Welcome to the second installment of Frontier Food Fridays! I’m excited about the feedback we’ve gotten from the last post. I hope some of you tried out the recipe and made a batch of homemade rolls for your family to enjoy!
Fresh Fruit Tarts by Kate Rudasill
This month I’m going to share one of my favorite recipes – fresh fruit tarts! Several times a year we host special events here at camp (Scrapbooking Retreat brunch, Mother/Daughter tea party, etc.) where we make lots of fancy food. We started making these tarts several years ago. They were such a hit, that we made them last summer during a couple of the Teen Weeks. I’m pretty sure the pans would have been licked clean if I had let them! 🙂
The one problem with this recipe – the staff cannot (or will not) agree on what to call them. I call them tarts because we usually (but not always) make them in tart pans (tart pan = tarts, right?). Several other staffers and friends of camp (*ahem* Holly Hamlin and Carla Villanueva) are determined to call them fruit pizza. It’s a hotly debated topic anytime every time we make them!
It has been decided that regardless of whether you call them fruit tarts or fruit pizza, they are delicious and super pretty! It’s also the perfect dessert (or afternoon snack with coffee!) for the spring and summer months when fresh fruit is readily available and more tasty than during the winter.
So…grab your favorite fruit and spend a few minutes whipping up one of these sweet tarts/pizzas as soon as you can!
For the crust, we just need four simple ingredients: All Purpose flour, powdered sugar, baking soda, and softened butter. Also handy to have along – an electric mix with a paddle attachment (side note – Please don’t remark on the sad, beat-up KitchenAid mixer in this picture. It is well-used and dearly loved by the FC kitchen staff!).
For the sake of today’s post, we’re going to be baking the crust in this 9” fluted tart pan that has a removable bottom. This makes it really easy to remove the crust from the pan and keep the pretty fluted edge.
Note: If you don’t have a tart pan, no worries! Any spring-form pan, pie pan, cookie sheet, or baking dish will work for the crust!
Start by adding the butter and creaming it on high until it gets light and fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing on high until smooth and creamy.
Be sure to scrape down the mixing bowl after you’ve creamed the butter and the sugar!
In a separate bowl (or measuring cup) mix the flour and baking soda.
Slowly add the flour and baking soda to the creamed mixture.
I start with half the flour and mix for about 30 seconds.
Then add the rest of the flour and mix until crumbly.
The dough is going to look like it needs to mix for a while to come together.Don’t do it! You want the dough to be crumbly and tender. Over-mixing makes it really tough and chewy (not what we’re going for in this crust!).
Random side note – I love nested glass mixing bowls! Especially the little, bitty tiny ones!
After the dough is mixed, grab a piece of plastic wrap. If you’re like me, plastic wrap is the bane of your existence. Don’t worry…it doesn’t have to be perfectly flat or straight!
Place the dough crumbles in the center of the plastic wrap. See how it’s not holding together at all? That’s what you want it to look like!
Gather the corners of the plastic and bring them together in the center.
Once it’s surrounded in plastic, gently press the dough together. You’ll end up with a pretty disk of dough. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour.
Make sure to spray your pan with non-stick spray! It will make the process much easier later on.
Grab the dough from the fridge and place it in the center of the sprayed pan.
Gently begin to press it out to towards the outer edges of the pan. It’s going to get crumbly again…don’t worry!
Using the palm of your hand and your fingers, work the dough into the flutes (if you’re using a fluted pan) or up the edges of your pan.
You want to create an edge around the outside that will hold your filling and the fruit.
Side note – If you’re making fruit pizza and using a cookie sheet, you do not have to form an edge on your crust. You do want to make sure that the center of the crust is slightly thinner than the outer edge so that your crust bakes evenly and the outer edge doesn’t break once it’s cooked.
Chill the crust for another hour. You want it to be pretty cold when you place it in the oven so that the butter in the crust doesn’t melt quickly. When the crust is chilled, grab the handiest kitchen tool ever – a fork – and prick the bottom and the sides of the crust.
Chilling the dough and pricking it with a fork before baking will help prevent it from shrinking in the oven.
If you’re using a pan with a removable bottom, it’s helpful to place it on a baking sheet – makes it much easier to get it in and out of the oven!
Bake the crust in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until golden brown and set (usually about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your pan and how thin you formed your crust).
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
If you’re using a pan with a removable bottom, go ahead and remove the outer ring. See all the pretty, golden brown flutes!
I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of these next couple of steps.
- Grab the fruit that you’ve chosen for your tart. Wash and slice it, if needed.
- Once the crust is completely cooled, spread with fresh whipped cream or Cool Whip.
- Arrange fruit however you’d like on the cream layer. The kitchen staff likes to make fun designs!
Sometimes slicing the tart gets a little messy. It’s so tasty, though, no one will care if it doesn’t look as pretty as it started! Here’s the written recipe.
Fresh Fruit Tarts/Pizza
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
or 8 oz Cool Whip
strawberries, washed, stems removed, and sliced
blueberries, washed and dried
kiwis, peeled and sliced
grapes, washed and cut in half
other options – diced mango, thinly sliced pineapple, sliced peaches, fresh blackberries, mandarin oranges, or any other fruit you like
To make dough: Cream butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat well. Mix flour and baking powder and slowly add to butter and sugar until just combined. Turn crumbly dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Dough can be used for one large tart or many small tarts. Press dough into bottom and up sides of tart pan(s). Shape and/or smooth out edges. Chill for 1 hour.
Prick bottoms and sides of dough with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown – small tart shells will cook faster; watch them closely. Let cool completely.
To make sweetened whipped cream: Add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of an electric mixer with the whip attachment. Whip on high until thick, creamy, and fluffy.
Spread the whipped cream on the cooled crust and top with fresh sliced fruit. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftover tart for up to 3 days. Enjoy! 🙂