Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fruit Tart

As much as I love being in the holiday season, I also get a small case of the gloomies this time of year. The days are short so I miss the sunlight and shivering while waiting for my car to warm up when I'm leaving work is always a bummer. So, what better way to brighten up my life than with some bright, summery looking food?

Back in college in Ithaca, we'd go to a grocery store (Wegman's which is a chain) and cheer ourselves up with fruit tarts. However, they were really expensive ($20+) which was something that did NOT cheer us up so I came up with an easy, cheaper alternative that was just as delicious. I used a lot of store-bought help, which is essential in college when time is of the essence, and though I could definitely do everything by hand these days, I still like taking those shortcuts. But don't get me wrong, if you decide to make one of these and bring it to a party, people will be still be dazzled and won't question the homemade-ness of your "homemade" tart.

Ingredients [makes 2 tarts]:
2 pre-made shallow 9" pie crusts (frozen) - not graham cracker crusts but actual dough-y crusts
1 box jello instant vanilla custard
2 cups milk (for the jello custard; the amount of milk may differ depending on the brand)
1 cup assorted fruit (I used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwis, and oranges)
1 tablespoon strawberry jam
1 tablespoon water
Start by docking the pie crust with a fork all over the bottom and then bake it according to the package instructions. My pie crusts (which were Stop & Shop brand) needed to bake in a 350 oven for 10 minutes (or until golden). Docking is important because it allows the steam to escape and prevents the pie crust from bubbling up and becoming uneven.

While the crust is baking, rinse off your fruit.
And slice and peel anything that needs to be sliced and/or peeled.
Once the pie crust is baked and cooled, make your jello instant pudding. Instant pudding is great because it requires just two ingredients, the powder and milk, and you just whisk it together and watch as it becomes thick in a matter of minutes. Spread about half of the custard into the bottom of each pie crust.
Meanwhile, mix the jam and water in a microwave-safe container and microwave on high for 20 seconds. Stir together and allow to cool.
While the jam mixture cools, arrange the fruit in a pretty design on top of the custard.
And then, using a pastry brush, or just a spoon, brush glaze on top of the fruit to give it a bit of added sweetness but more importantly, a glossy sheen. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to make sure the custard sets.
Here's the recipe page:

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