Servings: Makes about 8 servings
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , very cold
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 3 extra-large egg yolks , at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon cognac or brandy
Combine flour, sugar and salt and place in freezer 30 minutes. Cut butter into 1/4-inch pieces. Put flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (or in a Cuisinart). Add butter and pulse about 10 times until butter forms small bits. Add ice water and process until dough comes together. Place on a well-floured board and form into a disc. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°. Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit 5 minutes. Roll dough into 1/16-inch-thick circle, large enough to hang slightly over the sides of a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Place dough in pan. Cut off excess dough with a sharp knife or your thumb. Line tart shell with aluminum foil, then fill with dried beans or rice. Bake 10 minutes. Remove beans and foil; prick bottom of shell with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake another 20 minutes until browned. Cool to room temperature.
For Pastry Cream
Toppings (choose 4 or 5): Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, halved strawberries, grapes (in small clusters), sliced mango, sliced papaya, sliced kiwi, sliced bananas, sliced plums, sliced oranges, sliced limes In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), beat egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed about 3 minutes, until mixture is light yellow and falls back into bowl in a ribbon. On low speed, beat in cornstarch. In a large saucepan, bring milk to a simmer. Slowly pour milk into egg mixture, whisking steadily, then pour back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring .constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until mixture is thick, about 4 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook on low heat 2 to 3 more minutes. (Taste to be sure cornstarch is cooked.) Remove from heat; mix in butter, vanilla, cream and cognac. Pour through a strainer into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly onto custard and refrigerate until cold. Place baked tart shell on a serving plate and spread pastry cream over bottom of shell. Slice and group fruit to make a casual arrangement. Place larger fruit first, then fill spaces with berries. Use colorful fruit, such as halved strawberries or a grouping of raspberries, near the center for focus and height.
In a small saucepan (or microwave-safe bowl), melt jelly with 1 tablespoon water. Brush glaze over fruit and serve as soon as possible to avoid soggy pastry