Monday, April 20, 2009
Beat the heat.
For a Spring day in April, it's been hot hot hot. And on days like these, it makes me think of only one thing: air conditioning. I just want to somehow get away from the heat and be where it's nice and cool--even if artificially, and yes, I am somewhat of a comfort creature with not much tolerance for extreme temperatures. I do sometimes also have other refreshing thoughts, like imagining myself sitting by a pool or on a beach on some far off tropical island, listening to splashing water or waves hitting the sand, with a cool drink in my hand. And the drink will have to have one of those little umbrellas and a piece of tropical fruit as garnish.
You might already know where I'm going with this. With the weather warming up, visions of pineapples, mangoes, and papayas dance in my head. Okay, not quite--I don't really like papayas honestly, but they all kind of go together. Pineapples and mangoes (mangoes especially), on the other hand, were staple fruits in my family while I was growing up and I cannot imagine a summer without them (and it's certainly feeling like summer today).
When a (new!) friend suggested showing me how to make a mango fruit tart about a week ago, I could not refuse. We met recently through a mutual friend, and I learned that she had a passion, perhaps an obsession?, for fruit tarts. I had never made one before, and with my penchant for baking, we knew this meeting was destiny. Her recipe is surprisingly easy, no fuss, with impressive results. The only touch I added at the end was an apricot glaze, which I've seen in some other recipes. Thinking about it now, this wouldn't be such a bad substitute for relaxing on the beach if you can't get to one on a hot day like today.
Mango Fruit Tart
Adapted from a fellow dessert-lover-baker
Serves about 8
Preheat the oven to 375F; you'll also need a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom
For the crust:
1. Combine the following using a pastry blender (or food processor if you have one):
- 1-1/3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour, fluffed
- 1 stick (or 1/2 cup) + 1 T. butter
2. Combine flour mixture with:
- 1 egg yolk
3. When the dough holds together, press it into the tart pan with your fingers.
4. Bake the crust for about 30 minutes or until edges turn light brown.
For the topping:
Peel and slice two medium-sized mangoes lengthwise (or you can slice any other fruit you'd like to use)
For the filling:
Using an electric mixer, mix together:
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 T. vanilla
(you can play with these proportions to achieve the taste you prefer)
For the glaze:
Over medium heat, stir together until syrupy:
- 2 T. apricot preserves
- 2 T. water
1. Prepare, bake and cool the crust after baking; remove from pan.
2. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the crust.
3. Assemble the sliced mango or other fruit in concentric circles.
4. Using a pastry brush or spoon, gently spread the glaze over the fruit.
5. Chill for about 2 hours before serving.