March 26, 2014

Fruit Tart with Cream Cheese Filing

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking.
Using a 31 cm tart pan from Ikea (S$9.90).
Serve 12 slices of fruit tarts.


Shortbread Crust
300gm All-purpose flour
227gm cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
70 gm icing sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Filling
500 ml mascarpone cheese, room temperature
200 ml whipping cream (35-40% fat)
60 grams castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Fruit Toppings
A handful of Blue berries
3 Kiwi

Mix 4 tbsp of apricot jam with 4 tbsp of hot water to form a gel-like liquid for glazing the fruit toppings


Preparing the shortbread crust

1. Mix the flour, icing sugar and salt together. Using the K hook and slowest speed on your stand mixer, beat all the ingredients together until incorporated. Stop mixing once you no longer see the flour. The texture should not stick to your finger. If it sticks, add another one to two tablespoons of flour. Note that you should be using cold butter.

2. Grease your tart pan with butter.

3. You need to work quickly for these steps because the pastry will start to feel sticky if you work in a warm environment. Using your knuckles, press the dough over the bottom of the tart pan evenly.

4. Then, push the dough from the centre towards the circumference. If it still sticks (yes, it might due to our warm climate), flour your palm while pressing the dough.

5. Press the dough up the sides of the tart pan, leaving some dough over the rim for trimming later.

6. Pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. This will prevent the shortbread crust from puffing up while it bakes.

7. Wrap the dough with a cling wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour or freezer for 15 mins. This will help prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes. Do not skip this step or you will end up with a very short rim which cannot hold the cream.

8. After chilling, the dough will hardened completely, which also makes it easier to trim off the excess dough around the rim.

9. Bake for 13 to 15 mins at 220 degrees until the crust is golden brown. If you see some parts of the crust puff up during baking, use a satay stick to prick it and the crust will fall back in place.

10. Cool on rack before chilling in fridge.

Preparing the cream cheese filling

Beat all ingredients for 5 seconds until cream cheese loosened. Scrap down. Beat on high until firm peaks. Do not over mix, else it will become grainy. Store in the fridge until ready to assemble or you can spread over the chilled shortbread crust immediately.

Assembling the fruit tart

1. Remove the chilled tart from the pan by using a knife to pry between the crust and pan to loosen it. Place on a serving tray.

2. Spread cream cheese over the shortbread crust. The texture is like spreadable cream cheese.

3. Assemble fruits starting with circumference and work towards the centre.

4. Glaze the fruits with apricot glaze.

5. Chill in the fridge overnight so that the cream cheese filling will set. Note that this method will not set firmly like a mousse or pudding. The cream texture should be like a high fat content fresh cream.

6. Slice the fruit tart with a clean sharp knife by wiping the knife after each slice. Enjoy!