Fruit tart with rum cream, chocolate and blackberries

rum cream tart

The recipe today reaches back, way back, for me. It combines many elements that I find appealing in a dessert… fresh fruit, a cookie or shortbread type crust, whipped cream and chocolate.  Honestly, this is a dessert that lends itself more toward a fancy ladies tea than anything else. Baked as small individual tarts and artfully embellished with various summer fruits it’s a pretty and pleasing sweet for a wedding or baby shower spread. And I have made it for that purpose in the past, but for a dinner party a big ‘ole tart works just fine and is much faster to put together. While there are several steps and I do end up using lots of bowls, spoons, spatulas and such, none of the techniques are difficult and the resulting tart (or tartlets) are very well worth any trouble.

My Dear Hubby just went bananas for this dessert, surprising me to be honest. I think the rum cream filling is superb and works well with many types of fruit. The added layer of chocolate  helps keep the pastry crust from becoming soggy and hey, who doesn’t like chocolate? But I will confess,  you can skip the chocolate layer if you so desire, just be sure to assemble the tart at the last moment or you’ll have a ‘soggy bottom’. And if you don’t care to glaze the berries that’s okay too – it  just makes the fruit shiny and pretty.

The biggest secret to this recipe is the fruit. Use the best fresh fruit you can find – so ideally this is a summer dessert here in the USA. However, we’ve been getting some very good, large blackberries and raspberries here at our local grocery, so while I splurged here in December, you (and Dear Hubby) reap the reward. Enjoy!

Rolling in or rather, out the pastry. This pastry dough is very buttery so it must rest in the refrigerator before being placed into action under the pin....

Rolling in, or rather out, the pastry. This pastry dough is very buttery so it must rest in the refrigerator before being placed into action under the pin….

Line the tart pan with the pastry, trim the edges and prick the bottom and side a with a fork. This will keep the pastry flat while it bakes. You can also use pastry beans/beads but the fork method works great for me.

Line the tart pan with the pastry, trim the edges and prick the bottom and sides with a fork. This will keep the pastry flat while it bakes. You can also use pastry beans/beads but the fork method works great for me.

Mixing the egg, rum and milk.

Mixing the egg, rum and milk.

Mix the egg/milk mixture into the "dry" mixture. Then cook this slowly over heat to get the rum pastry cream.

Mix the egg/milk mixture into the “dry” mixture. Then cook this slowly over heat to get the rum pastry cream.

Here the rum pastry cream is cooking and I am whisking (or stirring)  continuously. Once it just starts to boil, remove form the heat and...

Here the rum pastry cream is cooking and I am whisking (or stirring) continuously. Once it just starts to boil, remove from the heat and…

chill OVER ice water. Keep stirring or whisking until it is cooled. Refrigerate while you make the other parts.

chill OVER ice water. Keep stirring or whisking until it is cooled. Refrigerate while you make the other parts.

The layer of chocolate  acts like a barrier to the rum cream and fruit so the crust stays "crustier" longer.  Plus chocolate goes together so well with fruit like berries...

The layer of chocolate acts like a barrier to the rum cream and fruit so the crust stays “crustier” longer. Plus chocolate goes together so well with fruit like berries…

Pour the warm chocolate into the cooled crust. Use a spatula or back of a large spoon to smooth the chocolate layer. Refrigerate the tart at this point. It must be cool before adding the top rum cream layer.

Pour the warm chocolate into the cooled crust. Use a spatula or the back of a large spoon to smooth the chocolate layer. Refrigerate the tart at this point. It must be cool before adding the top rum cream layer.

Fold the sweetened whipped cream to the cooled rum pastry cream. You can stir in about a third of the whipped cream if the pastry cream is thick and heavy. Then fold in the remainder of the whipped cream.

Fold the sweetened whipped cream to the cooled rum pastry cream. You can stir in about a third of the whipped cream if the pastry cream is thick and heavy. Then fold in the remainder of the whipped cream.

Spread the finished rum cream on top of the chocolate layer of the tart. Now we're ready for those berries!

Spread the finished rum cream on top of the chocolate layer of the tart. Now we’re ready for those berries!

Top the tart with the fruit and brush with the glaze. You can also glaze each berry by dipping it in the glaze and then placing it on the tart. I think the former technique is easier, though.

Top the tart with the fruit and brush with the glaze. You can also glaze each berry by dipping it in the glaze and then placing it on the tart. I think the former technique is easier, though.

The whole finished tart.

The whole finished tart.

Here's a close up of the sliced tart so you can see the layers better.

Here’s a close up of the sliced tart so you can see the layers better.

Fruit Tart with Rum Cream and Chocolate

Pastry

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus extra
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-2 tbl cold water

In a large bowl stir flour with salt and sugar. Cut butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. Stir in egg white and just enough water to make a dough. Gather dough and warp in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up until 4 hours. When ready roll dough out on a lightly floured surface and line a 9 or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick pastry with a fork many times and place back in refrigerator while the oven preheats to 400 degrees. Bake pastry crust 12-15 minutes, and cool in the pan placed on a rack.

Rum Cream

  • 1 tbl gelatin (1 packet plus a little more)
  • 2 tbl sugar
  • 2 tbl flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbl confectioners sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbl rum
  • salt (dash)
  • ice water

In a sauce pan mix gelatin, sugar, flour and dash of salt. In a medium bowl whisk egg yolk, milk and rum until very well combined. Pout this into the gelatin mixture and heat slowly over low heat, whisking continuously. Turn up heat to medium and continue to whisk. Cook until the mixture thickens and just begins to boil. Remove from heat and set pan over ice water and continue to whisk until the mixture is cooled. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

In a mixing bowl whip the heavy cream and confectioners until peaks form and the cream is whipped. Remove the rum cream from the refrigerator and stir well –using a whisk if it has set. Fold sweetened whipped cream into the rum cream until well combined. Cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate Layer

  • 1 cup chocolate chips (milk chocolate, semi sweet or bitter sweet – use your favorite good quality chocolate)
  • 1-2 tbl Crisco or other solid vegetable shortening

In a heavy bottomed pan or double boiler heat chocolate chips slowly, stirring as they melt. Add shortening and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth to your liking. Pour warm chocolate into cooled tart pastry and spread to smooth. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes or until chocolate filling is completely cool. Spoon the rum cream on top of the cooled chocolate. Refrigerate.

Glaze and Assembly

  • 1 pint fresh berries* (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries or a combination) washed and dried
  • ¼ cup light colored jelly, jam or preserves (apricot, peach, persimmon, etc)
  • 1 tbl water

In a small saucepan heat jam and add the water. Stir. Remove from the heat and set aside. Place fruit on the tart evenly and/or in a pattern if you like. Brush each berry with the warm glaze, careful not to drip the warm glaze on the rum cream. Alternately, you can brush glaze on each berry and then place the berries on the tart.

Serve immediately or can be held in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour or so. Makes 10-12 servings.

*Top the tart with whole berries to avoid a runny tart. Sliced fruit will drain onto the rum cream and while it will still taste fine, it may make a messy dessert, especially when sliced.

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