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Today is daughter #2’s birthday. It is such a joy to bake for her as she appreciates every edible stuff that I make. At 24, she’s still a babe and yes, thank God that my little princess has grown up to be a fine young lady but in my heart she’ll always remain my baby.

For her birthday this year, I made her this refreshing fresh fruit tart with orange liquere flavoured pastry cream that I know she will relish thoroughly (:

Happy & Blessed 24th Birthday, my dear princess !

FRESH FRUIT TART

Don’t be intimidated by the steps involved in making this beautiful tart; it really isn’t that difficult. With a little planning, it’s a zip to put it together it. Prepare the dough and bake the tart shell ahead (the baked shell can be stored in a airtight box and kept in the refrigertor for upto 3 days). Cook the pastry cream and assemble the fresh fruits on the day that you want to serve. Be assured that the results will be stunning, one that is sure to delight many!

(A) THE FRESH FRUITS
– Prepare an assortment of fresh fruits with bold constrasting colours such as strawberries, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries, mangoes, peaches, etc.

(B) THE SHORT CRUST PASTRY
120gm cold unsalted butter
200gm plain or all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
90ml ice-cold water

Method
1) Cut butter into small cubes. Rub butter into flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add water and knead until a smooth dough is formed. Leave to rest overnight in the refrigerate (do not freeze).

2) When ready to use, leave dough outside for 10 mins to soften slightly, then roll out dough to a thickness of 5mm on a floured surface.
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3) Place dough over a greased 22cm tart tin and gently press dough against the side and bottom.
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4) Remove the excess dough by using a roller pin to roll the dough over the top of the tin.
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5) Prick with a fork, then leave to rest in the freezer for 5 mins or 15 mins in the chiller before baking.
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6) Preheat the oven to 200C. Bake the dough “blind” by placing a sheet of parchment paper over the chilled dough with weights such as beans or rice into the tart tin (this is to prevent the bottom of the dough from ballooning duirng baking) and bake for an initial time of 20 mins. After that, remove parchment and weights after 20 mins and continue to bake for a further 15 mins until light golden brown. Remove and leave to cool thoroughly on a wire rack. (This can be prebaked ahead and stored in an airtight container for upto 3 days in the refrigerator).

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after 20 mins of baking, remove the parchment and grains and continue to bake it for a further 15 mins or until light golden and done.

(C) THE PASTRY CREAM
400gm whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
6 egg yolks
100gm castor sugar
40gm plain or all purpose flour (sifted)
80gm whipping cream
3 teaspoons orange liqueur (optional)

Method
1) Bring milk to a boil.

2) In a clean bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow in colour.
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3) Add flour and vanilla essence and mix well.
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4) Add all the hot milk gradually to the egg mixture and fold through with a wooden spoon.
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5) Return mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning at the bottom. Continue mixing until mixture becomes thick and smooth, then remove saucepan from the heat.
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6) Leave to cool completely before use (to speed up the process, cool the saucepan in a bowl of iced water).

7) In a chilled bowl, whip whipping cream until stiff peaks form. IMG_20141024_8

8) Add whipped cream and orange liqueur to cold pastry cream and mix well (I use a hand held whisk to do this).
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(D) TO ASSEMBLE THE FRUIT TART
– Fill tart shell with pastry cream and arrange fresh fruits on top (I also sprinkled some grated lemon zest over the cream). Chill it for several hours before serving. Dust with snow sugar just before serving (optional).
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A TASTE TO BEHOLD – A COMBI OF CRUSTY BUTTERY BASE, SWEET ORANGE-FLAVOURED CUSTARD CREAM & TANGY FRESH FRUITS. YUMMILIOUS !

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