Kiwi Tart with Pastry Cream (Tarte au Kiwi et a la Creme Patissiere)
A local bakery makes these wonderful kiwi tarts that everyone in the family loves. I just bought some really nice golden kiwis from the local market and I thought I'd try my hand at making a kiwi tart, but with my own twist.
I used a walnut dough with the standard crème pâtissière. Instead of coating the bottom of the pastry with chocolate, I drizzled it over the top. The chocolate and kiwi go well together and they mesh very well with the velvety cream and the texture of the walnut tart shell.
Yields: 2 dozen20 tablespoons unsalted butter (2-1/2 sticks), diced, + 2 tablespoons for the cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon canola oil (or any neutral oil)
1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 whole eggs, at room temperature
4 egg yolks
1-3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon anise extract
1/2 cup walnut powder, (1.75 ounces)
4 cups all-purpose flour, + 1 tablespoon for the crème pâtissière
1/8 teaspoon salt, + 1 pinch for the crème pâtissière
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
5 golden kiwis
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For the walnut pastry dough: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. In another bowl, place the powdered sugar. Sift all the dry ingredients, separately.
Using a handheld mixer, whisk 2 whole eggs with 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar until you get a pale, yellow foam. It'll take about 5-6 minutes. The consistency must be very airy. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and anise extracts. Stir well using a spatula. Set aside.
Lightly oil the bowl of your food processor with a silicone brush. Add the flour, walnut powder, salt and remaining powdered sugar. Blend for a few seconds, then add the cold butter. Pulse the mixture until it forms crumbs of butter and flour. Add the egg mixture. Pulse another 3-4 times until it forms a dough. Do NOT over-mix. Transfer the dough onto a pastry board lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Place a silicone mat (or parchment paper) on top of the dough like a sandwich. Even out the dough using a rolling pin to about 1/2 inch thick. Create 24 (2-inch) squares of dough and 24 (8-inch by 1-inch) rectangles. Chill in the refrigerator while making the parchment paper molds.
Create the same 24 (2-inch) squares and 24 8-inch by 1-inch rectangles with parchment paper. Line 24 (2-inch) square mini-molds with the dough. Place the parchment square first at the bottom of the mold and top with the square of dough. Line the rectangle of dough with the parchment paper rectangle and place the rectangles along the sides of the molds, parchment paper against the wall of the molds. Patch the dough from the side of the mold with the dough from the bottom together (see tips). Fill with the gaps with the remaining dough if needed. Prick the dough with a fork. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the molds.
Place the molds on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes. Let them cool completely. Remove the shells from the molds. Discard the pieces of parchment paper. Set aside.
For the crème pâtissière: Using a handheld mixer, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until you get a pale, yellow foam. Add the remaining (1-1/2 teaspoons) vanilla extract, corn starch, salt and flour.
On the stove, combine the milk and heavy cream into a deep sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat right away.
Combine the dairy liquid with the egg mixture by slowly adding a ladle of the dairy liquid at a time to prevent the yolks from curdling.
Transfer all the mixture back to the deep sauce pan. Cook until the cream thickens, stirring constantly using a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Transfer the crème pâtissière to a bowl. Place the bowl into an ice bath. When the cream is cool completely, cover with a piece of plastic wrap; make sure the plastic wrap is directly in contact with the pastry cream to keep it from forming a skin. Let the cream cool completely.
Melting the chocolate: Place a pot filled with hot water (at a gentle simmer), topped with a piece of cloth so the bowl does not move and place a stainless-steel bowl filled with the chocolate chips on top. Turn off the heat. Temperature of the water shouldn't exceed 118°F. Melt the chocolate chips (See tips). Use immediately. If the chocolate hardens, place the chocolate back in the double boiler.
For the chocolate-drizzled kiwi: Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper. Peel and slice the kiwis. Lay out the kiwi slices on the baking tray. Drizzle with the melted chocolate in a pretty design. Let the chocolate set and harden. Depending on the weather, chill the kiwis in the refrigerator if needed so the chocolate sets completely.
Assembly time: Place about 1-1/2 tablespoons of crème pâtissière in the center of each tart shell. Top with a chocolate-drizzled kiwi using a small spatula.
Serve immediately, at room temperature.
FYI: 1 cup of butter = 16 tablespoons = 2 sticks of butter.
You can either buy ready-made walnut powder, or make it yourself. Remember to get a little more than 50 grams (1.75 ounces) of whole walnuts to get the correct amount of powder. Grind the roasted* walnuts with a food processor or spice grinder. Make sure you stop before it turns into walnut butter. I use the VitaMix Dry Blade Container. The result should be a fine mill.
To make sure that the dough is perfectly shape like the molds. I patch each corner of the molds using the tip of a chopstick .
I think it's best to make the walnut dough a day in advance. Store it in the refrigerator overnight. The dough will be easier to roll and won't be crumbly.
Rolling the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper (or silicon mat) prevent the addition of extra flour on the rolling surface, which can change the texture of the dough.
I use 2-inch individual tin square cake molds. I found them at Daiso, the Japanese version of a 99-cent store. They cost $1.50 a pair.
Little reminder on how to roast nuts*: To release all the flavor and oil of the nuts, I like to roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 325°F before using them. The only nuts that I dry roast on the stove are pine nuts. They are smaller, cook more quickly and are much easier to watch and manipulate on the stove top.
Little reminder on how to melt chocolate: Use good quality chocolate. Do not let water get into the bowl otherwise the chocolate will start seizing. I use chocolate chips for the chocolate to melt evenly (or chop a large chunk of it using a serrated knife). Use a clean, dry, stainless-steel bowl to melt the chocolate. Use a silicone spatula, not wood. Dark chocolate is tempered when the temperature reaches 90°F. (You can find digital thermometers at IKEA. They're very inexpensive ).
You can make this fresh fruit tart with any other fruits, such as plums, peaches, mandarins, strawberries, pears, figs etc... depending on the season. Be creative!
Check out my other desserts.Published By: on September 11, 2009.