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Cooking with the Kids: Seasonal Fruit Tart

peach-tart.jpg
.
Makes

8

Portions
.Suitable for freezing
. Preparation

60

minutes
.

45

minutes cooking time
.180 C°, 350 F°, Gas Mark 4

Ingredients

You will need
  • A loose bottomed 28cm / 30cm tart case
  • A food processor (nothing jazzy needed, just basic)
  • Rolling pin
  • Cling film
  • Baking paper
  • Rice (or baking beans)
  • Fruit, whatever fruit that suits your family. 
Sweet Pastry
  • 300g Plain Flour     
  • 50g Icing sugar       
  • 175g Salted Butter  
  • 2 Egg Whites          
You will use the yolks in the next recipe.
Crème Pâtisserie (or in other words thick creamy custard)
  • 30g Salted Butter     
  • 250ml Milk                    
  • 25g Cornflour           
  • 30g Sugar                
  • 2 Egg Yolks         

Method

Fruit Tart
  1. Use the fruit in season or the fruit that most appeals to the little mouths in your household. The actual making of the pastry and the custard involves a food processor and an adult to oversee the food processor controls. The rolling out of the pastry will have 'mixed results' depending on the age/skill of the children, but the pastry is so delicious that even if it's a bit thicker than ideal it will still be a gorgeous pudding. Weighing out the ingredients is always fun and a great chance to talk about 'number'. The pastry is tolerant of slightly 'off' weighing. The custard less so. 
  2. As for fruit you can use a mixture of soft fruits, such as Strawberries and Raspberries. You can also top the tart with apples which I then like to cook in the oven like a classic French Apple Tart. The preparing of the fruit and the arranging the fruit on the layer of custard is huge fun for children of any age. 
  3. Make the pastry before you make the custard.
  4. Cut the butter into cubes. Please don't try to make this with 'not butter'. Trust me, you will be able to believe it's not butter.
  5. In a food processor pulse the first three ingredients and when they look like breadcrumbs add the two egg whites and process just until the mixture forms a ball.
  6. Cover the loose bottom base from the tart case with cling film.
  7. Take the pastry out of the food processor and place it on the cling filmed base.
  8. Don't wash the food processor, we are going to use it again.
  9. With your hands make the pastry in to a thick disc just a bit smaller than the base itself.
  10. Cover with another piece of cling film
  11. Put in the fridge to firm up.
I used to add vanilla to creme patisserie, but I have recently stopped, I think you can taste the fruit better if there is no competing vanilla flavour.
  1. In a small saucepan heat the milk with the butter.
  2. In the 'still dirty' food processor mix the egg yolks with the sugar and the cornflour.
  3. As the milk/butter mix starts to boil pour it on to the egg mixture with the food processor running, this is an adult job.
  4. The mixture will thicken as you are processing it.
  5. Process it for about 30 seconds until the mixture is completely thick and smooth.
  6. Remove the Creme Patisserie from the food processor. It is very hot and thick at this point so make sure the mixture doesn't end up on any little hands. Because it is thick it sticks to skin so it would make a nasty burn.
  7. Put in a bowl and cover with cling film, put in the fridge.
  8. To roll out the pastry, flour a big piece of cling film and flour the rolling pin.
  9. Roll out the chilled disc of pastry, still in a circular shape until a bit bigger than the tart case.
  10. Once it's the right size, roll the pastry, still attached to the cling film, on to the rolling pin.
  11. Gently unroll the pastry, cling film side up, on to the tart case.
  12. Very carefully peel off the cling film, make sure all the sides of the case have an even covering of pastry.
  13. Cut off the excess pastry... Little hands love playing with these leftovers and whatever they create can be baked and eaten as biscuits.
  14. With a fork, dock the base of the pastry.
  15. Cut out a circle of baking paper about 5cms bigger all around than the tart case.
  16. Put the baking paper on top of the pastry and add three handfuls of the cheapest rice you have in the cupboard.
  17. Smooth the rice out over the base.
  18. Bake at 180c for 20 mins.
  19. Remove the baking paper and the rice. (I keep the paper and rice in an old ice cream container and use them again and again).
  20. Put the pastry back in the oven and cook for 5/10 mins more until the base of the tart is starting to turn a sandy brown colour.
  21. Set to one side to cool.
  22. Once cool carefully remove from the tart case and place on a serving plate.
To assemble the tart:
  1. Mix the cool custard until spreadable, it will be very solid in the fridge.
  2. Carefully spread the custard over the base of the tart.
  3. Wash the berries or peel the fruit. You can use drained tinned fruit if you suddenly find yourself fruitless.
DECORATE!!! Swirls, faces (if you have contrasting colours of fruit), whatever your little ones can imagine, they can make as the design for the tart.If you are decorating with peeled sliced apples, pop the tart on a baking tray and place in the oven at 180c for about 15 mins to slightly cook the apples, classic French Apple Tart style.Enjoy.

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