I took a classic Parisian tart recipe by pastry chef Nick Malgieri, author of one of my favorite cookbooks, The Modern Baker, and put a slight twist on it. Rather than bake mini tarts, I prepared one large one, pressing the decadent cookie dough crust into a tart pan with a removable bottom. And instead of piling loads of berries, kiwis, and pineapple on top, I decorated the tart with toasted pistachio nuts and a minimal amount of fresh fruit, letting the gorgeous pastry cream shine through.
Pistachio Fruit Tart
Adapted from Nick Malgieri’s Parisian Fruit Tart recipe
Cookie Dough Crust
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Pastry Cream Filling
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Glaze and Garnish
3/4 cups apricot preserves
2 teaspoons water
Assorted fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries, kiwis, and oranges
Toasted pistachio nutmeats
Prepare the crust: With an electric mixer or wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and egg yolks, then stir in flour until just combined. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead together a few times until smooth. Shape the dough into a disc and refrigerate for a few hours before rolling.
Prepare the pastry cream: Combine milk, heavy cream, and half the sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining sugar, flour, and egg yolks. Pour a third of the simmering milk mixture into the bowl with the yolk mixture, and quickly whisk to combine. (This prevents the eggs from curdling.) Add egg yolk and milk mixture to the saucepan and bring back to a simmer, whisking continuously as mixture comes to a boil. Let boil, continuing to whisk nonstop, for around 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Spread a layer of plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and set aside to cool. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
Prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, combine apricot preserves and water. Strain into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until reduced to about 2/3 of its original volume. Pour into a bowl or glass container and set aside to cool.
Assemble, bake, and decorate: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove dough from fridge, and let soften slightly. Press dough into a 9 or 10-inch tart pan. Poke the bottom of the crust all over with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and set. Let cool. Spread the pastry cream into the tart crust, smoothing it with a rubber spatula. Place sliced fruit and/or berries in a shallow bowl or pan. Pour glaze over the fruit and gently stir with a rubber spatula until fully coated. Decorate tart as desired with fruits and pistachio pieces. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.