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« Tarte aux myrtilles... a summer blueberry tart | Main | Paella with dear old friends »
Friday
Jun102011

Happy first anniversary Tarte du Jour! I'm celebrating with a tarte aux fruits filled with crème pâtissière...

 

This month marks one year since I began this tart/food blog!  I started it with the intent to share what I know about tarts and cooking but in return I have learned so much more from you, the readers.  I have been especially blessed by the connections with and support from people through comments and e-mails. What a lovely and passionate group of people you are!  I have learned so much more about myself... more about pastry making, about food photography, and about food writing.  Thank you!

It has been a difficult year for me personally, losing my dear mother last October.  It was hard to get back to the kitchen to cook and write again after she died.  But she was my biggest supporter in the beginning phases of Tarte du Jour and my very first subscriber.  I knew she wanted me to continue as soon as I was able.  And so continue I did.  So much of what I do here reminds me of her.  She is, after all, the person who taught me to cook.  

 

 

 

On to the tart... Last weekend at a party I met an ex-pastry chef who had amazing credentials. She trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris etc. etc. blah blah blah.  Actually, she was a super gal and I instantly liked and admired her very much. (Clearly I wish I was the one who studied at Le Cordon Bleu right after college instead of working at a stressful career for a large retailer.)  We got to discussing crème pâtissière (pastry cream) and she informed me that pastry cream is currently out of style and that everyone is bored with it now.  What?? How could that be?  But that's my absolute favorite thing to put in a tart and I do mean my all time favorite.   It is a fruit tart's "raison d'être" (reason for existence).  This news rocked my world.  

 

 

Well, I will have none of this crazy talk.  I love a traditional fruit tart filled with "unfashionable" pastry cream anyway.  In fact, I decided to make this particular tart for the one year anniversary of Tarte du Jour because it is such a French classic, spotted in pastry shops throughout France. (I wonder if they have heard the bad news yet?)

I personally will pass on chic cuisine like the "foam" movement, that looks to me as if the chef very stylishly spat on my food. Or the "vertical food" movement, where you risk poking your eye out with the plate's garnishes.  I do love creative and innovative food but sometimes it tries too hard to impress and then it fails.  I just don't like it when the food I eat is too theatrical. 

The ex-chef and I were interrupted and the conversation moved on before I could ask her more about this revelation of pastry cream passé. 

 

 

The key to a rich and flavorful pastry cream is to use real vanilla beans, cut them in half and scrape the fragrant seeds from the pod.  Variations are easily made by stirring in a teaspoon of Cognac or a flavored liquor into the pastry cream.

Finally, I can't end this first anniversary post without thanking my wonderful husband for all his "techie" support on this website.  Without him there literally would be no Tarte du Jour.  Thanks, Mike.  You're the best!

And Dad, Mike, Max and Lilly... thank you for being the chief taste testers. You are my favorite people in all the world to cook for!    

 

 

Tarte aux fruits

pâte sucrée - basic pastry dough - fully baked (click here)

fresh berries  - I used raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries (you may use any fresh seasonal fruit)  

crème pâtissière...

1 cup whole milk

1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out

5 tablespoons sugar

3 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

optional - 1 teaspoon Cognac or flavored liquor

In a saucepan heat the milk, vanilla bean and sugar over medium high heat until right before it boils.

In a separate bowl whisk together egg yolks and then the cornstarch and flour.  Whisking constantly slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture.  Pour through a sieve back into the saucepan. Heat on med-high and whisk constantly until it just thickens like pudding.  (about 1 1/2 minutes) 

Take off the heat and stir in butter and optional Cognac.  Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream so it doesn't  form a skin while in the refrigerator.  Place in the refrigerator until it is cooled completely.

Spread the pastry cream in the bottom of a fully baked tart shell.  Arrange any seasonal fruit on top of the pastry cream. 

If shiny fruit is desired, then heat 1/4 cup currant jelly and 1 tablespoon water over medium heat and brush on the berries for a light glaze.

 

As always, I'd love to hear your comments!  Please click here

 

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Reader Comments (27)

I disagree! Pastry cream will never be out of fashion! Mon dieu! It is possibly the most versatile pastry recipe. In fact, in Paris they are beginning to have shops that carry only pate choux (my favorite)........filled with pastry cream! :). Congrats on 1 year!

06.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Congrats on the anniversary, Lisa! I know your family is very proud of you, and your Mom surely is smiling from beyond.

06.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Ridgway

Hey Lisa!
After living above a patisserie shop in Paris I've always been absolutely smitten with the likes of your Tarte aux Fruits ... so pleasing to the eye, and delectable on the palate. Another favorite was Puits d'Amour (Wells of Love to the rest of us romantics).
Congratulations on your first T-D-J anniversary!

06.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Lisa dear, I can't beleave you started the blog a year ago. I have enjoy every posting and you have developed a new talent in food photography. Thanks so much in allowing me to be part of the chefs taste testing crew. What a way to be part of it all. YUM! Love, Dad

06.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDad

A whole year! It has been such a treat watching you grow!! I loved this blog from the very beginning..not just because you r my daughter-in-law...well, maybe a little bit... But because your eye has become so creative and your verbiage so sophisticated .. Never stop! I love you Dil xx

06.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat mcelroy

Congratulations!! Gorgeous tart..and crème pâtissière is my favorite part of the tart! Wonderful anniversary post. Cheers.

06.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterNina

Congrats on 1st Anniversary! Love creme Patissiere and the tart looks Berry delicious!

I love this kind of sweets. I will try your recipe too, look so delicious...

06.12.2011 | Unregistered Commentercccris

Congratulations! I can't believe you have only been doing this a year! Your blog is fanstastic and as I've shared prior my favorite email moment is to open my burgeoning inbox to be greeted by a new post from you! You are a joyous talent Sister and I'm so glad to have found you. I hope you'll revel in your glory a bit today!

06.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBoulder Locavore

This looks so fresh and beautiful, I am actually going to attempt my first tart! Your love of cooking and appreciation for food always comes through, I know Nancy would be proud.

06.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Peotter

Congratulations on your anniversary - and thank you for a beautiful tart recipe!

06.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynda

Congratulations on your one year anniversary! Your mother is very proud of you and this is a beautiful tribute to her. You are very talented and don't change a thing!

Dear Lisa, I have so enjoyed all of your blogs" .I have tried several! All so delicious
, It seems like only last week that your dear mom called me with the news. of your new endeavor. We all miss her so But I love being in touch with you and reading the stories that go with each recipe!

06.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBette King Norris

whoa am i glad to be greeted by this beautiful, colourful tart on a cloudy cold monday morning here! love how its so thin and filled with so much berries (too bad its not berry season here! mb i can substitute with winter fruits...)
happy 1st anniversary tart du jour! looking fwd to many wonderful recipes in come!
btw, hard to imagine such a classic pastry cream would ever go out of fashion! i wonder what's in then to replace it? haha.

06.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterVivienne

Lisa, Bravo on your 1st anniversaire. What an amazing site, fantastic photos and all your posts are such a ray of sunshine to read. Your mum's pride must surely be continuing, as she looks on - and what a wonderful family you have that's so supportive - you are so lucky to have a techie with Mike, too! As for the crème pâtissière, mon dieu - I'm stunned. Well, dear Lisa, please keep this pastry cream movement alive through your tempting tarts like this one. Long live pastry cream! (btw, it's a brilliant recipe for egg yolks! ;-))
Fantastique!

Pastry cream is passé! I was out of the loop on that fad I guess. I think it is the essence of classic French Pastry and to ome it will never be out of fashion. Wishing you a very Happy One Year Blogaversary!

My mouth has dropped to the floor and i am now drooling all over the place. This tart is beyond pretty, it is simply gorgeous and magazine picture perfect. Everything about it screams yummy! The berries, the cream, the crust, everything. I only wish I had a piece of it right now! I know tarts aren't hard to make but boy you make them seem soooo easy- yours are flawless

Lisa: Congratulations on one year!

The only regret I have is that I have just found you.

Beautiful Tart!

I doubt that pastry cream will ever go out.

I love French and European way of baking.

It is sad that America has not learned from Europe.

We tend to go for ultra sweet, and fast food. Not good at all.

I'm so tired of not having a decent restaurant or cafe to sit in. Most of them are on the casual side, unless of course you are in a prominent city and able to pay BIG bucks. (which I'm not able to.) How I yearn for a classy, or even slightly classy family restaurant!
And how I pine away for a decent cafe to relax in, reminiscent of Europe!

Somehow here in N. America cafes are looked at as prissy and womanish. :~(

In the meantime ----- I just have to reproduce it at home.

Now enough whining!!

I can't wait to dive into your recipes.

06.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Happy blog anniversary Lisa! Looking forward to more of your delicious posts. Your tart looks delicious by the way.

06.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDewi

Congrats on 1 year and on Top 9!

06.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Kitchen Noob

Happy B-Day! That's quite an accomplishment :) Your tart looks outstanding :)

06.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterParsley Sage

Happy anniversary dear Lisa!! How glad I am to have found your blog, already made several tarts from your selection including this fruit one with strawberries and classic creme! And my husband says Happy anniversary as well since he is pretty happy that I have ventured into the tarts now, thanks to you!

Hope to celebrate many more! :)

06.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterIlke

wow wow wow this looks SO GOOD!

06.15.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbetty

Thanks everyone for the warm first anniversary wishes!

I am definitely not bored with pastry cream! I have been dreaming about this exact dessert for over a year now, that's how long it's been since I've had it. One of my all time faves. Beautiful!

06.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKarissa

Such a beautiful tart to celebrate your blogs first b'day!
We are in our final week of Get Grillin' - Dessert is the theme and we would love if you submitted up to any 3 recipes (they don't have to be grilled) to our link up. This one would be perfect! This week we have a Rouxbe Cooking School giveaway. http://su.pr/2YaIiV

07.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarla

Lovely, lovely recipe. I had purchased a bunch of ripe currants, but my mother doesn't like them because they're sour. I decided to make a tart and stumbled upon this recipe. It's fantastic, and relatively easy! Unfortunately, I wasted half of a vanilla bean and 3 eggs because I thought I was doing something terribly terribly wrong with the creme. Then I realized what the sieve was for. Thanks!

08.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany
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