Thursday, February 18, 2010

It Hit the Spot......

The past weeks I had expressed to my Mother that I would love to make a fruit tart. I had never made one before and it sounded particularly delicious at the time. Valentine's Day approached and after an outing with my sister, my parents came home from lunch with some treats. Not expecting much other than candy, I ignored the Williams-Sonoma bag that sat on the counter. A few minutes later my mom brought the bag to me saying "This is for you too!". A smile spread widely across my face because I knew, if it is from Williams-Sonoma it has to be good! There I sat with a perfectly new tart pan in my lap. Only a few moments later did I begin to make the tart that would definitely hit the spot.

Vanilla tart with Nutmeg crust and Berries

  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1. Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat to 350 F. In medium bowl combine butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. Add flour; mix just until well blended. If dough is too soft, let stand a few minutes to firm up.

2. Evenly press dough on bottom and sides of a 9-to 9 1/2 inch square or round tart pan in a thin layer. (This takes patience, as there is just enough dough.) Refrigerate 30 minutes to firm the dough.

3.Place pan on baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is a deep golden brown, checking after 15 minutes. If dough has puffed from bottom of pan, prick a few times and gently press down with back of a fork. Cool pan on wire rack.

Vanilla Filling:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Any berries of your choice
In heavy medium saucepan whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt to blend. Add 3 Tbsp half and half and whisk to form a smooth paste. Whisk in remaining half and half. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly over medium heat, scraping bottom, sides, and corners until filling thickens and begins to bubble. Cook and stir 1 minute more to fully cook cornstarch. Stir in vanilla extract. Immediately pour into crust and spread evenly. Cool 1 hour, uncovered, at room temperature. Refrigerate in covered container to cool completely.

After cooling, place berries on top and enjoy.

Recipe Adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens