So, as I spent a fair amount of time in Grand Rapids, Michigan this past July and August, staying at my mom's, I simply had to take advantage of the summer fruits that the orchards of western Michigan produce. I paid a visit to the Fulton Street farmers market where I scored some Michigan Red Haven peaches (BIG favorite from my childhood) and fresh local blackberries which soon went into a delicious peach-blackberry custard tart for a small family gathering. Deelicious! Topped with sliced almonds and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was just the ticket.
|peach blackberry custard tart|
It's always such a pleasure to return to tart making, especially when the cool, crisp days of autumn are upon us. Working with the cool, supple dough, lining the tart rings or petit four molds and thinking about those luscious fillings is such a delight.
The beauty of these tarts is the make ahead fillings. You can even blind bake your crusts and freeze them ahead of time. Just thaw them briefly at room temp, warm in the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up, then cool and fill. As usual, it's all about the planning.
I've tried many lemon curd/lemon cream tart fillings over the years, always in search of the perfect one. All can easily be made a couple of days (or more!) ahead. I normally prefer a classic puckery lemon curd, although this time I used a riff on Pierre Herme's (complements of Dorie Greenspan) lemon lemon cream. It is oh so smooth and lemony, especially garnished with a dollop of light, whipped lemon mascarpone and a fresh raspberry.
|lemon cream tart|
|garnishing the chocolate ganache tart|
|caramel nut tart|
Here are just a couple of ideas.
Lemon semifreddo - freeze the leftover lemon cream in silicone flexi-molds or a plastic wrap lined loaf pan. At serving time either pop them out of the flexis or turn out of the loaf pan and slice - great with fresh fruit, perhaps a little berry coulis and some lovely shortbread.
Caramel nut truffle tart - pâte d'amandes, layer of caramel nut filling with chocolate ganache poured over. A definite keeper!
|pouring the ganache over the baked caramel nut filling|
|ready to chill with some nuts peeking through|
And finally, a summer reminder - the classic fresh fruit tart with crème pâtissière filling. Ahhhhhh.
Ciao for now!