Fruit Tarts with White Chocolate Cream

We grated some white chocolate over the pastry cream for extra richness and texture in this fruit tart.
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Fruit Tarts with White Chocolate Cream

This recipe makes individual tarts that you can serve plated alongside pureed and strained fruit. Your guests will be impressed that you made a tart that looks like a dessert they would find in a fancy restaurant, but only you will know that it didn’t take all day to prepare the dough in advance. You can make this in stages. Make the dough in advance and keep it in the freezer until you are ready to bake the shells. Once baked, the crusts can be frozen as well. Make sure to fill and garnish with fruit before serving.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 10 3-inch tartsServings

Ingredients

Pastry Dough Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, plus
  • Extra for greasing pans
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pastry Cream

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons flour, sifted after measuring
  • 4 ounces white chocolate

Garnish

  • 10-12 fresh strawberries

Preparation

1. To make the pastry dough crust: Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process for 10 seconds, or until the mixture resembles sand. Add the egg yolk, cold water, and vanilla and process until the dough just comes together into a ball. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover with the plastic and flatten. Chill at least 1 hour in the freezer. 

2. Grease ten 3-inch tart pans or rings with a little butter and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment. Remove the dough from the freezer or refrigerator and let sit at room temperature just until you can press it gently. 

3. Place a large piece of parchment on the counter and sprinkle with flour. Place the dough on top, sprinkle with some more flour, and cover with another piece of parchment. Roll on top of the parchment to roll out the dough until it is about 1/4-inch thick. You will want to peel back the parchment and sprinkle some more flour on the dough several times while you are rolling. 

4. Peel off the parchment. Use a cookie cutter or glass that is about an inch larger than the tart pans, and cut out ten circles. Reroll the dough if necessary. Lift the circle and place into the pans and then use the side of your finger to press the dough into the corners. Use a knife to trim any excess dough, or use the rolling pin to roll over the top of the tart pans to trim. Once again, make sure the dough is in the corners of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork all over. Freeze 10 minutes, or longer if necessary.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line each tart pan with a small piece of foil about an inch larger than the pan, and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 8 to 10 minutes, or just until the dough begins to brown in center. Let cool. This can be done up to four days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature or stored longer in the freezer.

6. To make the white chocolate pastry cream: In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk, scraped seeds and vanilla bean or vanilla extract, butter, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar to boil. Meanwhile, use a whisk to beat the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Add the flour and use a silicone spatula to gently mix into the eggs. Strain half the milk mixture into the egg bowl and whisk. Discard the vanilla bean pod. Strain the other half of the milk into the egg and mix well.

7. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook on low heat for 2 minutes, whisking often. The mixture should bubble occasionally. You will need a silicone spatula to mix the cream in the corners of the pot so it does not burn. Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Let sit 5 minutes and then cover with plastic and place in refrigerator until chilled, 4 hours or overnight. To use sooner, place the bowl of pastry cream over a larger bowl filled with ice and a little water (below the level of the bowl with the cream) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cream is chilled. Mix occasionally. This can be made 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge. 

8. When ready to use, break the white chocolate into pieces and melt over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between cycles, until melted. Whisk the melted chocolate into the pastry cream. Chill for another 15 minutes. 

9. To assemble, divide the pastry cream among the tart shells, about two heaping tablespoons each, but not above the rim of the crust. Slice strawberries or other fruit and place decoratively on top to cover the cream. 

As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Shavuot 2015) - Subscribe Now