Whenever there’s a holiday that celebrates my mom – namely her birthday or Mother’s Day – I can always guess what she’ll ask me to make for dessert. Before my mom even got to make her request this year, I said, “Don’t say fruit tart.”
Needless to say, I made a fruit tart for Mother’s Day. On this day, it doesn’t matter that me or my other family members have gotten a little tired of the standard fruit tart my mom loves so much. It’s my mom’s favorite dessert, and it will always make an appearance on our dining room table on this day each year.
This year for Mother’s Day, we went all out. We always stay home and cook for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because in our minds, nothing can beat the taste and price tag of home cooked meals.
For brunch, I made a vanilla Dutch baby and homemade pork sausage patties. Dinner starred veal Milanese, which my younger brother made, with a side of eggplant caponata that I whipped up. This berry tart closed out the day, which was full of cooking, baking, and dish washing from start to finish.
The crust of this fruit tart is a little sweeter than other pie crusts I’ve made, but I think my family liked the sugar cookie-esque taste. The chocolate layer is a simple yet extra special addition, and the pastry cream is chock full of flavor from the vanilla seeds.
This is my second time making this type of pastry cream, and I have to admit that it isn’t one of my favorite things to make. It always takes longer than I want to thicken up, and when it does, I can never seem to completely get rid of the lumps. But, it tastes good in between the chocolate and fruit, which is really all that matters.
You can of course use any type of fruit you like and omit or change the chocolate layer. A layer of white chocolate would be a nice twist. My mom loves dark chocolate, though, so that’s what our tarts will continue to feature.
I hope you all had a lovely Sunday celebrating your moms. I think I speak for everyone in my family when I say that we all got to enjoy Mother’s Day this year by treating ourselves to some delicious dishes including my mom’s favorite fruit tart.
Adapted from The Dessert Spot
– 12 tbs. cold, unsalted butter
– ½ cup sugar
– 2 cups flour
– ½ tsp. salt
– 1 egg
– 1 tbs. cold water
– 2 cups milk
– ½ cup sugar
– 1 vanilla bean
– ½ cup cornstarch
– 4 egg yolks
– 3 tbs. butter
– ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate
– ¼ cup cream or half and half
– ½ pint raspberries
– About 10 large strawberries
Start with the crust, since it will have to refrigerate for at least an hour before being rolled out. Combine all ingredients for the crust in a food processor, and process until dough forms into a ball. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Roll out dough on a floured surface and press dough into a nine-inch tart dish. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Heat the milk and ¼ cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the whole vanilla bean to the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Once the milk has heated, remove the vanilla bean. Add a little bit of the milk mixture to the egg mixture, and whisk until combined. Continue to temper the egg yolks until all of the milk has been added to the egg mixture. Add the liquid back to the saucepan and add the cornstarch. Whisk until the cornstarch dissolves, and let the liquid come to a boil. After it starts boiling, the mixture should become thicker. Turn off the heat and start mixing to work out the lumps. Add in the butter and continue to stir. Refrigerate until cool.
Once the crust has been baked and cooled, make the chocolate mixture. Heat the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan until melted. Smooth the chocolate mixture over the baked crust. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
Add the pastry cream on top of the chocolate in a smooth layer. Cut the strawberries in whichever type of shape you like and arrange fruit on top of the pastry cream until completely covered.