I've decided to push my comfort zone a bit & do a few cooking tutorials - my fruit tart was a no-brainer to put on my to-bake list & I just happened to be making one about the time I made the decision. Took me 2 months to edit LOL but here it is:
If you'd like to make it yourself, here is the original recipe with some notes on how I do it at the end - I've posted it on the blog before, & may eventually upload it to GoogleDocs also, so I can have recipes there all in one place, but I don't know when I'll get around to that:
Cooking Time: about 30 minutes
Preparation Time: about 45 minutes
Ingredients for Shortbread Crust:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Ingredients for Fruit Topping:
- About 3 cups fresh fruit, such as berries, peaches or plums, sliced small if large
- Apricot preserves or apple jelly (optional)
- Freshly squeeze lemon juice (optional)
Directions for Shortbread Crust:
Heat oven on Convection Bake mode to 325 degrees F. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in vanilla. Add flour and mix until a dough forms. Pat dough into a flat disc and press it evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. (Crust can be made up to two days ahead. Wrap tightly in foil when cool and refrigerate.)
Directions for Cream Cheese Filling:
Use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla; then beat until fluffy. Pour filling into baked crust. Bake at 325 until just set, about 20 minutes.
Directions for Assembling Fruit:
Cool tart for a few minutes. Arrange fruit in a decorative pattern on top of torte, anchoring each piece by pressing it slightly into the soft cheese filling.
If using apricot preserves, heat them slightly in a small saucepan. Strain and discard the pieces. Place strained preserves or apply jelly in saucepan along with a squeeze of lemon. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Brush glaze over fruit. Chill tart until cream cheese filling is firm, about 3 hours.
So, that's the official version - now on to a few notes of how I do it =)
The first note I have is that we don't have a Convection Bake mode on our oven. So for the crust, I usually set the regular oven between 325-350, and check the crust at around 20 minutes. It should be just turning golden around the edges when you take it out. Same temp goes for the filling, and I'd suggest checking it at about 25 minutes. Give it a little wiggle to see if the middle is set or still jiggly.
For the pan that you use, if you have a tart pan with high sides, you're probably OK using that. I usually use a spring-form pan that's probably intended for cheesecake or something. It does have a removable bottom, but the sides are tall enough to keep the fruit from falling off if you pile it high & then need to transport the dessert. I also line the pan with a layer of parchment paper, so that the crust doesn't stick to the bottom.
As far as mixing the ingredients, you're fine with either a spoon or electric mixer. I've used both. As long as you've softened the butter & cream cheese, it's not that hard to do with like a wooden spoon or whatever utensil you'd like to use.
I cut up my fruit while the filling is cooking. I really don't know if I use the full 3 cups recommended, but this all comes down to personal taste. Whatever's in season & whatever fruit you like, it will be delicious on top of this.
The apricot preserves or apple jelly really are totally optional. It will give the tart a glossy look, but it's an extra step that really doesn't add anything so feel free to skip it. If you do chose to do it - DO NOT microwave the preserves or jelly. Made that mistake one time & it just was not pretty, it totally caramelized & hardened into this thick dark sludge. Not cute.
When you're ready to serve, go around the outside of the pan with a knife, just to help release the crust & filling from the edge. Release the spring-form & lift out the bottom. With the parchment, it's also pretty easy to slide the whole tart off of the bottom of the pan as well, which makes it a little easier to cut (the one I have has a lip around the edge) - the crust is almost like a cookie-texture, so you need to make sure you cut all the way through.
Thanks for reading.