Baking on Friday: Rustic Fruit Tart

This is one of the reasons why Fine Cooking magazine is among my favorite cooking magazines.  This recipe first appeared in the August, 2005, issue.  In each issue there is an article that provides a "template" main recipe, then gives you options to make it your own.  In the case of the fruit tart, I was given a choice of fruit and told to choose one or two.  Then I was given a choice of flavorings and told to choose one or two.  Finally, I was given a list of optional toppings to choose from.  For today's baking project, I chose peaches and blueberries for my fruit.  For my flavorings, I chose almond extract and orange zest.  Finally, I chose Demerera sugar for my topping.  I like the way it glistens and adds a little crunch to the dessert.  After making my selections, I just fit the ingredients into the recipe template and followed the instructions.  This is what I ended up with.  It's cooling on the counter now.  Later, we'll serve it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

A few notes about this recipe:  This is my third time making this, and it turns out every time.  If you are crust phobic like I tend to be, this is a good way to practice.  If it tears, no problem.  Just patch it.  If you have a hard time rolling it out round, no problem.  Just trim it and fit the pieces together to make it as round as you can.  And it's much easier to make this pleated crust than it is to fumble around trying to fit a crust into a pie plate.  Also, I've found that it's much easier to make a crust, regardless of the recipe you're using, if you pulse it in a food processor rather than using a mixer or a pastry cutter.  I just dump everything into the food processor and then pulse it around 8-12 times for about one second each.  It comes together so quick and easy.  Then just grab a handful and see if it hangs together in your hand . . . sort of like play dough.  If it does, you're ready to move on to the next step.  Generally, that means forming it into a disk and refrigerating it for a while. 

When you're ready to roll it out, the biggest problem I've had is with the crust sticking to my work surface.  I've tried different surfaces, including a Roul-Pat.  I liked the Roul-Pat really well.  However, I have a solid surface counter top (Silestone).  It looks like granite, but it's actually crushed quartz sealed in a polymer resin.  I've found that it works best if I just toss some flour directly onto the counter top and roll it out there.  Also, on a warm day, I lay an ice pack on the counter top first to cool it off.  Keeping the crust cool, makes it easier to work with.  If you don't have a surface like that, a Roul-Pat is the next best thing, and it makes clean-up easy.
When I checked online for the link to the recipe, I discovered Fine Cooking has set up a wonderful interactive page where you can see all of their "make your own" recipes, including those for meat loaf, brownies, Thai curry, pizza, and many more.  Check it out!  (You might need to scroll down a little.)

4 comments from clever and witty friends:

Anonymous said...

Barbara, is the recipe "locked" until you sign up with them? I can't get it to work and show me anything, just the bowl and fruit, and some other entrees and sides pictured below. I'd love to see if I can adapt this to some of my lo carb flours and ingredients...I can use any fruit ending in "berry" because those are high enough in fiber so they don't spike our blood sugar counts. Your picture sure looks yummy! Inspiring!
Jacque in SC

quiltzyx said...

Mmmmmm, fruit tart & ice cream....

I have to stop reading your recipes unless I have a napkin or a towel handy!

Darlene's Quilts and Stuff said...

I always have to patch my pie crusts they get so thin they stick like crazy Ifigure if it tastes good who cares? LOL

Becky~ said...

This looks so good.I often wanted to make a fruit tart looks complicated I thought,but Im going to try this one.