Thrifty Thursday – Rustic Fruit Tart Recipe

Fourth of July Dessert – red, white and blueberry

July 4th Rustic Fruit Tart Recipe

[simage=644,200,y,left] Over the July Fourth weekend we are having a family gathering with my sisters and their families. Can’t wait until we are together – I’m counting the hours. To simplify meal preparation we’ve split breakfasts and dinners between the three families. My husband and I are in charge of Friday night dinner – which means he’ll make his famous baked chicken and I’ll make Rustic Fruit Tarts for dessert.

[simage=640,200,y,right]  These tarts are fabulous. And with so much fruit in-season it is really a matter what’s fresh, local and fits my red, white and blue theme. I’m hoping to find blueberries, strawberries and peaches at the market. While the dough chills, I will prep the fruit. Then roll the dough into 16 small circular tarts – I can taste them already – the tender tart and the luscious fresh fruit. Since this weekend is about family time, I plan to ask recruit my nieces and nephew to help assemble the tarts.

[simage=643,144,y,left] Kudos: Mama Iris made these tarts for one of her al fresco dinners on the deck. This recipe is adapted from the Petite Fruit Tart recipe from Better Homes and Gardens (June 2006).  I’ve made several changes including decreasing the amount of sugar and making smaller tarts  to create individual tarts (or tarts that a couple can share for dessert).

[simage=639,200,y,right] Rustic Fruit Tarts

Ingredients:

•    2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling out the dough)
•    1/3 cup sugar
•    3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
•    2 egg yolks, beaten
•    1/4 cup dairy sour cream
•    3 tablespoons ice water
•    2/3 cup sugar
•    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
•    6 to 8 cups fresh fruit, such as blackberries, blueberries, coarsely chopped apples, sliced nectarines, raspberries, and/or sliced apricots
•    1/4 cup sugar (or less depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
•    2 tablespoons lavender, lemon thyme or chocolate mint (dried or fresh – optional)
•    Cinnamon & nutmeg (optional – wonderful in the fall with apples)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium bowl stir together the flour and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until pieces are pea size. In a small bowl stir together egg yolks, sour cream, and ice water. Gradually add the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture. Using your fingers, gently knead the dough just until a ball forms. Cover dough with plastic wrap; chill about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

3. Divide the dough into 16 portions (to make larger tarts divide into 8 portions). Lightly flour the counter. Roll dough into 4 – 5-inch circles. Transfer to baking sheets.

4. In a small bowl stir together the 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Sprinkle a scant 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture on each pastry circle to within 1/2 inch of the edges. In a large bowl combine fruit and 1/3 cup sugar (or less depending on the sweetness of the fruit); toss gently to coat.  Stir in optional cinnamon and/or nutmeg, if using.

5. Spoon approximately 1/2 cup of the fruit mixture into the center of each dough circle. Fold pastry edges over the edges of fruit. For a special flair add a tiny pinch of lavender, thyme or mint) to each tart. Bake tarts for 20 to 25 minutes or until fruit is tender and pastry is golden brown. If desired, dust pastry edges with powdered sugar. Makes 16 tarts.

[simage=641,200,y,left] Serving suggestions: For a red/white & blue July 4th celebration serve with vanilla ice cream, fresh crème or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

[simage=642,200,y,right] Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday weekend. Thank you for joining us in the kitchen.  And thanks to my kitchen-helpers for their inspiration and patience.

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