From America's Test Kitchen Season 2: Two French Tarts
Fresh fruit tarts usually offer little substance beyond their dazzling beauty, with rubbery or institutionalized pudding fillings, soggy crusts, and underripe, flavorless fruit. We set out to create a buttery, crisp crust filled with rich, lightly sweetened pastry cream, topped with fresh, glistening fruit.
We started with our classic tart dough as the crust and baked it until it was golden brown. We then filled the tart with pastry cream, made with half-and-half that was enriched with butter and thickened with just enough cornstarch to keep its shape without becoming gummy. For the fruit, we chose a combination of kiwi, which we peeled and sliced into half-moons, raspberries, and blueberries. We found that it was important not to wash the berries, as washing causes them to bruise and bleed and makes for a less than attractive tart (buy organic if you’re worried about pesticide residues). The finishing touch: a drizzle with a jelly glaze for a glistening presentation.
Makes one 9- to 9 1/2-inch tart
Chalazae are cordlike strands of egg white protein that are attached to the yolks—removing them with your fingers is easy and eliminates the need to strain the pastry cream after cooking. The pastry cream can be made a day or two in advance, but do not fill the prebaked tart shell until just before serving. Once filled, the tart should be topped with fruit, glazed, and served within half an hour or so.