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fruit tart
“Sweet Enough” Copyright © 2023 by Alison Roman. Photographs copyright © 2023 by Chris Bernabeo. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.

Make This Simple Fruit Tart for Spring in the Hudson Valley

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Top food writer Alison Roman shares a recipe from her new cookbook for a scrumptious fruit tart that’s ideal for springtime dining.

In Alison Roman’s new cookbook Sweet Enough, the New York Times-bestselling food writer (who opened the chic provisions store First Bloom in the Catskills hamlet of Bloomville last fall) shows readers of all skill levels how to make simple, delicious desserts.

Alison Roman

Simple Fruit Tart

Recipe by Alison RomanCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Makes

1

9-inch tart
Prep time

1

hour 
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

30

minutes

I love this basic, elegant, classy tart. It’s reserved and restrained, it’s prim and proper, it’s creamy and delicious. It’s also one of the more flexible desserts in this book, and if you’re the type of baker who loves to arrange your fruit like a gorgeous mosaic, well, this recipe is for you.

Ingredients

  • For the crust
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour

  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar

  • 1½ tsp kosher salt

  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • For assembly
  • Vanilla Pastry Cream (see below), cooled

  • ½ pound assorted fresh red fruits (raspberries, strawberries, currants, boysenberries), halved or sliced

  • For the vanilla pastry cream
  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 8 large egg yolks

  • ½ cup cornstarch

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter

Directions

  • For the tart
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, incorporate the melted butter until you’ve got a crumbly, Play-Doh-like textured dough. Resist the urge to knead the dough, as you don’t want to develop any gluten (that’s how the crust shrinks on you).
  • Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or a 9-inch springform pan and use the tines of a fork or the tip of a knife to lightly prick the top all over (to allow steam to escape as it bakes).
  • Bake until the bottom of the crust is golden brown, and the edges are the color of a nicely golden shortbread cookie, 18–20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Once the tart shell is cooled, whisk the vanilla pastry cream until it’s totally smooth (see directions below) and spread into the tart shell.
  • Top with fruit of your choosing, but for the simplest version, use lovely, uncooked berries, preferably all from the same color family. Strawberries thinly sliced crosswise to expose their circular core, raspberries either left whole or cut in half, red currants if you can find them, you get the idea.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour or so to set and chill before slicing.
  • For the vanilla pastry cream
  • In a medium pot, combine the milk and ½ cup of the sugar. If using the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the milk and add the pod, too (if using vanilla extract, it goes in later). Bring to a simmer over medium heat, but do not let it boil. Once simmering, remove from the heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the remaining ½ cup sugar with the egg yolks, cornstarch, vanilla extract (if using), and salt.
  • Slowly pour a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture while whisking and whisk to blend. Do this until all the milk has been incorporated. The mixture will be loose with a starchy texture.
  • Return this mixture to the pot and place over medium heat. Whisk constantly, cooking until the liquid goes from thin with many small bubbles, to thick with sporadic large bubbles, 8–10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.
  • Transfer the pudding to a shallow baking dish or bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on top. Place in the fridge and chill completely until ready to use.
  • When ready to serve, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and whisk until it goes from thick and rubbery to creamy, luscious, and smooth.
Sweet Enough

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