My friend, Peter, approaches cooking like he approaches everything else -- with precision. Once he brought over a fruit tart for dinner which was absolute perfection, both in its presentation and taste. Even years later, I can remember its lovely lime curd, white chocolate covered crust, and the glazed berries that regally adorned its surface like crown jewels.
Me? I'm a little sloppy on the edges. I can orchestrate the most perfect event at work, but my office will look like a tornado blew through it. Same with my fruit tart. It's bursting with the flavor of fresh fruit and the crust is buttery and tender, but the edges are unfinished. No crimping or fancy fluting here.
Luckily, there is a name for these kinds of tarts: rustic tart (or galette). And making them is easy enough for a non-baker like myself. All you have to do is make the pastry dough, let it rest and roll it out. Throw some fruit mixed with sugar in the center and fold the dough edges over. Bake.
After a day of shopping, I ran home and quickly made this tart for a dockside boat party at my friend Julia's sailboat. She did the hard work of making salsa chicken, shrimp marinated in tequila and lime, a Sante Fe chowder, monterey jack cheese taquitos, and corn muffins. All I had to do was bring dessert.
This recipe is adapted from a Fine Cooking Magazine published several years ago. My tip is to roll the dough on a Silpat or parchment paper, because once the tart is formed, you can pick up the Silpat and put it on a baking sheet and into the oven. You can also use any combination of fresh or frozen fruit.
Julia's friend, Linda, loved it so much she was figuring out how much I could make if I sold these! It's definitely worth trying. Enjoy.
1 1/2 cups flour or 6 3/4 oz. flour
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
11 tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 egg yolk
3 tbs. whole milk
4 cups of fruit (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, pears, apples, and you can use frozen berries if you want)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbs. flour or 3 tbs. quick-acting tapioca
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Egg Wash and Crust Topping
1 egg for the egg wash
Sugar in the raw or brown sugar to top the crust
In your Kitchenaid or other mixer, combine dry ingredients and mix them together. On low speed, add butter until the flour is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.
Mix egg yolk and milk together and add to flour mixture until just combined (about 15 seconds).
Remove the mixture from the bowl and put on a flour surface. Knead quickly until it just comes together. The dough will be dotted with butter spots throughout, and this is what you want. Wrap in plastic wrap, stick in the fridge, and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
Turn on oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together ingredients for the fruit filling.
Take pastry disk out of the fridge and put on a floured surface or a floured Silpat. Place the plastic wrap on top of the disk and proceed to roll out until it's thin and about 12 inches across and 1/8 inch thick. Put filling in the middle, leaving a few inches of dough around the edges, and pull over the free edges on top of the fruit filling. Brush the dough edges with egg wash and top with sugar in the raw or brown sugar.
Cook for 55 minutes or until crust is browned and the fruit is bubbling.