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Baking with Dorie: An Easy Fruit Tart

Before we dive into the sweet, crisp, creamy goodness of this post, we'd like to take a moment to introduce its author, Dorie Greenspan. You might already know her from her many cookbooks or her popular blog. She'll be joining us weekly with a baking recipe for you to dig into. And now, over to you, Dorie. --The Serious Eats Team

I'm just back from Paris (that's my third most favorite line—number-one fave is: "I'm in Paris"; number two: "I'm leaving for Paris") and, because I started missing the city the instant the plane took off, the first thing I baked on re-entry was this tart inspired by one I had a few years ago at La Palette, a café smack-dab in the center of Saint-Germain des Pres' gallery row.

The tart has only four components—a fully-baked crust, some strawberry jam, a bunch of sugared berries, and crème fraîche or whipped cream—and they're only united a minute before they're served. Order a slice and a wedge of crust will be cut, slicked with jam, covered with berries, and offered up with a little pot of cream. It's a very efficient way for a café to keep a crust crisp and berries fresh, but it's also a fun way to serve a great dessert at home.

The recipe I use for the crust is my favorite for a sweet tart—it's made in a food processor and it can be pressed into the tart pan if you don't feel like rolling it out. It's essentially a shortbread cookie dough, baked until it's uniformly golden (and it should be well baked, so that the butter tastes nutty and the sugar has the warm flavor of caramel) and so fragrant that it will tempt you to snap off chunks and eat it solo: Resist—it would be a shame not to have enough left to make this dessert.

Playing around: Because this tart is essentially an arts-and-crafts project constructed à la minute, or the moment it's needed, it lends itself to endless variations. Of course, you can use any berries or mix of berries you want, and you can change the jam at whim, but you can also go from berries to fruit. The tart is good with peaches, nectarines, ripe apricots, or even pineapple and is great with plums in fall and poached dried fruits in winter. More a concept than a real recipe, this is a dessert you can really make your own.

About the author: Dorie Greenspan is the author of several books on dessert, most recently Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie can also be found at DorieGreenspan.com and on the Bon Appétit website, where she is a special correspondent.


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