There a million ways to make a fruit tart and I hope to experiment with them all. This is not just any tasteless tart you can find at the grocery store. It’s full of surprises such as lime basil and blackberry syrup.
I found lime basil at my local farmer’s market this spring and I was very impressed by how much lime fragrance this plant puts off. It’s not subtle. It’s bright citrusy zing hits your nose immediately. I used it to infuse flavor into some blackberry syrup that I drizzled over the tart and chopped up a handful to throw in the flour for the crust. You could also use lemon thyme.
Had I been thinking this through, I might have added some lime juice to the custard and some more lemon basil leaves into the butter and then re-chilled it. Layering flavors is the best way to boost a dessert that has several components.
Brush pastry with blackberry syrup. You can also use a raspberry jam or some other kind of flavorful jam before adding the pastry cream. Continue to brush berries with syrup (or jam) after the tart is assembled.
- One Tart Shell (recipe below)
- 1 pint blackberries (2 pints if not using raspberries)
- 1 pint raspberries
- ¼ cup jam or preserves (I used four fruit berry preserve; you can use berry or apricot)
- handful lime basil, finely chopped
- Pastry cream (recipe below)
- Small handful of lime basil, torn into pieces
- !Pastry Crust:
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- covered. Once frozen, wrap in foil.
- Pastry Cream Ingredients
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 7 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup corn starch
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 3½ tablespoons butter
- TART SHELL
- Butter a tart pan that has a removable bottom.
- Pulse flour, sugar, salt in food processor for a few seconds. Add butter. Mix for about 30 seconds to one minute (it will look like coarse oatmeal). Add egg yolk. Pulse for 20 seconds. Dump onto counter. Bring together, making sure all ingredients are incorporated. Press into tart pan. Freeze uncovered. Once frozen, wrap in foil.
- To Bake: Bake at 375. Butter shiny side of foil. Place that side onto pastry. Bake frozen for 25 minutes. No need for pie weights.
- Get out a small and a medium sized sauce pan.
- In small sauce pan, boil milk. Remove from heat.
- In large sauce pan, mix egg yolks, sugar and corn starch. Incorporate on low heat, adding in ¼ cup of hot milk. Continue whisking (an electric beater with a whisk wand works like a charm), and gradually add in remaining milk, boiling mixture for one minute. Immediately remove from heat.. Add in vanilla. Allow to sit for five minutes.
- Add butter. Cool completely, before assembling.
- Wash and rinse fruit well, removing all stems. Dry fruit.If blackberries are very tart, add 1 - 2 tablespoons of sugar and allow to sit for an hour at room temperature. Add raspberries at very end, as they are more delicate.
- Spread pastry cream onto tart crust.
- Top with berries of your choice. Heat preserves or jam with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush fruit with pastry brush. Refrigerate. You can make this one day ahead. I like to make the cream and the tart crust the day before and assemble a few hours before serving.
- Top with lime basil.