Today was a GLORIOUS day. There is no other way to put it! Just fabulous.... sun, more sun and we reached the 80's today. It was a serendipitous day. Magical and centered. Don't you love it when you have a day that turns magical right before your eyes! Being present without expectations. I wish all of my life was like that! So good to just listen to our innermost voice...so soft, not even a whisper. It is as if there is a invisible string that guides us to the perfect place at the perfect time.
Before I even got to my destination, I was sidetracked (my ADD at work) by someones creativity in yard signs and ended up at a garage sale. I scored several items.... the best kitchen item was a blue enamel stockpot with steamer insert - major score! I also ended up with a few other odds and ends... already finding a use in their new home. I finally made it to my destination point and I explored the West Side Farmer's Market this morning. I ventured away from my usual Saturday morning routine to the downtown market and it's crowd drawing appeal and opted for a much saner option. Heading west, visiting the equally wonderful market that sits much closer to my house and offers up many little gems along the way.
I was looking for rhubarb and greens, I was determined to get the rhubarb for my fruit tart. It is my sister's birthday today and I could not let this day skip away without making her fruit tart. I kept thinking rhubarb compote.... apricots.... strawberries... yummmm all these flavors kept mixing themselves in my mind. I could just taste exactly what I wanted to make. I did it... I whipped up this amazingly simple yet tasty fruit tart. And, I convinced my sister to come over for a slice. She brought my adorable 1 year old niece who was the ultimate tasting judge for the tart. She loved it...♥♥♥
Early Summer Fruit Tart -
Make your crust - Follow your favorite pate brisee recipe. I threw 1 and 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbs vanilla sugar into the food processor. Pulse until mixed. Then add in 1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup, make sure your butter is cold. Chop it up into small pieces and throw into the freezer for 5 minutes. Take out and place in food processor, pulse again until crumbly - another 30 secs. Add 1/4 cup ice water and pulse until the dough just forms a ball. Wrap up ball in plastic wrap and put into fridge for about 1 hour.
This begins with a rhubarb compote. Easy to make. Start with -5 thick rhubarb stems or 10 thin stems. Wash, trim and chop. Throw rhubarb into sauce pan with 1/4 cup water and add 2 TBS organic apricot preserves. Add in 2 TBS vanilla sugar -( we keep this on hand - leftover vanilla beans thrown into a glass jar filled with sugar) Cook compote until it has thickened up, this takes around 10 minutes. You want it to be like jelly, thick and sticky. Taste it - it should be tart like rhubarb, just not too tart. (adjust sugar if needed) Let sit and cool.
Turn oven on - 450 degrees
Prepare Fruit. 1 quart of berries. I had very large strawberries to work today with so I sliced them in half and then again. I wanted them to lay flat. Take another 2 TBS of your vanilla sugar and coat berries. Slice 1 apricot into thin wedges and toss with more sugar (keep fruits separate).
Roll out Crust. This is the easy part. Flour your surface and keep flouring throughout the rolling process as you will be moving the crust, you do not want it to stick. Roll out to about a 12" circle. Transfer to parchment paper on baking sheet.
Lay down Rhubarb Compote. Now you feel like you are making a pizza. Take your wonderful freshly made compote and spread around the crust, keeping a good inch from the edge.
Layer Fruit. Place sliced strawberries in a circle, start from the outside and work in. Layer twice and get artistic. Finally layer the sliced apricots in the center.
Fold Corners and Bake. Notice I did not say cut corners... fold the edges of your crust up. CAREFULLY. This is where you need to be delicate. Put into hot oven for about 20-25 minutes.. I had mine in for 28 minutes today. Check it, you do not want crust to burn.
Eat and Enjoy. Serve with organic whip cream laced with just a hint of your vanilla sugar. Make sure you give some away... they will leave with a smile! ♥♥♥