" Thomas Crown Affair, The" I Don't Know Much About Tart But I Know What I Like

When you're done perusing the works of the masters at your local museum, come home and make a masterwork of your own...this delightfully fruity tart!

You will Need:

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 stick chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chilled vegetable shortening
  • 3-5 tablespoons ice water, as needed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds or pistachios
  • 2-1/2 cups chilled pastry cream or vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups mixed freshly sliced fruit or berries, washed and dried well (i.e. nectarines, plums, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.),
  • 1 cup apple or apricot jelly
  • 1 "paint-by-numbers" tart shell

Directions:

  1. In the chilled bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and half of the butter. Briefly pulse 3 to 4 times to roughly combine the ingredients. Add the remaining butter and the shortening and pulse the mixture another 3 or 4 more times until the dough resembles small peas. Don't over process.

  2. Scrape dough onto a clean work surface, sprinkle with just enough ice water to allow dough to form a mass and hold together. Knead a few times by hand, shape into a 5-6" disc, cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to 3 days.

  3. Roll out the dough into a circle approximately 12" in diameter. It should be about 1/8" thick. Carefully fold the dough into quarters and place the point in the center of a tart pan. Unfold the dough and gently tuck the edges around the outsides of the pan. Trim off excess by rolling a pin across the top edges of the pan.

  4. Prick the bottom of the shell with the tines of a fork in 1" intervals and refrigerate, uncovered for 20 minutes.

  5. Remove from refrigerator and cover with a piece of buttered foil. Push the foil against the pastry and cover with uncooked dried beans or pie weights. Place the tart span on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 400F. Remove foil, reduce heat to 350F and continue baking another 3 or 4 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

  6. Sprinkle the chopped almonds evenly over the bottom of the tart and spoon the pastry cream or vanilla pudding into the cooled tart shell and spread evenly with an offset spatula.

  7. Arrange the fruit artfully and simply, may we suggest a fruity depiction of Monet's San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk? Combine the apple jelly and 1 tbsp. of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking often to keep the mixture smooth.

  8. Brush the warm jelly gently over the fruit and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. Carefully remove tart ring and serve.

  9. After dinner, bring guests on a guided tour through your "studio" (aka kitchen). As you pass the sink, breathlessly point out the way the light and shadow plays upon the dirty dishes.

Serves 8



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