Friday, May 18, 2012

Fat Bottom Friday... a fresh fruit tart

happy friday everyone... what a gorgeous day we are having here in Maine... just absolutely gorgeous weather... so, because its so beautiful out, and the hubby is off today, i'm going to make this post short and sweet... emphasis on the "sweet"...
one of the best things about this time of year is all of the amazingly fresh, sweet, crisp, and beautiful fruits and veggies that are starting to becoming available... from sweet tender corn, peppers and tomatoes, to plump and juicy blueberries and strawberries... and it's only the beginning... in a few weeks, i can't wait to see what my local farmers market has to offer :)

and with this warmer weather comes the desire for simpler, lighter and fresher desserts... you know, desserts pilled high with sweet billowy creams... mmm... the types that go perfectly with a cold, crisp glass of white wine... man, it's 9:15am and i'm so in the mood for dessert... so... here's a delicious treat... a fresh fruit tart... made a with flaky, buttery pie crust, topped with a simple sweet pudding cream, and bright and ripe strawberries, raspberries and blueberries...

buttery pie dough recipe:
makes enough dough for one double-, or two single-crust pies.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

1. fill a measuring cup with 1 cup of water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside
2. in a large/wide bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt
3. cube 2 sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) of very cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch pieces
4. sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with the pastry blender, try and work the butter through evenly, until the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas...
5. drizzle about 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water over the butter and flour mixture
6. using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together... you might need an additional 1/4 cup of cold water to bring it together, but add it a tablespoon as a time
7. once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get ready to get your hands dirty... bring all the clumps together into one mound, kneading them together
8.  divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a disk... let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour, but preferably longer, before rolling it out
9. now for baking the tart dough... preheat the oven to 400, and lightly prick the bottom of the tart dough with a fork... this will help stop the dough from puffing up while baking... place the tart pan on a large baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes... after the 5 minutes are up, lower the oven temp to 350, and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until you've reached the desired golden hue you'd like... *i actually under baked this tart... it was still delicious, but it wasn't as flaky... so, do yourself a favor, try and stick to the time :)

now... for the pudding cream.. i cheated... usually i take my time and make pastry cream... but i felt a little lazy, and i decided to break my rules of always making things from scratch... this cream is a simple, yummy substitute when you're in a pinch... here's what i do...

i take about a cup of heavy whipping cream, and sweeten it lightly with a little sugar, and i whip it until it has reached medium stiff peaks... i set that aside while i prepare the pudding... take 1 box of instant vanilla pudding, and mix that with another cup of heavy cream,you can just use a silicon spatula for this... now it will get thick really quick, but once it is evenly mixed, start to gently fold in the whipped cream... don't over do it, because the whipped cream adds a nice airy texture... once it is all folded in, place in the fridge for about 20 minutes...

now... get off the computer and go enjoy this beautiful day... have a wonderful weekend...

and remember... live life sweetly :)

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