Oh Ina Garten, how I love thee. Everything you touch turns to gold.
Seriously, I have never, ever had a problem with a Barefoot Contessa recipe. Be it appetizer, entree or dessert; everything turns out perfectly. I will admit to being a little more trusting of chefs and cookbook authors who aren’t stick thin. It is a bias I have. I am sorry if that makes me a bad person. I quote a friend’s husband, “she suffers for her art”. That may be true, but I am thankful for it because her recipes are ALWAYS – I repeat ALWAYS – dead on.
One of my favorite desserts I’ve ever made is her Fresh Fruit Tart out of the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I used to be in the “dessert can only consist of chocolate” until I had this tart. I am fully converted to the idea that fruit can be in integral part of my dessert.
Really, I have nothing to say. This recipe is foolproof IMO. The pastry cream comes together easily, the tart shell too. It is rather sweet, so I don’t ever use the glaze over the berries. Alright – to be honest, I usually don’t have any jam on hand for that part and that’s the REAL reason I don’t do the glaze. But really, I don’t think it needs it. Besides – isn’t it really just to make the berries look better anyway?
Here you go – my favorite fruit tart:
Fresh Fruit Tart
Fits a 10 inch tart pan (whatever, I have a 9 inch. Hence why my tart is a little thick looking in the photog).
Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. flour, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar until just combined.
- Add vanilla
- Turn mixer onto low speed and add sifted flour and salt to the butter mixture. Mix until dough starts to come together.
- Dump onto floured surface and shape into a flat disk.
- Press dough into tart pan, making sure the edges are flat.
- Chill until firm. Butter one side of a square of parchment paper that will fit into tart shell and place it, buttered side down, on the chilled pastry. Fill with rice, beans or pie weights.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights, prick tart all over with tines of a fork. Bake for 20-25 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool at room temperature.
Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
make 2 1/2 cups (enough for 2 10 inch tarts)
6 extra large egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
2 T. unsalted butter
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. heavy cream
1 t. Cognac or Brandy
- In bowl of electric mixture using paddle attachment on medium high speed, beat egg yolks and sugar until mixture is pale yellow and falls back into the bowl in a ribbon (about 3 minutes).
- On low speed, beat in cornstarch
- Bring milk to a boil in a large saucepan and , with the mixer on low, slowly pour it into the egg mixture. Then pour mixture back into the saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until mixture is thick, bringing mixture slowly to a boil.
- Once mixture is to a boil, cook for 2-3 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat and mix in butter, vanilla, cream and Cognac.
- Strain into storage container. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream and refrigerate until cold.
- Fill tart shell with pastry cream.
- Add seasonal fruit.
- Optional (this is the part I NEVER do): Brush with glaze. (Melted Apricot or Currant Jelly thinned out with hot tap water) to make it look shiny and purty.
Ms. Pantry Raid