A tart with patriotic flair
By J.M. Hirsch
The challenge — an easy and attractive fruit tart suitable for a Fourth of July feast.
The result — a simple and sweet cookie crumb crust filled with a light, yet rich cream and topped with fresh raspberries, bananas and blueberries for a red, white and blue patriotic treat.
The crust actually proved the most challenging part of the recipe. The taste of gingersnap cookies was the perfect complement to the other flavors of the tart, but they didn’t want to hold together.
Additional butter and sugar didn’t help, but an egg proved just the right culinary glue.
The whipped topping was a snap. The goal was something with a bit more body than mere whipped cream, which can be just a bit too ethereal when used as the body of a pie or tart.
The solution was two parts Greek-style yogurt to one part heavy cream. Whipped to stiff peaks, this combination has just the right consistency. Fat-free yogurt worked very well and kept the fat content under control, but other varieties would work, too.
Greek-style yogurt is regular yogurt that has had moisture strained out of it. If you can’t find any at the store, make some by lining a colander with several layers of cheese cloth. Add yogurt and set the colander over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
By morning, the bowl should contain a puddle liquid (the whey). Discard this and use the thickened yogurt in the colander.
For the fruit, anything fresh goes. The blueberries and banana (the latter tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning) were obvious choices for this holiday treat. The raspberries created an easy band of red, but strawberries would be good, too.
Creamy fruit tart
Start to finish: 30 minutes
10-ounce bag gingersnap cookies (about 30 cookies)
1 large egg white
1 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 large banana, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until they resemble fine crumbs. Add the egg white, then continue pulsing until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Use your fingers or the bottom of a flat drinking glass to press the crumbs evenly across the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
Bake for 12 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool, then place in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the yogurt, heavy cream and powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer to whisk until very thick and stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and whisk to combine.
Remove the tart shell from the freezer and use a silicone spatula to transfer the whipped yogurt into the center. Spread the yogurt evenly. Mound the blueberries in the center of the tart.
In a small bowl, gently toss the banana rounds with the lemon juice. Arrange the bananas in a ring around the blueberries. Then arrange the raspberries in a ring around the bananas. Chill until served.