Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Recipe: Custard Pie with Figs, Apricots and Strawberries

Having made a very gloopy version of this tart for our girls' Christmas lunch, I hunted round for a more dependable version. Here is the recipe for a 9 inch tart that will feed 6-8 people.

You can either use a pre-frozen tart shell or else make your own
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup chilled (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in pieces
2 Tbs ice water
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Place flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the ice water then the egg yolk, processing only until the dough holds together.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form into a disc. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.
Preheat oven to 350F and blind bake the tart shells: roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, lay into tart shell, cover with parchement paper or foil, pour dry beans or pie weights on top and bake for 15 minutes, then set to cool.

6 strawberries
8-10 figs
6 apricots, halved and without pitts
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
slivered almonds

Whisk the sugar and the eggs until pale. Slowly add the milk and creme fraiche and whisk until combined. Add the extracts and ground almonds and whisk one more time. Slice half the fruits and lay them on the tart. Slowly pour the batter in between and on top of the fruit. Sprinkle some slivered almonds on top and bake until the custard is set and the tart is golden brown.

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