White Balsamic Custard Tart with Fresh Berries

This is the second time I’ve made this dessert (last time it was for the 4th of July) and both times it has seemed to be a pretty big hit, not only because it looks pretty and patriotic, but it also tastes pretty amazing as well.  The best part is that it looks way more impressive than it is.   Really, what it comes down to is “how well can you place berries on a tart?”

I would definitely say that this is served best cold.  We allowed it to sit out for a bit and it started to get a little warm and goopy.  However, after throwing it back in the fridge for a few minutes, the texture firmed up a little and it became much more pleasant to consume again.

To make this dish, you will need a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.  It might be possible to make it in another kind of pan (maybe springform? pie pan?), but I believe the tart pan is really probably crucial to getting the overall look to the dessert.  They are pretty inexpensive – I think I picked one up for $10.

To make the crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, blending for 5 seconds.  Add the butter cubes and pulse until coarse meal forms.

Add the egg yolk and whipping cream and blend until moist clumps form.  Gather the dough into a ball to the best of your ability and press evenly into the tart pan and up the sides.  Pierce the dough all over with a fork.  Chill the dough for one hour.

Raw Crust

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the crust until golden, about 22 minutes.  Press the dough with the back of a fork if it starts to bubble.  Allow the crust to cool completely.

Baked crust

To make the filling stir the whipping cream and cornstarch in a medium bowl until the cornstarch dissolves.  Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla.  Whisk to blend.

Boil the vinegar in a medium saucepan until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes.  Add 3/4 cup water, sugar, and butter and stir until the butter melts.

Return the mixture to a boil.  Gradually whisk the vinegar mixture into the egg mixture.  Be sure to add the vinegar slowly and whisk continuously, otherwise you could end up with scrambled eggs….

Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk until the custard thickens and boils, about 1 minute.  Strain into a bowl and allow it to cool.

Spread the cooled custard in the prepared crust.  Cover and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

Now comes the fun and impressive part….

Start by arranging the strawberry slices in the middle of tart in a star pattern.  Next, build out from the strawberries with the raspberries into a larger star pattern, taking the raspberries out to the edge of the tart.  Lastly, fill in the spaces with blueberries.  Trust me when I say that it’s a lot easier than it looks.  The trickiest part is actually getting the strawberries to look the way you want them, but with a little poking and prodding, it’s certainly doable.

Cover loosely and chill until ready to serve.  The berries can be placed on the tart up to 6 hours ahead.

Be the star of this year’s Fourth of July cook out (get it?  ha!)

Man, I’m so cheesy…

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream

Filling

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Topping

  • 2 large strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • 2 1/2-pint containers blueberries
  • 1 1/2-pint container raspberries
Original Recipe, Bon Appetit, July 2004
Serves 8-10
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Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Recipes, Sweets

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2 Comments on “White Balsamic Custard Tart with Fresh Berries”

  1. June 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    What an absolutely stunning custard tart!

  2. June 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Well done indeed. I don’t think I would have the patience to put this together. It looks very tasty.
    Best,
    Conor

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