Free Form Fruit Tart

Flat, untidy – quick.  Excellent route towards offering a mixture of collected fruit that needs salvaging in an interesting format. Fruit on a thin layer of rich shortbread base. Do not be discouraged by the brown crust – the taste is exquisite.

The quantities below will make a large flat (for 12 people?).  It is however advisable to plan for as much as you will serve and consume on the first day – it does not age well, crusty bottom goes soft and looses it ‘exquisite’ rating..

  • 400g all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 100g sugar
  • 250g cold butter  
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Fruit: 6 or 8 medium apples, preferably Golden Delicious, or pears, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced, one above we made with pineapple and pears..  
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Crème fraîche, sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream; we would also experiment with pouring a drop or two of ajerkoniak

  1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor or mix by hand.
  2. Cut most of the butter into chunks, and add it and egg yolk to flour mixture. Leave a bit for dressing on top (optional, not necessary).
  3. Process until butter and flour are blended into a crumbly mess.
  4. Turn mixture into a bowl, and add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition.
  5. After adding 3 or 4 tablespoons you should be able to gather mixture into a ball; wrap ball in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or freeze for about 15 minutes).
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Roll or pat dough into a circle or a rectangle it can be quite crude in shape.
  8. Place it on a cookie or pizza sheet, preferably nonstick.
  9. Arrange fruit slices on top, right out to edges; make the pattern attractive, if you like.
  10. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  11. Cut remaining butter into bits, and top fruit with it.
  12. Bake until crust is nicely browned and fruit is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  13.  Remove, and serve warm or at room temperature, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or ice cream.



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