Friday, October 23, 2015

Foodie Friday: Fresh Fruit Tart

My favorite dessert by far is a fresh fruit tart. Don't get me wrong, there are days when nothing will satisfy quite like a slice of decadent chocolate cake, but I am always drawn to a delicious fresh fruit tart. From the flaky crust to the creamy pasty filling to the sweetness of the fruit, it's truly a dessert that has it all. And it has fruit- must be healthy, right? ;)

I've always been intimidated to make a fruit tart- you have to make pastry cream! As I enter my 6 month of pregnancy (and the pregnancy cravings that come with it), I haven't gotten bit by the nesting bug yet, but all I seem to want to do is bake! I seized the opportunity and went for it. Surprisingly, it was not as difficult as I thought! It takes time, but the end result is well worth it!

Fresh Fruit Tart
adapted from Ina Garten's recipe


Pastry Cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1 3/4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp heavy cream

- 1 1/4 cups flour (plus extra for rolling the crust)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 tbsp (one stick) cold butter
- 3-4 tbsp ice water

I used strawberries, raspberries, and kiwis. I would also throw in blueberries and peaches. Be sure to slice your fruit (except raspberries and blueberries) so they're easier to arrange. You can go for a patterned look like I did or group fruits in a more casual arrangement. 

You'll also need a tart pan (one where the bottom piece can be removed from the ruffly edge piece. Also needed are a piece of foil and dried beans or rice for baking the crust. 


Pastry Cream
1. In a mixer w/ a paddle attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar on med-high for about 3 mins or until yolks are a pale yellow. On low, beat in the cornstarch. 
2. In a sauce pan, bring milk to a simmer. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg mixture, whisking steadily on low.
3. Pour back into the sauce pan and cook over medium heat until mixture is thick. Bring to a boil, then cook on low for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and mix in butter, vanilla, and cream.
5. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place plastic directly over the pastry cream so it does not form a film when cooling. Place in fridge until cold. It'll thicken up as it cools. 

Beating the eggs & sugar. 

Slowly adding the milk. Pour slowly as to not cook the eggs.

Cooking the pastry cream mix.

It turns more yellow as it thickens.

1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut cold butter into small chunks and add to flour mix. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until well combined (only small pieces should remain). You can also do this in a food processor by pulsing ~10 times. 
2. Add ice water and mix until a dough comes together. Form dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 mins. 
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Removed dough from fridge and let sit for 5 mins. On a well floured surface, roll out dough until it is big enough to fit your tart tin with a little hanging over the edges. Place dough in tin and cut off excess.
5. Line crust with foil and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 mins. Remove beans and foil, prick crust with a fork, and bake for another 15-20 mins. Allow to cool completely.

I use a pastry cutter for crusts. Keep going until the flour is all incorporated.

Form into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 mins. Remove and let sit for 5 mins before rolling.

You'll need a tart tin with a removable base so you can pop the crust out.

Prepare your fruit by washing and slicing. 

Assembling the tart! 
Place tart crust on your serving plate (I don't have a plate big enough, so I just placed the crust on the round metal piece directly on the plate). Spread pastry cream over the inside of the crust. Place fruit on top either clustered together or in a pattern. 

All my ingredients ready to be assembled.

Spread the pastry cream on the crust.

Arrange the fruit and take a picture!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Baby R: 20 weeks & It's A....

I was really hoping to post a weekly update as my pregnancy progresses, but as you can see, that clearly has not happened! A lot has happened in the past couple months- most notably, we bought a house and found out what Baby R is! I'll save the best for last though. ;)

Moving was not as bad as I was expecting. When we came back to CA from TX, we moved into a MUCH smaller apartment, so we downsized a ton. Less to pack and organize! I can breathe a huge sigh of relief now that we have a home for the baby. 

Home ownership has been an adventure. We're finding out that the little handyman tasks are not as easy as they may appear. For example, putting up that wire shelving was not as easy as we thought, but we did it! 

How far along? 20 weeks- the half way point! (*I'm playing catch up, so I'm actually 22 weeks).

Maternity clothes? Definitely in maternity tops, though some pre-pregnancy t-shirts will still work. I have maternity jeans, but I've been loving maxi skirts lately.

Sleep: I get a lot every night, but it takes me a while to get comfortable. I miss stomach sleeping.

Best moment this week: Making a delicious fruit tart. I can't decide if it's a good or bad thing that I know I can make these at home. 

Movement: Everyday! Baby tends to move more when I'm laying down. 

Food cravings: Sweets! I never had much of a sweet tooth, but this baby loves it! I try to stick to fruits, but I did cave and get some chocolate covered gummy bears. Mmm...

Anything making you queasy or sick? Thankfully the morning sickness seems to have passed, but I do get queasy if I eat too much. 
Have you started to show yet: yup!

Belly Button in or out? In and I think it may stay that way for awhile. I have a deep belly button.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy.

What I miss: sleeping on my stomach. 

What I'm looking forward to: getting baby's room ready!

And of course, what you're really wondering...

We're so excited to meet this little guy!