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!
Fruit Tart with Rum Cream and Chocolate
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.