Jamais deux sans trois
(Never two times without a third one)
This French saying does not make sense in English, does it?
When you think it is over, you actually get more. It seems that my stories involving tarts en tous genres keep coming. I like savory tarts of course, but have a strong inclination for sweet ones. Even over great-looking cakes. I think this is partially explained because I grew up surrounded by them. At home, there were always homemade tarts and cakes, the simple and not the fancy ones. Rusticity is beauty in its own form, and I cannot but identify to it as it definitely brings back the country girl in me. In fact, I should add that my mum was not a pastry maker, and there was always more focus on simple rustic desserts.
So I learned to make and enjoy a lot of sweet open tarts, les tartes sucrées.
Number Three or a Series of Puff Pastry Tarts
I discovered the recipe for this sweet tart already featured here, in a lovely new cookbook that I acquired a few weeks ago called New Vegetarian Entertaining, by Jane Noraika. This is what happens on a rainy day, when I get stuck in a bookstore. What prompted me to buy the book was actually the food styling and the wonderful pictures that I was sure were both going to inspire me. Call it a weakness, but I can admit that this is exactly how I shop for cookbooks these days. If I want to grab the pieces of food presented in the pictures, I am an easy buyer.
This Nectarine and Raspberry Tart is the first and only recipe that I have tried so far, and I really liked it. In fact, I can already tell that, after browsing quickly through the pages, the recipes are going to be enchanting. The cookbook presents inspiring ideas to entertain, with varied and original vegetarian dishes.
While the main idea for the tart remained the same, I adapted the recipe. What did I change? I used less eggs and sugar than suggested, I changed the fruit and modified a few cooking methods. I was also slightly puzzled from the fact that the vanilla cream — very much like une crème patissière — was cooked with the tart, but decided to give it a try to see what result I would get. It actually worked very well, although I still think that I prefer uncooked crème patissière. I also added a few additional steps, such as filter the milk, place the cream in an bowl with iced water because I think these steps really help in the end result. It is always interesting to see how many steps are lacking in a cookbook, or how well things are explained. There is always room for improvement for all of us.
Summer still around? Nectarines and raspberries will soon disappear so you better hurry to make tarts like this while they are around.
Et vive les tartes aux fruits ! (hurray for fruit tarts!)
For the Vanilla Cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the Tart
- 13 oz puff pastry
- 4 nectarines
- Melted butter, to brush the dough
- Confectioner’s sugar and 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- To make the vanilla cream, put the milk and vanilla in a pot and bring to a boil. Then remove from the heat.
- Beat together the egg yolks, the cornstarch and sugar, until very white and light (use an electric beater)
- Add the hot milk and mix well. Transfer to the pot again and reduce the heat to low. Stir constantly until it thickens.
- Remove the vanilla bean and stir in the melted butter.
- Transfer to a bowl placed in an iced recipient. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool.
- Roll out the dough and place it on a baking tray (I made a rectangular tart).
- Make little holes with a fork and pour the cream on top, leaving 1 inch border away from the edge (you might have more cream than needed, which was my case, but it is lovely on its own with freshly cut fruit).
- Slice the fruit and arrange it on top. Sprinkle with some brown sugar.
- Brush the border created with the melted butter and place the tart in a preheated oven at 400 F, for about 25 mns, or until golden.
- Serve with fresh raspberries and confectioner’s sugar sprinkled on top.
Le coin français
Pour la crème à la vanille
- 360 ml de lait
- 1 gousse de vanille, fendue dans le sens de la longueur
- 3 jaunes d’oeuf
- 65 g de sucre
- 2 càs de maizena
- 2 càs de beurre non salé, fondu
Pour la tarte
- 360 g de pâte feuilletée
- 4 nectarines
- Framboises fraîches
- Beurre fondu, pour badigeonner la pâte
- 1 càs de sucre roux
- Sucre glace, à saupoudrer
- Pour faire la crème à la vanille, mettez le lait avec la gousse de vanille fendue dans une casserole, et portez à ébullition. Retirez du feu.
- Battez les jaunes d’oeuf avec le sucre et la maizena, jusqu’à l’obtention d’une crème de couleur pâle et légère (utilisez un batteur électrique)
- Ajoutez le lait chaud filtré et mélangez bien. Transférez cette préparation dans la casserole et faites épaissir sur feux dous, sans cesser de remuer.
- Retirez la gousse de vanille et ajoutez le beurre fondu.
- Versez la crème dans un bol placé dans un récipient contenant de l’eau glacée. Couvrez d’un film plastique pour éviter la formation d’une pellicule. Laissez refroidir.
- Étalez votre pâte et placez-la sur une plaque de cuisson (j’ai fait une tarte rectangulaire).
- Piquez-la avec une fourchette et versez la crème dessus, en faisant attention à laisser une bordure de 1 cm (il vous restera sans doute de la crème, ce qui était mon cas, mais c’est délicieux seul, avec des fruits frais coupés).
- Tranchez les nectarines et placez-les sur la tarte. Saupoudez de sucre roux et badigeonnez la bordure avec le beurre fondu.
- Mettez la tarte au four préchauffé à 200 C pour environ 25 mns, ou jusqu’à ce que la pâte soit dorée.
- Servez avec des framboises fraîches et saupoudrez de sucre glace.