French fruit tart

French fruit tart

By
From
James Martin's French Adventure
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Annecy was where I found the most beautiful market I visited on my trip. Even at 7 o’clock in the morning, the place and the food were stunning – and I spotted a French version of my dog Ralph! Annecy also provided the inspiration for this elegant fruit tart.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 320g ready-made puff pastry sheet
1 egg, beaten
85g dark chocolate, broken into pieces, (optional)
300ml double cream
200ml ready-made chilled custard
12 strawberries, hulled and halved
150g blueberries
150g raspberries
200g redcurrants
150g seedless black or green grapes, halved

Method

  1. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle, then cut out a 36cm x 20cm rectangle and place on a lightly greased baking tray. Using a sharp knife, score a 2cm frame around the edge, making sure you don’t cut the pastry all the way through. Brush the border with beaten egg, taking care not to allow any to dribble down the sides because this will prevent the pastry from rising evenly. Prick the base of the tart (not the border) with a fork, then chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Bake the pastry until golden brown and crisp, about 20–25 minutes. Slide onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Once cooled, gently press the centre of the pastry down to leave the frame around the edge.
  4. Melt the chocolate (if using) in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of just simmering water, taking care that the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Brush the melted chocolate over the pastry base, keeping clear of the frame. Leave to set.
  5. In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks, then gently fold in the custard. Spoon over the pastry base, spreading it out evenly. Draw shallow lines in the cream mixture to create five sections and arrange the fruit on top so that each section is of a contrasting colour.
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