This recipe should get your creative juices going. I, myself, am lacking in artistic talent (sorry, I can only manage to draw stick figures), but when confronted with a bowl full of fruit to decorate my tarts with, I’m in seventh heaven!
Fresh raspberries, strawberries, peaches and pears are all part of my ‘palette’ with which to decorate my tarts- the only thing I’m missing, perhaps, is Kiwi fruit. Unfortunately they are not in season here in Australia. Perhaps you can think of other fruits to use- persimmons maybe or melon?
These tarts are filled with a delicious almond cream made with almond meal. The pastry crust is not too difficult to make – you can use a food processor to ‘blitz together’ the dough and no blind baking is required. And the whole tart is finally brushed with a luscious apricot glaze- now my creative juices are really flowing!
Tip: to view photos on how to fit the dough into the tart pan and to trim it, please refer to my post Pear and Frangipane Tart with Apricot Glaze.
Pears and Raspberries
Almond Cream Filling
Now it’s up to you!
- 250 g plain flour
- Pinch salt
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 125 chilled butter cubes
- 1 egg
- Extra chilled water, as required
- 120 g softened butter
- 120 g sugar
- 1 egg
- 120 g almond meal
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- Any combination of your favorite fruits
- 3 - 4 tablespoons of apricot jam mixed with a splash of Cointreau or water
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C (350 F).
- Place the butter, salt, sugar and flour in a food processor bowl and pulse until the mixture becomes like coarse sand. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl; add the egg and stir with a large wooden spoon until the mixture becomes moist and ‘holds its shape’ when formed into a ball.
- If the mixture is too dry, add a little additional cold water.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead it 5 -6 times until the dough forms a ball. Divide the dough ball into four equal pieces. Roll out each piece on a floured surface, leaving a margin of about 2 cm larger than the diameter your mini-tart pan.
- Transfer the dough to the inside of your tart pan and press it against the sides. The sides of the dough should now hang about 2 cm over the edge of each tart pan. Trim the edges of the dough by passing a rolling pin over the top of each tart pan, pulling the excess dough away. Prick the dough on the bottom of each tart pan using the end of a fork.
- Cream together the softened butter and sugar using electric beaters. Add the egg, vanilla and almond meal and mix until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the inside of each tart, filling it almost to the top. Place the tarts on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until the almond cream mixture turns light brown.
- To make the glaze, place the apricot jam and Cointreau (or water) in a small saucepan; heat on stovetop until the mixture becomes like a thick syrup.
- Let the tarts cool to room temperature then brush the tops with the apricot glaze. Decorate the tops with fruit pieces then brush the tops of the fruit with the glaze.