It’s Spring Time! Fresh fruit is abundant and you are looking for a chic dessert to bring to your next Backyard Bash. This is it! Impress your fabulous friends or snobby neighbors with this Fresh Fruit Tart with Basil Pastry Cream and Fig Glaze. Sounds fancy. Looks frilly. But this dessert is a cinch to whip up, all you need is some basic baking ingredients and skills.
On March 28th my wonderful husband took me to the historic Omni William Penn Hotel for a fabulous weekend. See, it was my 27th birthday.
Not only does this top notch hotel spoil its guests with luxurious sleeping arrangements, but its Terrace Room restaurant captivates diners from floor to ceiling (see above). My husband and I indulged in fine-dining cuisine and, of course, cheated on our diets. For dessert, we ordered a decadent array of sweets from a bacon chocolate nougat to a basil macaron. All divine.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the pairing of basil with a dessert. I was inspired, if you will. Thus began my long trek on Google to search for a sweet treat that incorporated basil. I found an apricot and basil tart, but the shortbread pastry seemed time consuming and my freaking small town grocery store consistently fails to stock apricots. So I improvised. Duh, what else is new.
The Basil Pastry Cream is straight up AWESOME. I mean, this french cream tastes like a chef made it, yet it comes together so simply and quickly. The hint of fresh basil is subtle and compliments the velvety cream. The pastry crust is a classic foundation that holds this dainty dessert. You have the liberty to chose your favorite fresh fruit to adorn this tart. Bottled fig glaze is brushed across the fresh fruit, but reduced balsamic vinaigrette would offer the same “mellow tartness”. Powered sugar is showered on just before serving to add that WOW factor. Say it with me, “Wow” (and say it like you mean it).
Basil Pastry Cream
- 1 c. whole milk
- 5 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 c. packed basil leaves with stems
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 c. flour
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. butter, cold
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 tbsp. ice water
- 6 oz. Raspberry
- 6 oz. Blueberry
- 1 Kiwi, peeled and sliced
- 3 tsp. fig balsamic glaze (click to see the bottle that I bought) or use reduced balsamic vinegar
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- pick your favorite fruits or those that are available in season
Basil Pastry Cream
- In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the milk with the sugar and basil
- Bring to a simmer
- Remove the milk from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes
- Remove the basil and squeeze any milk back into the pan; discard the basil
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of milk with the yolks and cornstarch until smooth
- Slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture into the warm milk
- Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted (see above)
- Scrape the cream into a bowl
- Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours
- In a medium bowl stir together flour and sugar
- Cut pieces of butter into the flour mixture and use a pastry blender to break it up
- In a small bowl stir together egg yolks and ice water
- Gradually stir egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture (see above)
- Tip: Do not touch the dough too much with your hands, this makes it tough
- Use plastic wrap to pick up the dough and make into a ball
- Chill in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes
- Preheat oven 400 degrees
- Flour a surface and roll out the dough to fit your tart pan (rectangle or circle)
- Coat inside of pan with cooking spray
- Transfer dough into tart pan and press it up the sides, using the plastic wrap to cover your fingers
- Prick bottom and sides with a fork (it will get air bubbles if you do not)
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Cook until golden brown
- Set aside to cool
Assemble the Tart
- Spread Basil Pastry Cream onto the cooled Pastry Crust
- Arrange fresh fruit on top of the pastry cream
- Brush fruit with the Fig Glaze or Reduced Balsamic Vinegar
- Dust with Powdered Sugar right before serving
This tart is refreshing and light, instead of being overly sugary. The Basil Pastry Cream is literally the star of the show. Bring this tart to next week’s block party or Grandma’s Sunday supper. You’ll have everyone saying, “Mmm, what’s in this?” It’s a flavor that will make you wonder why you haven’t thought of it before.
* Pastry Cream from Delish.com * * Tart Pastry from Better Homes and Gardens *