A Light and Fruity Dessert For Christmas – Simple Fruit Tart (水果挞)

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UPDATED POST ON 27-11-2014

Have prepare some simple fruit tarts for kids. In view that Christmas seasons is near, I thought it might be a good idea to transform it into a simple Christmas hats to “entertain” the kids. Scroll down for the updated posts.

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INTRODUCTION

When I was assembling this fruit tart, I almost gave up. I have never like to do cake or pastry decorations. My hand will shiver when I am decorating cakes or pastry that need full attentions and creativities. It is a piece of hard work and if I am not careful enough, the whole cake may have to be thrown away. That is stressful and pressurized. At the end, I asked my wife to lay the fruits and we worked out this rather ugly and un-neat fruit tart.

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Fruit tart generally comprises three layers:

1) Layer 1 – pastry to hold the tart. This can be baked or non baked. Baked pastry are generally short crust pastry whereas non baked pastry are pastry that are used for chilled cheesecakes done by pressing biscuits crumbles. You can refer Chilled Ferrero Rocher Oreo Ice Cream Cheesecake for the making of pastry base for chilled cheesecakes.

2) Layer 2 – The fillings can be cream cheese fillings or whipped cream, custard or the more jargon term: Crème Pâtissière or pastry cream.

3) Layer 3 – Fresh fruits of any sort but preferably those will not easily get oxidized or turning brownish black like apples. Though not advisable, but it can still be used with properly jam glaze to prevent the fruits from oxidation.

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Making and assembly a fruit tart is definitely not difficult. Once you have a reliable short crust recipe, you can use it for most tarts, pies, quiche and etc. I only have one short crust recipe and I have used it for my Japanese curry pies, coconut tarts and apple pie. It never fail me. It can be prepared in a rather fast manner if you are able to handle soft cookie liked dough; otherwise, just chill in a fridge before proceeding for moulding.  For this recipe, I used my one and only short crust recipe  that I used for any tarts, tartlets, quiche or pies. As for the fillings, since I have one package of custard flour sitting in my kitchen self, I have used this ready made custard flour instead of start preparing it from raw eggs.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepare an 8” fruit tart

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Short Crust Pastry

  • 35 grams egg yolks (lightly beaten)
  • 150 grams plain flour (sifted)
  • 30 grams of icing sugar (sifted)
  • 75 grams of chilled butter cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

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Custard fillings

  • 2 tablespoons of ready made custard powder
  • 2 tablespoons of castor sugar 
  • 600 ml of fresh milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Custard fillings (Recipe 2) – From fresh egg yolk

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of fresh milk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Others (not in picture)

  • Adequate mixed fruits of your choice. In this illustration, I have used cherries, grapes, kiwi fruits, strawberries and mango.
  • Some apricot jam (for glazing and optional)
  • One 8” tart tin

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

Preparing the short crust pastry

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

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  • In a big mixing bowl, put butter cubes and sifted plain flour together. Use the finger tips to rub the butter cubes and flours together until it become crumby. Add in sifted icing sugars and continue to rub until well mix. Add in eggs and vanilla essence, mix slowly until it become a dough. Put it in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes. Note that if you are able to handle soft dough, you can by pass this step. In fact I have bypassed the step due to time constraints.

  • Have a clinging wrap on the table, take the dough from the fridge and place on top of it. Put another clinging wrap on top of the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a flat sheet with about 0.5 cm thickness. Transfer the dough to the pie tin and use you hand to press the dough against the sides and make it as even as possible. Use a fork to make some holes in the dough (optional).  Please refer here if you want more detail pictorial illustrations.

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  • Baked in the preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry shrinks from the sides of the pastry tin. If you want, you can egg wash your crust (1 egg yolk with 3 tablespoons of water, stir until well mix) to ensure that the crust will not be soggy when the fruit juices sip into the crust. However, in my humble opinion, there is no such a need if the custard is not overly wet and tarts are best eaten fresh.

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Preparing the fillings

This is purely for references on how I cook my custards.  PLEASE COOK YOUR CUSTARDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR CUSTARD POWDER PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS. Every brand may be different so it is best that you follow the detail instructions.

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  • In a pot, put 2 tablespoons of custard powder and 2 tablespoons of castor sugar, add 600 ml of fresh milk and vanilla essence. Stir until well mixed. Heat the custard mixture under low heat and stir using a wooden spatula or a balloon whisk until it boils. Stir constantly until the boiling custard solution starts to slightly solidify and become custard. Set aside and let it cool. Keep a close eye in this process and the final few minutes can be rather fast. If it is too sticky, add some more fresh milk. Avoid using capsule based pan because it will continue to heat your custard even after you off the heat.

  • If you are not using custard powder but prepare from fresh egg yolks as in recipe 2. Put all the ingredients (egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar and vanilla essence) in a pot. Stir until well mix. Heat it over stove using low heat until it starts to thicken.

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Assembly the tart

The illustration below is for reference only. It is full of flexibility and you can use your creativities to design your own tarts. Google “fruit tarts” will give you many ideas of how a fruit tart look like. I am not good at food decoration and I am just sharing here the method of preparing the fruit tart. Bear with me the ugly fruit tart that I have prepared.

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  • Before assembly, ensure that crust and the custard are completely cool. Spoon the custard into pie crust and level it. Add in your preferred fruits in your desired patterns. When designing pattern, one thing that you should consider is whether it is easier to cut into slices. You would not want to have an extremely beautiful pattern and eventually it is difficult to slice for serving.

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  • If you prefer, you can glaze the fruits. Glazing basically have two reasons. To protect the fruit from drying out and to let it had a shining adorable look. I did not do this as I think it is not necessary at all for home consumption. To glaze, heat up 1 tablespoon of apricot jam with 1 tablespoon of water. Stir until well mix and brush on top of the fruits (not pastry crust).

  • Best served  immediately after it is prepared as a dessert.

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For Christmas Hat Decoration

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  • Beat one cup of fresh whipping cream with 2 tablespoon of icing sugar until firm peak. Set aside for later use.

  • Pump the the cool custard on top the tart shell. Pump the whipped cream on top of custard. Place a strawberry on top of the whipped cream. Pump a little dot of cream on top of the strawberry.  Best served when it is cold.

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CONCLUSION

Fruit tarts are not difficult to prepare. The taste of the entire tart will depend very much on the type of fruits that you selected, the pie crust pastry and the custard. The family were pleased with the tart especially the short crust pastry which is buttery aromatic and crispy. it is definitely a presentable dessert during your Christmas Feast. Why not make this for your Christmas dinner.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheer and have a nice day.

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I am submitting this to the Baby Sumo’s Christmas Recipes Collection 2013 event which is hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 26 November 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  


 

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10 thoughts on “A Light and Fruity Dessert For Christmas – Simple Fruit Tart (水果挞)

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