I'm not normally one to be too into making desserts with fruit. I like chocolate, cream, cake and other desserts, but normally I don't like to "pollute" them with fruit! However, this dessert is the exception - not only does it look beautiful and impressive to your guests, it tastes fantastic with the perfect balance of flavours and the berries don't "pollute" the dessert at all. They complement the rest of the dessert so perfectly. It was the aha moment where I determined that fruit has its place in dessert and that dessert can be just as decadent and delicious as non-fruit desserts. I'm hooked on this one! You should give it a try too. Its a bit involved, but the sense of satisfaction you get from making all components from scratch and the oooo's and ahhhh's you'll get from your friends and family will be well worth the effort. :)
The beautiful thing about this dessert is that you can do so many variations to change it up - you could make a chocolate pastry cream and serve it with strawberries or cherries on top. Or you could do a tropical fruit tart with pineapple, papaya and toasted coconut... the options are endless!! What would be your go to flavour combination for this one?
Classic Fruit Flan
Minimally Adapted from Back to Baking by Anna Olson
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 oz white chocolate
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 cups assorted fresh, tender fruits - I used raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
- 1/4 cup apple jelly
- Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt until dough comes together. Shape dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Knead pastry dough on lightly floured surface to soften it a little bit. Dust the pastry with a little flour, and roll out just larger than your tart pan (make sure it has a removable bottom). Line pan with dough, trim edges. Chill pastry for 10 minutes in the freezer.
- Place the chilled tart pan on baking tray. Dock the bottom of the pastry shell with a fork, then bake in preheated oven for 16-20 minutes, until just the edges are golden brown and center of shell looks dry. Cool completely.
- Melt 3 oz white chocolate. Brush to coat bottom and sides of cooled tart shell. Chill the shell while preparing pastry cream.
- Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until just below a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and cornstarch. Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, then pour entire mixture back into the pot with the remaining milk. Whisk the custard constantly over medium heat until it thickens and just begins to bubble, about 3-4 minutes.
- Strain custard into a bowl, stir in vanilla and butter until melted, then cover bowl with plastic wrap so the plastic directly covers the surface of the custard. Cool custard to room temperature, then chil1 in the pan for at least 2 hours.
- Spoon the custard into the tart shell and spread it evenly. Top the custard with the fresh fruit, creaming an appealing design. Melt apple jelly in the microwave, then brush it over the fruit. Chill the tart in the pan until you are ready to serve. The tart can be stored in the fridge for up to one day.
So I told you it was a bit of work and I wasn't kidding, but its well worth the time and effort. Remember when selecing your fruits that some fruits turn brown (oxidize) upon contact with air. Those may not be best suited to this type of tart. Some examples of fruits that oxidize are - apples, bananas, peaches, and pears.
I hope you enjoy this one! Happy Baking my Friends!