Sunday, October 5, 2008

Free Form Tarts

I am not good at making things look pretty. These tarts don't need a perfect edge and actually look like you meant for them to be a little messy. Here are two varieties. Strawberry Rhubarb for spring and summer, Apple Berry for fall and winter.

Strawberry Rhubarb

2 cups 1/4-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 pound untrimmed)
2 cups strawberries, hulled, halved
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Heavy cream, whipped, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well; set aside.


Apple Berry Blossoms

3-4 tart apples, skinned and sliced

2 cups fresh or frozen berries

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup sugar

3 Tbsp cornstarch

Sautee the apples in butter, sugar and cinnamon. Meanwhile rinse the berries if they are frozen and drain the liquid. Add the berries to softened apples and sautee until the berries are the same temperature as the apples. The idea is not to cook the fruit but soften it a little and give it a head start before going in the oven. Drain a bit of the liquid off the mixture, add cornstarch stirring to fully mix in and then turn off the heat.


On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a rough circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Chill dough until just cold and easy to work with, about 30 minutes.

Transfer tart to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon fruit mixture in the center of each unbaked shell covering it to about 1 inch from edge. Fold edges of shells over filling, leaving the tarts open in the center; gently brush between the folds with water and press gently on folds so that the dough adheres together.

Place in oven to bake until crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and continue to bake until the juices are bubbly and just starting to run out from center, 10 to 12 minute more. Transfer immediately to a wire rack, and let cool before serving. Top with a dollop of whipping cream.

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