Some longtime readers of the blog may remember Marjorie of the Cook’s Atelier in Beaune. She was one of the first Stylish French Girlfriends featured here on the blog, and I have loved watching her business blossom.
Marjorie and her daughter, Kendall, have recently released The Cook’s Atelier Cookbook, based on their journey through food and their relationships with the small farmers of the Burgundy region where they live. There are over 100 recipes for you to try, to bring a piece of the French lifestyle and way of cooking into your own home.
You can read more about the book and purchase it by clicking here, but Marjorie and Kendall were kind enough to share a seasonal recipe for all My French Country Home readers to enjoy! We have French cuisine on our mind right now as the August edition of My Stylish French Box is all about that theme, so we hope that you love this book and enjoy making these beautiful fruit tarts.
Summer Berry Tart
Makes 1 (9-inch/23-cm) tart or 8 (4-inch/10-cm) tartlets
When making this fresh fruit tart or tartlets, we use a colorful array of summer berries. Look for any kind of fresh, seasonal berry at your local market, but don’t forget to make the pastry cream in advance, as it needs to set for about two hours in the refrigerator.
Unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting
1⁄2 recipe Pâte Sablée (below)
1 large egg yolk
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) plus
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 recipe Crème Pâtissière (below)
1 cup (145 g) fresh blueberries
1 cup (125 g) fresh yellow raspberries
1 cup (125 g) fresh red raspberries
1⁄2 cup (82 g) fresh red currants
1⁄2 cup (82 g) fresh white or pink currants
1⁄4 cup (35 g) fresh white woodland strawberries or tiny strawberries, hulled
On a lightly floured surface, use the pâte sablée to make the tart shell. Freeze it for 15 to 20 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of the heavy cream. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the egg wash over the dough. Blind bake the tart shell.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream and the confectioners’ sugar, then use a balloon whisk to beat them until soft peaks form. Add a spoonful of the whipped cream to the pastry cream and stir to lighten it.
Using an offset spatula or small knife, spread the pastry cream in the cooled tart shell. Top it with the fruit and serve immediately with the whipped cream alongside.
A note on rolling out tart dough and blind baking
To make a tart shell from pâte sablée, pâte sucrée, or pâte brisée: Remove the dough from the refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes before rolling to ensure it is slightly soft and ready to roll.
Each disk of dough will make 1 (9-inch/ 23-cm) tart or 8 (4-inch/10-cm) tartlets. For one large tart, place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour a rolling pin. Begin rolling the dough, turning the dough as you roll to make an even circle. Be sure to check that you have enough flour under the dough so it doesn’t stick. Roll the dough into a 1⁄4-inch- (6-mm-) thick, 10- to 11-inch (25- to 28-cm) diameter round.
If making tartlets, use a bench scraper to divide each disk of dough into 8 triangular pieces. Using your hands, gently shape each triangular piece into a small ball, then flatten the balls into small disks and roll them into 1⁄8- inch- (3-mm-) thick, 5- to 6-inch (12- to 15-cm) diameter rounds.
Once the dough is slightly larger than your tart pan (or tartlet pans), gently roll it around the rolling pin, brushing off any excess flour with a pastry brush as you go. Unroll it over the tart pan (or tartlet pans), being careful not to stretch it as you ease it into the bottom and up the sides. Begin trimming the edges by pushing your thumb against the side edges of the pan. Use your other thumb to peel away the extra dough at the edge. Be careful to make the dough the same thickness all the way around to create a uniform edge.
Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes before baking. If you want to freeze the tart shell for longer, wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. The frozen tart shell can be baked straight from the freezer without thawing.
Blind baking is baking a tart crust partially or completely before adding the filling. Chilled tarts should be fully baked before filling. Baked fruit tarts or savory tarts need to be partially baked before adding the fruit, or filling, and then returned to the oven to finish baking.
To fully blind bake a tart or tartlets, take the chilled, unbaked crust, shaped in a tart pan, and place it on a baking sheet. Cut a parchment paper circle slightly larger than the circumference of the tart or tartlets (leaving a 1-inch/2.5-cm overhang) and place it on top. Fill the parchment-lined tart shell with pie weights or dried beans to the top of the tart pan. Cook the tart crust at 375°F (190°C) for 15 to 20 minutes (8 to 10 minutes for tartlets), or until the edges are set and beginning to turn golden. Remove the parchment and beans or pie weights. In a small bowl, prepare an egg wash (1 large egg yolk whisked with 3 tablespoons heavy cream). Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the egg wash on the bottom of the tart shell. For a sweet tart or tartlets, sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake until the bottom of the tart shell is completely baked through and golden, 15 to 20 minutes more (10 minutes for tartlets). Set the tart shell on a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
If making a tart or tartlets that require partial blind baking, follow the directions above for blind baking. After you’ve added the egg wash, return the tart shell or tartlet shells to the oven and bake just until the egg wash is set, about 5 minutes total for tarts (2 to 3 minutes for tartlets) before adding the filling and returning it to the oven.
Makes enough for 2 (9-inch/23-cm) tarts or 16 (4-inch/10-cm) tartlets
31⁄2 cups (440 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 cup (125 g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
2 cups (4 sticks/450 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened slightly
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons heavy cream
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter. Using your hands, gently toss to coat the butter in the flour mixture. Scoop the mixture in your hands and gently press the flour mixture and butter between your fingertips until the mixture looks grainy, with some small pieces of butter still visible. Work quickly to ensure the butter stays cold.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks and cream. Drizzle over the dough and use a fork to gently toss until incorporated. Continue working the dough, gently squeezing it between your fingertips until it comes together and there is no dry flour visible. Be careful not to overwork the dough. It’s ready as soon as you can squish the dough in one hand and it stays together.
On a lightly floured and cool work surface, preferably marble, knead the dough just until it is completely smooth.
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight. Pâte sablée can be wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
Makes about 11⁄4 cups (300 ml)
2 cups (480 ml) whole milk 1⁄2 cup (100 g) sugar 1 vanilla bean pod, seeds removed
5 large egg yolks 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the vanilla seeds and pod over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the milk is just about to boil.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and whisk until thick and pale yellow. Sift the flour over the lightened egg yolks and whisk to combine.
Very slowly add the warm milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and just comes to a boil, about 2 minutes. Push the pastry cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl; discard the vanilla bean. Whisk in the butter. Press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Let it cool slightly, then refrigerate until chilled and set, about 2 hours. Pastry cream can be used once chilled or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.