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Calling all tarts!

I need your most fantastic, show stopping and hands-down-favorite tart recipe (please)! We're throwing a dinner party to welcome a new couple to our apartment building this coming weekend and I think a tart would be best as my bf will be commanding the kitchen the afternoon before the meal to prepare dinner. I'm pretty sure he's doing an asian style preparation of duck so I suppose I *could* take that into consideration when choosing my dessert recipe. But frankly, I don't care that much... I just want it to be fabulous enough to be everyone's favorite! Can you help me? I can return the favor with a recipe for my most recent fancy dessert success (a "party pavlova") if you're interested... TIA!

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  1. It's definitely not seasonal, but my favorite show-stopping tart is a caramel custard with chocolate chunks from Emily Luchetti's Passion for Desserts. If you're not afraid of making caramel, it's pretty easy. I don't have the recipe in front of me, but let me know if you want me to paraphrase it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cyberroo

      oooh, that sounds amazing! I'd definitely be interested if you have the time to paraphrase it in the next few days...

    2. Fresh fruit tarts are always a show stopper. Especially when the season is ripe with certain fruits...like berries or peaches or both. The traditional Pate Brisee is easy, filled with pastry cream (or a lighter sweetened cream cheese), topped with lucious fruits glistening with an apricot glaze. It look pretty and it's amazing to eat.

      1. I have a tart recipe where the bottom layer is a shortbread, middle like a caramelized pecan pie, top ganache. You drizzle even lines of white chocolate across the top and pull a toothpick through it for a pretty top. I can hunt it up and post it, if you want. It looks impressive and tastes great. For something more seasonal, I have a cream cheese tart that I top w/ lemon curd that's really good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          Thanks chowser, they both sound amazing. I'd ask you for both but i know that's a lot of paraphrasing work, so could I trouble you for the pecan pie one? I appreciate your help!

          1. re: LAcupcake

            Luckily, I found it online (thank google):

            http://www.catalunatics.com/cooking/d...

            Just before the chocolate sets, I drizzled parallel lines of white chocolate and drew a toothpick through.

        2. Here's a recipe I've made before for a Pear and Hazelnut Frangipane tart. It's fairly labor intensive but boy was it a memorable dessert! It would likely go well with the duck and be terrific served with a dessert wine like a fruity sauternes.
          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

          4 Replies
          1. re: ExercisetoEat

            As I've been looking for tart recipes I've run across frangipane variations several times but I wasn't sure exactly what it was. Is it similar to a marizpan like texture? Thanks for your help!

            1. re: LAcupcake

              Yes, I would say it is pretty similar to a marizpan texture. If you look at the picture in the link you can see that the filling will puff up around the fruit and provide sort of a spongy/gritty (in a good way) complement to the soft fruit. The apricot glaze is a great finishing touch.

              1. re: LAcupcake

                Here is another frangipane tart thart which is both not labor labor intentensive (though I do make a hake a homemade crust) and uses fruit at the height of the season. Its filling also has as a marzipan-like texture.

              2. re: ExercisetoEat

                I concur with the Pear and Hazelnut tart. I made it once during pear season last year and The Boy has been begging for a repeat ever since.

              3. I don't know if you are looking for savory or sweet, but this recipe, for a "Fresh Fig, Mascarpone and Pesto Torte," is excellent!

                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                1 Reply
                1. re: DanaB

                  I'm in charge of dessert for this go round but I'll definitely save this for a future get together... figs are my absolute favorite!