Yield: 25 x 9cm diameter tartlets / 3 x 9″ diameter tarts / 2 x 10.5″ diameter tarts
I have a penchant for not-too-sweet desserts. To me, desserts is about bringing out the essence of the ingredients, the art of bringing different ingredients, textures and tastes together such that it becomes such a delight when one bites into it. This fruit tart has become popular with my folks as well as our friends, most of whom are fruits-lovers or like myself, are in the camp of not-too-sweet desserts.
When one has a really hectic schedule on a day-to-day basis, it can be quite trying to put these fruit tarts together. Thankfully though, this recipe is quite flexible, given that the tarts can be make in advanced, then cooled and stored away in the larder in an air-tight container until I wish to assemble it. I have stored those tartlets for up till two weeks before and they still tasted good, no mold whatsoever.
Nowadays, whenever I plan to make these tarts, typically, I will mix up the dough say on Monday, refrigerate it, roll it onto the tart pan on Tuesday, stash it away in the freezer (just seal the whole tart pan in a big ziplock bag), then bake it on Wednesday, cool and stored away in airtight container, then finally, do up the filling, cut the fruits, assemble and serve them on Friday or the weekend. Yes, it is that flexible! But note though, for the best taste, the tarts should always be eaten on the same day as they are assembled or the tart shells will turn all soggy by sponging up all the moisture from the cream & fruits.
(For tart shells)
- 2 & 1/2 cups plain flour
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 230g chilled cold hard butter, cut into 16 pieces (I prefer to use French butter)
- 2 large egg yolks + a bit of egg white
- 2 tablespoons of whipping / heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor (with blades).
- Add butter and process until it looks like an in-between oatmeal & coarse cornmeal (take around 30 seconds?)
- Add in egg, whipping cream and vanilla extract. Process until most of the dough rolls into a ball or the majority of the dough have somewhat come together (Takes about a minute). If necessary, add cream sparingly to make it come together. If it feels too wet / soft, it’s okay, we can add flour later on.
- Scope out all the dough and place onto tabletop. Check that the dough has been well-mixed (evenly colored and textured). If not, hand knead the dough quickly to make them even. Divide them into 2 rough equal balls (if you are making tartlets or big 10.5″tarts). Divide them into 3 equal balls if you are doing 9″ tarts. Roll each ball into a rolling pin shape and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
- ~After refrigeration~
- Take out the dough and when it is soft enough, take rolling out into a disc-shaped sheet. [Note: If the dough feels too soft / wet such that it keeps sticking onto the rolling pin, add flour (a teaspoon at a time if difficult to gauge) and knead until the dough is dry enough to be rolled out with little/no sticking.] Transfer sheet of dough onto the tart pan and press / fit / shape it gently into the pan. (Note: I invested in a silicone baking mat from taobao where I do all the kneading and rolling. It makes transferring the dough onto the tart pan a breeze where I simply cup the tart pan over the sheet of dough before gently flipping the whole pan-dough-mat sandwich upside down so that the tart pan is now facing rightfully upwards. Then I gradually remove the silicone mat as I shape/cut the dough.)
- Once done, freeze the entire tart pan for at least 30 minutes.
- ~After freezing~
- Pre-heat oven at 200°c.
- Remove tart pan from freezer. Poke holes all over the base of the dough so that it does not rise up while baking.
- Bake tart(s) at 200°c for 5 minutes.
- Reduce temperature to 180°c. For small tartlets, bake for another 5 minutes (I.e. Total = 10 minutes). For 9″ tart, bake for another 10 minutes (Total = 15 minutes). For large tart, bake for another 15 minutes (Total = 20 minutes). Alternatively, simply watch the oven and bake till tarts turn golden with edges turning brown.
- Leave to cool while you may start to prepare the filling. Alternatively, store in air-tight containers once cooled till room temperature.
(For tart filling)
- 2 cups / 16oz mascarpone cheese
- 2/3 cup cold whipping / heavy cream (to counteract Singapore’s 30ish°c weather all year round, I usually put the whipped cream into the freezer 20-30 minutes before using it immediately)
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange extract
- Assortment of fruits of your preference (my favourites are canned peach, fresh strawberries, blueberries, grapes and kiwis)
- Place cold whipping cream and mixer bowl in freezer for 20-30 minutes while you measure out all the other ingredients (store measured mascarpone cheese in fridge until use)
- Beat whipped cream and icing sugar at high speed until almost stiff peak.
- Add in mascarpone cheese and orange extract. Carry on beating at high speed (mixture will tur soggier again at first) until stiff peak.)
- Transfer to a piping bag and stored in fridge until ready for use.
- Wash, cut and prep all the fruits.
- Cut the tip of the piping bag and pipe at the centre of tart shell, moving in circular motion outward until entire base is filled.
- Decorate with fruits on top. Best to refrigerate before serve.