The countdown to St. Valentine’s Day already started. For the sweetest day of the year you need a special dessert to complete your romantic dinner. Here is a fruity idea:
Fresh Fruits Tart
Fresh Fruits Tart
Ingredients for the short pastry:250 gr of white 00 flour
125 gr of butter
2 egg yolks
100 gr of white sugar
2 drops of vanilla essence (or ½ grated lemon peel)
a pinch of salt
Ingredients for the filling:250 cl of whole milk
100 gr of sugar
2 egg yolks
25 gr of white 00 flour
½ vanilla stick
250 gr of strawberries
250 gr of peaches in syrup
1 sachet of jelly powder
How to prepare:
Prepare the short pastry. Let the butter soften for 30 mins outside the fridge. Make a well in the flour. Add the sugar, the butter, the egg yolks, the vanilla essence and the salt. Knead all the ingredients for a few minutes, until the dough will be homogenous and compact (but do not knead it too much, because with the warmth of your hands the butter will start to melt and the dough will lose its consistency). After the dough its ready place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven at 180° C.
Take the short pastry from the fridge and with a rolling pin roll it out on a sheet of backing paper. The pastry must have a slightly larger diameter than the round tin you will use for backing (around 25 cm diameter and 3-4 cm high) and a thickness of around 3 mm. Put the pastry together with the paper on the tin and cut the extra dough that goes over the borders. With a fork pierce the pastry. Put another sheet of backing paper on the top of the pastry and spread on it a couple of handful of rice (this will prevent the pastry from puff up in the centre while baking). Put it in the oven for 20-25 mins, until the borders will be golden. Then take the pastry from the oven, carefully remove the top sheet together with the rice, and let the pastry cool.
Prepare the custard cream. Make a cut on the length of the vanilla stick and put it in a saucepan together with the milk. Heat the milk on the stove until it will start to boil, then switch off and let it cool. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks with the sugar using an electric whisk. Whisk them for a few minutes until you will obtain a light yellow soft cream. Now add the flour and whisk again. Then take the vanilla stick out of the milk, and, whisking all the time, pour the milk into the egg cream.
Now you have two possibilities: cooking the cream bain-mairie or in the microwave. If you do it bain-marie, you have to pour the cream into a saucepan; put a larger pot half full of water on the stove at medium high heat and when the water is boiling place the saucepan with the cream over it (with the bottom of the casserole in the boiling water). With a wooden spoon stir the cream until it will have the density of a soft pudding (around ten mins). When the cream achieves the wanted density, take it from the stove and let it cool.
If you prefer the microwave (as I do, because is much easier), leave the cream in the bowl, and put it in the microwave at maximum power for 2 mins. Then take it out stir and put it back for another 2 mins. Stir it again and check if it is ready; the cream should now be dense. If the cream is still too loose put it back in the microwave for another 1 or 2 mins. Then let it cool.
Now wash the strawberries and cut them in thin slices. Drain the peaches and cut them in thin wedges.
Prepare the jelly following the instruction on the sachet.
Finally, take the tart from the tin and put it on a serving tray. Surround the tart with some aluminium foil, so that you will prevent from staining the tray while you will fill the pastry. Spread the custard cream on the tart and then arrange the fruits on the top. When the jelly is ready pour it on the tart, making sure that you will cover the entire surface. Now let the tart cool for a few hours (at least 2 or 3 hours) in the fridge. If you have the patience, or the time, wait until the next day, the tart will become even tastier! Serve with a bottle of chilly sweet wine, as Moscato, Malvasia or Porto.