Two Tarts and a Late Spring Cookout

I love when summer comes and people head out to the streets. It’s a bit different here in Florida where summer is actually when people become more recluse and spend more time indoors due to the scorching heat and the unbearable humidity. I still love the idea of living outdoors though, with open windows, lawn chairs on the grass, kids playing in the pool, sidewalk chalk, concerts in the park…

We had a great cookout for Memorial Day weekend when we teamed up with our next door neighbors for a food filled day. Let’s say it was not vegetarian friendly and I’ve been trying to do a gastro-intestinal cleanse ever since. The smoker was on all day long, friends came over, kids played in the pool, we ate way too much food, but of course, there is always room for dessert. What’s an American holiday without a pie, right? Well, these are more like tarts since I used a sugar dough or pate sucree recipe rather than pate brisee. Both tarts use the same dough so the prep work was very easy.

When I make sugar dough or any dough for that matter, I make large amounts and then freeze in individual portions so whenever I am going to need to bake a pie, the dough is there ready for me. I just take it out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw out in the refrigerator. Sometimes, I even pre-assemble a tart and freeze it raw but this only works for tarts that require no prebaking. So for example, I can fill a tart ring with raw sugar dough, pipe in frangipane, place fruit slices on top and freeze it. Then I can bake it when I need it. However, this doesn’t work once the tart shell has been baked.

As for fillings, mousses or any custard with a high percentage of fat can be frozen but custards such as pastry cream will not hold in the freezer. They become watery and separate once thawed out. Pastry cream and fresh fruit tarts are best when they are eaten the same day they are prepared.

The banana cream tart was filled with pastry cream flavored with rum and creme de banana, topped with banana slices and sweetened cream. The cherry galette was super simple and really, I didn’t need a recipe. Pitted some cherries, tossed them in a bit of flour, sugar and almond extract and placed them in the center of the dough.

Sugar Dough

8 oz unsalted butter, softened
4 oz powdered sugar
1 egg
12 oz flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter and the sugar together. Add the egg, mix and scrape bowl to ensure all ingredients are well mixed. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix until combined. Do not overmix.

Make a ball with the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Press down on the dough to create a flat disk. This will make the rolling easier later on. Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours.

Roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thick and place it over your tart pan. Press down the sides, remove excess from the top and refrigerate for a couple of hours. This is very important so the dough doesn’t shrink in the oven.

Dock it and bake it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Let it cool and fill with the pastry cream

Pastry Cream

2 cups whole milk
4 oz sugar
1.5 oz cornstarch
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
0.5 oz butter
Rum, optional
Creme de banana, optional

In a saucepan, bring the milk, half of the sugar and vanilla bean to a boil. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, half of the sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. When milk comes to a boil, temper it into the eggs. Return base to saucepan and cook until it comes to a boil and it thickens, whisking constantly.

Transfer the cream to a clean bowl and add the butter while whisking. When it cools slightly, cover it with plastic wrap making sure the plastic is in contact with the cream. This will avoid any skin to form.

Refrigerate until ready to assemble the tart.

Assemble the Banana Cream Tart

Spread a good amount of pastry cream on the bottom of the prebaked tart shell. Place thin slices of fresh banan on top covering the enrire surface of the pastry cream. Pipe sweetened whipped cream on top of the banana trying to cover all the banana and sprinkle shaved chocolate on top.

Assemble the Cherry Galette

Cut large circles of sugar dough with a large cookie cutter (about 8 inches in diameter). Place some pitted cherries in the middle, sprinkle with a little bit of sugar and a dot of butter on the top. Gather the outside edges of the dough towards the center folding a packet. Don’t worry about being perfect since this is meant to be a rustic tart. Brush the sides of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle some coarse sugar on top. Sprinkle some slivered almonds on top and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until dough golden brown.

I hope you are really enjoying stone fruits like I am!

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36 Responses to “Two Tarts and a Late Spring Cookout”

  1. Mobula says:

    Que ricasss!!!!!

    Las dos caen seguro en casa en los proximos días,la de platanos porque con los´plátanos que hay aqui tiene que estar deliciosa y la de cerezas, simplemente por la temporada, como me voy a poner… gracias que todaví tengo la excisa de la lactancia que si no te iba yo a contar!!!



  2. nicisme says:

    It’s almost cherry time here – I can’t wait!
    Can I have one of each of the tarts, because I wouldn’t be able to choose between them!

  3. Miss C. says:

    I am envious of the people who came to your party! And i love how you’ve done the St Honore (hope i’m not mistaken on the terminology) piping over the top of the Banana Cream Tart!


  4. Aran says:

    Ana- a mi la excusa de la lactancia no me sewrvia… me puse como una foca cuando empece a dar pecho!

    Nicisme- sure and enjoy your cherry season!

    Christy- Yes, that is a St Honore pastry tip. My former pastry chef brought it for me from France and I love it!

  5. Anonymous says:

    ¡Que delicia!
    Que bien me irían ahora en el despacho junto a mi café con leche. Por cierto tengo un picnic pendiente en Los Pirineos de Girona junto a mis amigos, seguro que el de cerezas les gustaría mucho (intentaré). Que bo!!
    Anna, Tu fan Catalana.

  6. nadia says:

    I love the noises of summer. Aran the photographs are
    great, really great. i looked at them for a while-you are a wonderful photograher. Aran your writing immediately bring me to that place in time.

  7. Candace says:

    Those both look delicious! I’m definitely one of those that try to stay inside during the summer…

  8. C.L. says:

    These look astounding! Thank you so much for sharing! It sounds like you had a spectacular Memorial day :) Love the pics!

  9. Jill says:

    Banana cream! That reminds me of all the time we spent eating pies at Village Inn. Of course your’s looks more beautiful and with much better ingredients.

  10. alyson. says:

    yum. I know what I’ll be buying at the store this week! cherries!!! :)

  11. Elra says:

    Hi Aran,
    Galette looks so delice….
    I’ve also made similar tart with berries, they are abundant at the grocery and farmer’s market this time of year and they are so sweet too. I’ll try to make it with cherry next time, although I wonder how long will it take me to pitted the cherry. I might just leave it unpitted as I would make clafoutis.

  12. I love that you used the same dough for both! The simplicity of these recipes is so appealing!

  13. Rina says:

    Aran, siempre tengo la mala idea de ver tu increible y exquisito blog al mediodía y es una pésima idea! todavía no aprendo, pero no me puedo resistir. Se ve tan rico esto!

  14. Aimée says:

    I wish I was at this cookout! I can eat all day long with no side effects.
    Beautiful tarts!

  15. Tartelette says:

    I keep buying cherries but they keep being eaten by my folks faster than I can cook…and like you the dough is waiting in the fridge!! The tarts are beautiful! I love that “I love my bike sign”!!

  16. ooo lovely, very summery looking, nothing like fresh cherries for that summery taste!

  17. Mrs.French says:

    I wish I were your neighbor…

  18. Peabody says:

    When I lived in AZ everyone stayed inside too. With good reason.
    Those tarts are beautiful.

  19. PheMom says:

    I love bananas and I’ve been going cherry crazy for the past few days. Both variations look wonderful!

  20. They both look so good and apropriate for Spring! Those cherries inside the gallete are making me hungry!

  21. I love them both! They are like little pastry jewels! Thank goodness I don’t have to choose between them!

  22. Those mini galettes are a fantastic idea! I wish I was your neighbor.

  23. ainara says:

    Qué bonito tienes el blog! Me gusta mucho mucho mucho :) Y me he emocionado y todo con las palabras a C. zorionak tarde de mi parte. mua!

  24. Bakerette says:

    I have cherries in my fridge right now, and I was thinking about a cherry tart…since they will never compare to yours, I will just make muffins instead!!

  25. Ann says:

    So gorgeous! I am chaffing to get to the Greenmarket this weekend to see what’s on offer… I don’t think we get stone fruits until near the end of June, though.

  26. Eileen says:

    I will be making the cherry galettes. I can’t think of anything that says summer better than that!

    Eileen (passions to pastry)

  27. Suzana says:

    Beautiful tarts, Aran. A perfect little sweet thing for the hot days.

  28. Charmaine says:

    Doesn’t everything look lovelier when piped with a St. Honore tip? BTW, your new blog design is lovely :)

  29. Amy says:

    Both tarts are just beautiful! Thanks for the great tips about making tarts ahead and freezing..and I think I’ll definitely be making a big batch of sugar dough next time and freezing individual portions. Great idea.

  30. Dana says:

    Both look just fantastic!! YUM!

  31. Violet says:

    I just tried your Macaron recipe and it turned out great! I just started my own blog, so please check it out!

  32. Y says:

    I love galettes for their rustic look and also those folds of pastry always stay so lovely and crisp – my favourite bits! Can’t wait for stone fruits to come back into season here in Australia :)

  33. Anonymous says:

    Aste honetan euskadi irratian entzun zaitut eta zure blogean begiratzea pentsatu dut.
    Asko gustatu zait, oso interesgarria!!!
    Ea errezetak egiteko tartetxo bat hartzen dudan.


  34. Aran says:

    eskerrik asko! hurrengoan sartzen bazara be, zure izena emon bai? Bisitatzen dabenak ezagutzea gurako neuke… Pozten naz hemendik paseu zarelako eta laster arte!

  35. Thanks for the tip on the pastry cream! I made a batch yesterday, which in hindsight I should have halved, but I’m sure I’ll find something to do with it! ;-)

  36. Sini says:

    Made the sugar dough on Sunday. Baked a small cherry galette as well as half a dozen little red currant galettes. The dough is really fantastic and oh how well it works with the tartness of the currants!

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