To me, tarts are the perfect spring and summer dessert because you can make them with the freshest fruits of the season and they don’t require a whole lot of work. The tart I made is free-form so there’s the added benefit of not having to worry about it looking perfect. Choosing which fruit to use in this tart was easy. Apple seemed so “usual” and it didn’t excite me. When I saw the display of organic (they had to be organic) strawberries and blueberries they just called to me. And I couldn’t get over how huge the berries were. They almost looked like mutant berries, they were so big.

I used Bittman’s Sweet Tart Crust found in How to Cook Everything. It was really, really easy.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 10 tbsp (1 ¼ sticks) frozen or cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp ice water, plus more if necessary
  • 2 lbs pitted, peeled and sliced ripe stone fruit like peaches, plums or nectarines. Or peeled, cored and very thinly sliced apples or pears. Or about 3 cups berries.
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Directions
  1. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse once or twice. Add the butter all at once; process until the mixture is uniform, about 10 seconds (do not over-process). Add the egg yolk and process for another few seconds.
  2. Put the mixture in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons ice water; mix with your hands until you can form the dough into a ball, adding another tablespoon or two of ice water if necessary (if you overdo it and the mixture becomes sodden, add a little more flour). Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the countertop with flour and place the dough on top – also sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Use a rolling-pin to roll with light pressure from the center out. If the dough is sticky and hard to work, add a little more flour. If the stickiness persists, even after adding more flour, try freezing it again). Roll out the dough until about 1/8-inch thick in the shape you want and don’t worry about it looking perfect.
  4. Spread the fruit on the dough to within 1 ½ inches of the edge. Fold the edges over and crimp them so they remain in place until you have gone around the entire circumference of the dough. You will not be covering all the fruit.
  5. Brush the dough and the fruit with butter. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly, about 20 to 30 minutes.
This tart was really delicious. The crust was buttery and flaky and since I didn’t add any sugar to the fruit it had the right balance of sweetness for me. But you may want to add sugar to the berries if you prefer a sweeter taste. Also, you may want to use a flat baking sheet (not one that has sides) because it will be easier to slide the tart onto a cooling rack after it is done baking.
~Christina
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