Midsummer Berry Tart

There's something incredibly dressy about making fruit tarts. With a crispy crust, creamy filling and tangy fruit, they celebrate the best of all summer desserts. Touch the fruit with melted apricot jam for a professional touch, and to keep the berries glossy and shiny. Your audience will think you are, quite simply, a genius.

Prep
1 hr
Bake
20 mins
Total
3 hrs 45 mins
Yield
one 9" square or 10" round tart
Midsummer Berry Tart

Instructions

  1. To make the amazing tart dough: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar and zests.

  2. Add the flour and salt, and whisk until well-combined.

  3. Cut the butter into small chunks, and cut these into the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough has a texture similar to rolled oats. This is not a pie dough, so avoid large pieces of butter.

  4. Add the egg and egg yolks, mix for another 2 minutes, then add the water, and mix 2 minutes more.

  5. Take the dough out of the bowl, and squeeze and knead it by hand until it comes together. If necessary, sprinkle it with more water or flour to get a smooth consistency.

  6. Divide the dough into three pieces, forming each into a 4" disk.

  7. Wrap the disks, and refrigerate them for at least an hour before rolling.

  8. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  9. Take one piece of dough out of the fridge, allow it to soften for about 5 to 10 minutes, until it's pliable, and roll it out to fit a 9" square (or 10" round) tart tin, preferably one with a removable bottom. If you don't have a tart tin, use a 9" pie pan.

  10. Prick the dough all over with a fork and fill it with a pie chain, or line it with waxed paper and fill it about half full with dried rice or beans.

  11. Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes, until the dough is set through and a light golden brown.

  12. To make the cream filling and the strawberry topping: In a medium-sized bowl, whip the cream cheese with the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice, and zest until the mixture is light and there are no more lumps.

  13. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until the whisk or beater leaves tracks, then add the vanilla sugar or vanilla, and whip until the cream holds a peak.

  14. Fold the whipped cream and cream cheese mixtures together, and spread this filling into the baked tart shell.

  15. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top (it may help to press it through a sifter to make a light, even coating).

  16. Wash, dry, and trim the berries. If you're using strawberries, cut them in half. If you're using smaller berries, crush them lightly.

  17. Arrange the berries (strawberry halves cut-side down) over the filling, covering the entire surface.

  18. If desired, heat the apricot jam gently with 2 tablespoons of water, and paint the tops of the berries to make them shine.

  19. Refrigerate the tart for about 1 hour before serving. This will firm up the filling.

  20. The tart is best served the same day.

Tips from our Bakers

  • This dough recipe makes enough for three 8" to 9" tarts. Freeze whatever you don't use right away; it'll hold for 3 to 4 months frozen, if well-wrapped.
  • When cooled, the tart shell can be filled with any cooked filling you like, such as jam or pastry cream. For a light mousse filling, combine whipped cream and fruit juice with some dissolved gelatin, to help it hold up. Top with fresh summer fruit, and you have a beautiful dessert with surprisingly little effort.