Fresh Fruit Tart with Lime Custard

fruit tart

I’ve made fresh fruit tarts several times and they are unbelievably easy. I’ve enjoyed playing around with different fillings and fruits….there are endless combinations. This pastry dough recipe is wonderful and so easy, espcially if made with a food processor. I really like the lime custard filling.  it is sweet and tart and goes very well with berries. I have also used purchased lemon or lime curd for a filling, as well as cream cheese mixed with vanilla and sweetened with sugar.  Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, peaches, grapes, are all excellent fruits to top the tart with.  You can use one fruit, or a combination. Once my tart is topped with fruit, I brush it with a little apricot jam that I heated and strained…this glaze makes the fruit shiny and adds another touch of sweetness to the fruit (but you can totally skip this step).

Pastry Dough

1 stick cold unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes.

To blend by hand: Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender until most of mixture resembles coarse meal (roughly pea-size lumps). Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water evenly over and gently stir with a fork until incorporated.

To blend in a food processor: Pulse together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a food processor until most of mixture resembles coarse meal (roughly pea-size lumps). Add 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times, or just until incorporated.

Test mixture: Gently squeeze a small handful: it should hold together without crumbling apart. If it doesn’t, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring or pulsing 2 or 3 times after each addition until incorporated (keep testing). If you overwork mixture or add too much water, pastry will be tough.

Form dough: Turn out onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together and form it, rotating it on work surface, into a disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie crust or a 10 to 11-inch tart crust

Dough can be chilled up to 1 day.

On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 13-inch round and fit it into a 10-inch tart tin with a removable fluted rim, trimming the excess.   Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until golden.  let the tart shell cool before adding filling and toppings.

Lime Custard

¾ cup sugar
2 T. cornstarch
2 large eggs plus yolk from 1 large egg
1 cup milk
½ cup lime juice (grate peel before juicing limes)
1 T. grated lime peel
5 T. butter

In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk sugar and cornstarch to mix, then whisk in eggs and egg yoklk until thoroughly blended.  Whisk in milk and lime juice.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often (don’t boil or custard may curdle).  As custard thickens, about 10 minutes, stir constantly 3 to 5 minutes until thick enough to coat back of a spoon.

Remove from heat. Add peel and butter; stir until butter melts.

Spread custard evenly in crust; and top with fruit.

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