So the other day I asked DH to "pick up something for dessert" as I felt my menu called out for something sweet. I thought he would bring ice cream, as is his custom, but instead he came home with a fruit tart from the bakery. He told me it was so pretty he couldn't resist (and that it was:-) Seemed like a pretty standard tart, with a hard-baked crust lined with dark chocolate, some type of custard, and glazed fruit. DH loved it; and I must admit it was pretty tasty. But of course he complained about the cost (hey, buddy, you bought it...). So now he has asked if I would consider trying to make him one. "Your pies are great; surely you can do a tart" But I have no clue. Check out what I say about baking in my profile. And I've been making pies for so long I can do it in my sleep, and certainly without a recipe. There's a reason I don't bake: I'm not a very accurate cook (hated chemistry lab!) and cakes require a certain finess. So I'm hoping there is a chowhound or two out there who has a good fruit tart recipe similar to what I've described that doesn't require extremely accurate measurements. Hounds? I assume the crust was pre-baked, and I can handle the crust, but no idea about custards or how to make the fruit glaze look so pretty.....Any ideas short of buying one and pretending???:-)
I made a fruit tart once (loved by all who tried it) with awesome custard which was called "creme-patissiere". I don't know how to do the accent marks. The joys of half-and-half, vanilla beans, and sugar are not to be trifled with. :-)
For the fruits, the problem I had with them is they leaked. If I was going to do it again, I'd cut the fruit, let it sit on a paper towel for a while first, then put them on the tart. Someone else probably has better tips for preventing leakage. What fruits did you want? Whole raspberries wouldn't have this problem but they'd get pretty tart if you if you did all raspberries.
For the glaze, the recipe I used called for fruit jam, strained. I've seen apple and currant jelly used.
The chocolate layer is important because it helps keep the custard from sogging up the crust.
Dorie Greenspan tart dough
Cordon bleu pastry cream
That's all I've got ATM. Maybe try not to assemble too far in advance. In France they seem to glaze everything with a gelatin concoction. I'm not too much a fan of the method but it does stop the fruit from bleeding.
janetofreno...fruit tarts are my absolute favorite dessert. Once you have your tart shell, sweet (pate sucree) or not-so-sweet (pate brisee), you can create nearly any kind of fruit tart. It's one of the best ways to enjoy fruits in season. Pastry cream is nice, but can go wrong quickly, if you've never made it. I often just use sweetened creme fraiche or sweetened cream cheese (can be sweetened with honey, maple syrup, preserves or just a little sugar). Plus, it adds a little bit of tartness to offset sweet fruits.
I don't line with chocolate, but, instead brush the shell with warmed jelly to keep shell from getting soggy. Also, I don't always glaze, since some fruits are best just as themselves. Glazing just buys you a little more time, so fruits don't start getting soft or oozing.
You can make the shells way in advance, it will hold for at least a week. Once filled and topped with fruit, they should be eaten within a day or two.
If you are a good pie baker, it's just a short walk to tart making.
The custard is your basic creme patissiere/patisserie. I'm sure the creme patissiere recipe youareabunny provided upthread will be just what you need.
I use melted jelly as the glaze, either red currant or apricot, depending on the color of the fruit. I hate the gelatinous stuff. I don't even like the way it looks.