This is one of the first tarts anyone learns in hotel or chef school; it's a beautiful tart that's perfect for spring, laced as it is with diced, rosy rhubarb and strawberries set in vanilla-scented cream and finished with a veneer of apricot or red currant glaze.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, in chunks
4-6 tablespoons whipping cream
2-3 cups rhubarb, finely diced
2 cups diced strawberries
Zest of one small orange
4 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
½ cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Apricot jam or red currant jelly, warmed
For the tart pastry, place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend dry ingredients. Add in the chunks of butter and pulse to make a grainy mixture. Add in the cream, a few tablespoons at a time and pulse until you have a mixture that holds together, adding in additional cream if required.
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently to form a dough. Pat into a disc, wrap and refrigerate 1-4 hours.
Meanwhile prepare the fruit. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out the tart dough on a floured work surface. Fold it in four and transfer to a 9 or 10 inch tart or quiche pan, pressing the dough snugly onto the pan and into the fluted edges. Trim pastry so it is flush with the pan edges. Place on the baking sheet. Alternatively you can make this a large free form tart by placing a 10-12 inch circle of pastry dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. (Once the fruit is place on the tart, turn up tart edges to make a border)
Toss rhubarb, strawberries and orange zest together in a bowl and then gently arrange in the tart shell as snugly as possible. Fruit should fill up pan; if you need more fruit, add either rhubarb or more berries.
In a medium bowl or food processor, blend the together the cream cheese, sugar, whipping cream, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Pour over the fruit. Place it carefully in the oven. Bake until set, 60-75 minutes or until custard seems set and rhubarb and strawberries seems softened. Cool 10-15 minutes before brushing with warmed apricot jam or red currant jelly.
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