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Jan 19, 2010 11:56 PM

Fresh Fruit Tart with Crema Pasticcera - Italian dessert

Fruit Tart

Sweet Pastry Crust
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) cake flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (100 grams) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (80 grams) confectioners' sugar
2 egg yolks

Sweet Pastry Crust: In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside. Place the butter in your mixer with lemon zest and beat until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg yolk, beating just until incorporated. Don't over mix or the butter will separate and lighten in color. Add flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball. Don't overwork or pastry will be hard when baked.
Flatten dough into disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry (about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick). To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness). To make sure it is the right size, take your tart pan, flip it over, and place it on the rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about an inch larger than pan.
When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, gently lay in pan, lightly press pastry into bottom and up sides of pan. Roll your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry. With a thumb up movement, again press dough into pan. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill the butter and to rest the gluten.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (180 degrees C), poke small holes in all the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and and place rack in center of oven. Bake mini crust for 10 to 14 minutes until crust is dry and lightly golden brown. Cool crust on wire rack before filling.
Some cooks also swear by using some kind of pie crust weights, such as beads or beans, during the pre-baking. They say this prevents the pie crust from shrinking away from the sides of the pan. It is not necessary because:
After the rolled-out dough has been transferred to the pie pan, let it relax in the refrigerator for another 20-30 minutes before filling. This will prevent the dough from shrinking during baking. And, in this regard, it is very IMPORTANT puncture the bottom of the crust very well with a fork.

Pastry Cream - Crema Pasticcera
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole milk
½ cup (125 ml) cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/8 cup (20 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons (10 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
3/4 tablespoon (10 ml) lemon juice or liqueur (Grand Marnier, Brandy, Kirsch) (optional)

Italian Pastry Cream – Crema pasticcera : In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together with a wooden spoon. (Never let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) Sift the flour and cornstarch (corn flour) together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the milk, cream and split vanilla bean on medium heat until boiling. (The milk will foam up to the top of pan when done, so watch carefully.) Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.) Remove vanilla bean, scrape out seeds, and add the seeds to the egg mixture. (The vanilla bean can be dried and placed in your sugar bowl to give the sugar a vanilla flavor. This sugar can then be used in baking where you would like a vanilla-flavored sugar, e.g. pies, cakes, cookies.)
Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 - 60 seconds until it becomes very thick and it is hard to stir.
Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the liqueur (if using). Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool. If not using right away refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days. Beat before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.

Picture here:

Have a nice day :)

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  1. Thanks for posting this. One comment: I've never seen a Creme Patisserie formula that calls for both flour and cornstarch. I use straight cornstarch, with excellent results. Is there an advantage?

    5 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Nice blog cosmopolita, and thanks for posting. Your lemoncilo cake is really calling out to me. Any chance you can translate for me? I would love to make it. No, I need to make it. :)

      1. re: millygirl

        Sure, I'll translate it with great pleasure. You give me a bit 'of time.
        However you can translate my blog by selecting the English language by the translator that you can find on the top right.
        Unfortunately I started writing recipes in Italian and in English for a short time, because my English is terrible :(

        1. re: cosmopolita

          Oh great, thanks cosmopolita. Somehow I missed that option. No need to worry about the translation now. Thanks so much. I will try this very soon. Lovely blog by the way.

      2. re: bushwickgirl

        The corn starch makes the cream jelly, instead the flour makes the cream more creamy.
        If I have to choose I prefer only flour.

        1. re: cosmopolita

          Mm, I always thought the cornstarch made a lighter version than the flour, which I think of as akin to using a roux, not delicate or creamy. I never thought of the cornstarch as causing a "jelly" effect. I think you'd only get that effect if you used too much cornstarch.
          I'm going to do a side by side comparison taste test, including pastry cream made with flour, cornstarch and your combo of both. I will get back to you.