This, my friends, is one of my favorite things I've ever made. Ever.
It's the epitome of desserts I love because it is both rich tasting and refreshing at the same time! Plus, it has custard and of course, anything that has custard in it is a win in my book. Let me just emphasize again that this fruit tart is amazing; not only does it taste amazing, it's literally breathtaking to look at. It starts with a chewy and sweet sugar cookie crust, which is then filled with the most fragrant and delicious frangipane filling. On top of that is a layer of creamy vanilla custard that helps keep the whole tart moist and enables the fruit to stick to the tart. If you can imagine anything more this tart needs, it is then topped with a medley of fresh fruit and beautified with an apricot glaze that makes it even more stunning to look at!
I know this sounds really tedious, having five components and all, but the way I make this tart (using shortcuts) makes it do-able and when you take a bite of this gorgeous thing you just made, you'll start thinking of when you're gonna make it again and again! I've made it almost 10 times already... not joking!
French Fruit Tart
Yields: 2 9" tarts
Original frangipane recipe here.
For the crust:
1 package dry mix sugar cookie dough
+ the ingredients needed to make it, according to the package
For the custard layer:
1 small package of French vanilla pudding
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
For the frangipane layer:
8 tbsn. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup almond meal or ground almonds
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. almond extract
For the glaze:
1/4 cup apricot jam or orange marmalade
2 tbsn. water
For the filling (any assortment of the below will work):
First, prepare the frangipane filing. Combine the butter and sugar in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the ground almonds and pulse to blend. Add the cornstarch and pulse. Mix in the egg, egg yolk and almond extract. Scrape into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare the sugar cookie mix according to the directions on the package. Divide the dough among two 9" tart pans with removable bottoms. Spread evenly along the entire surface and up the sides (don't worry if it looks thin - it will puff up during baking). Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until just barely golden. Set aside to cool a bit. Once room temperature, divide the frangipane filling among the two par-baked tart shells and bake for 10 - 15 minutes until slightly puffed and golden brown. Remove to a rack to cool completely.
To prepare the custard, combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk for 3 - 5 minutes until thickened and smooth. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes to chill and thicken up some more. Once thickened, use a offset spatula to divide the custard among the two tarts, spreading the custard over the entire surface in a smooth layer. Top with your assortment of fruit in any manner that you like. To make the glaze, heat all of the ingredients over medium heat in a small saucepan. Stir to combine. Once thinned, remove from the heat and use a pastry brush to glaze the entire surface of the tart. Chill the tart for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!