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.
8 oz unsalted butter, softened
4 oz powdered sugar
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
2 cups whole milk
4 oz sugar
1.5 oz cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
0.5 oz butter
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!