruit with a pastry brush.
To summarize, here is the order of events:
- Make crème pâtissière (Chef John's recipe). Let it cool in the fridge.
- Make tart dough. Freeze the dough for 15 minutes so it's easier to work with.
- Bake tart crust (BBC's recipe). Let it cool at room temperature and then remove the tart from the pan.
- Spread cooled crème pâtissière in the tart crust. Top with fruit and then glaze the fruit.
If you haven't burned down the kitchen yet, continue on to cream puffs:
- Make cream puffs (Martha Stewart's recipe).
- Pipe remaining crème pâtissière into the cooled cream puffs.
- Eat most of them right away, since they are best when they're fresh.