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Tarte aux Fruits Rouges タルト フリュイ ルージュ

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

The weather has been excruciatingly warm all week and is becoming almost unbearable! Climatic patterns have changed and gone gaga around the world. Tornado and hurricane season coming too early whilst the rains refuse to come. How long more have we got to endure this…

On a more positive note, summer fruits from the northern hemisphere comes early this season. Just after we saw a massive shipment of Korean strawberries a month back, now comes the Californian ones, with our local supermarkets selling them very cheaply for punnets twice the size of those korean ones. This is too tempting an offer to resist. Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are also available in abundance now. Californian blueberries are in season now when we saw their Argentinian or Chilean cousins just a month back. When else than now could be a better time for one to experience the summer berries galore!

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

I remember reading Adam’s review on Sadaharu Aoki’s Tarte aux Fruits Rouges on his website, Paris Patisseries about 2 months back and I must say, its really a very beautiful piece of work. I love tarty fruits which help to cut through all that sugary sensation of a dessert piece and thus long to be able to replicate it for myself. With summer berries available everywhere now, there seems to be no excuse for delaying this any longer. So here I go!

Recreating Sadaharu Aoki’s works is something a lot of folks in the baking community are aspired to do for the longest time. Unlike many of his colleagues who had published quite a bit, Aoki’s works remain somewhat elusive and myserious to many. I attempted to make one of his creations, Valencia  a month back and that motivated me further to look closer into this works and also to polish my skills. To me, Aoki’s masterpieces are very creative but remains very grounded and fundamental in technique and craft requirements. Its all about getting one’s skills in order and putting all you’d learnt together to create that one single piece. Hard work yes, but immensely gratifying.

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Finding a working recipe is another challenge. Aoki’s recipes, until very recently, were never in print. So one bears little hope in finding the recipe for his Tarte aux Fruits Rouges over available resources. For that, I turned to his esteeemed colleague, Hidemi Sugino‘s works for help. Sugino is quite a phenomenal figure himself, having won the la Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie (Pastry World Cup) exactly 2 decades ago in Lyon, France, and the very first Japanese to have done so. The recipe for my Tarte aux Fruits Rouges is based on Sugino “basic recipes” in his book “Le Goût Authentique Retrouvé

Le Composition

Pâte Sablée

Crème Frangipane à la Pistache

Crème patisserie

Fruits d’été (Fruits rouges)

Macaron Fraise (strawberry macaron)

No long recipes this time but here’s my workflow with some personal thoughts and reflections, as well as modifications from Sugino’s recipes.

(1)First bake the macaron shells. I baked them on the same day but it can be done a day before. The macaron shells are made with a recipe I’d been using over the last few months in place of Sugino’s recipe. But the proportions are similar and both methods use the the French Meringue aka macarons au blanc monté method.

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

(2) Next, prepare the Pâte Sablée aka tart base. Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature before incorporating them. Sugino uses a spatula to cream the butter but I don’t have his stamina and used a handwhisk instead. In short, do not use any machinery for this purpose. It simply doesn’t warrant the cleaning up one has to do after that. Also one has to take caution not to overmix when incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet butter-egg mixture as it would result in a very very hard base after baking. A good tart base should be firm yet crumbly, yielding slightly to the gentle pressure from the side a a dessert fork. It should not require a guillotine to work its way through. Owing to the high butter content, the dough softens very quickly at room temperature and thus requires deft work. It helps to just firm it up by cooling it in the refrigerator but do not place it in the freezer. Roll the dough over cling film and place the entire rolled out piece into the fridge on a baking tray. This allows one to quickly and conveniently cut the dough to the required dimensions while it is still firm. Remember to dock the base before baking.

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Left to right, mini springform pans with pâte sablée dough laid within docked and ready for the oven. Baking tart crust it formally done using shallow mousse rings but I don’t have those. Made a mistake by trying to bake the tart shells blind. The mistake was quite quickly rectified thankfully. Crème Frangipane à la Pistache just after concoction was formed, through a mélange of Crème d’ Pistache and Crème patisserie.

(3) Then the Crème Frangipane à la Pistache which contains 2 components – Crème d’ Amande and Crème patisserie. Prepare the latter first as it requires time to cool down to room temperature before mixing with the almond cream. Crème Frangipane traditionally uses ground almond, but I’d replaced it with ground pistachio in the ratio of 3 :1 leaving one part of ground almond behind. Mix the two components gently and avoid whipping too much air into the batter. The final concoction should be somewhat runny.

(4) Dock the tart base with a knife and pipe Crème Frangipane à la Pistache into it. Knock the mould gently on a hard surface to expel any trapped air within the batter. I misread the instructions and wanted to bake the crust blind first, by using green beans. Thankfully I realised this mistake early and promptly removed the beans and piped in the cream batter. The tart is baked at 170C for 15-20 min under tanned brown hue. It is normal for the filling to rise during the baking process, so do not be alarm if it domes above the level of the tart crust. Leave the tart in the oven to cool down gradually to room temperature. This helps to prevent the surface of the tart from cracking. Sugino recommends brushing the surface of the tart with a “Sirop d’ imbibage” which is concoction of syrup with kirsch but i omitted this.

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Left to right, Crème Frangipane piped into the tart crust with the “before and after” look. Remaining Crème patisserie to be piped on to the surface during assemblage.

(5) Wash all the fruits to be used on the tart and dry them thoroughly through a sieve/colander and then on kitchen towels. I used the same fruit combination as those on Aoki’s Tarte aux Fruits Rouges which is basically strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and redcurrants. All are fresh except for the redcurrants which I’d bought about a month back and had been sitting in my freezer. Fresh ones are so rare in Singapore so I grabbed a small punnet when i first saw them in our local supermarkets despite the price tag. They don’t keep well in our weather and needs to be frozen. The frozen ones have already passed their prime. 😦 Alas I should have made this tart when I first got the redcurrants!

(6) Next is to fill the macaron shells. I didn’t specially make a strawberry buttercream filling for the macarons (too lazy!) since I baked only sufficient shells to make 8 macarons just for this tart. Instead, I macerated some strawberries in caster sugar and then heated generally over a low flame to obtain a coulis-like consistency, added 1/4 tsp of pectin to thicken before incorporating into some crème patisserie leftovers. The texture is quite satisfactory but largely trial and error. I was lucky this time!

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Collage et Fruits aux Rouge

Montage et finition

When all the mise en place baking and washing is done, the tarts are ready to be assembled! Ssprinkle some snow powder over the surface of the baked tart. Icing sugar would work as well but if the tart is to be chilled before eating then snow powder works better as it is hydrophobic. Icing sugar would just melt or absorb too much moisture from condensation and dissolve.

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Pipe Crème patisserie over the top. Aoki’s original tart had the pastry cream piped as a dollop in the middle a la macaron style but I used mine as a guinea pig to try piping in spirals which I’d failed in my attempt with french meringue for the Yuzu curd and mascarpone ice-cream plated dessert 3 weeks back. Results are more encouraging this time round as I used the “drop and pull” method but alas, cream and meringue textures are quite different!

After that is just a simple arrangement of the fruits and macarons over the surface and its done! Since its a Sadaharu Aoki-inspired creation, I’d followed the arrangement on the photo Adam posted on his website as closely as possible. One can and should exercise his own creativity in chereographing the positions of the various fruits but the blueprint on Aoki san’s tart looked perfect and I simply couldn’t find a better way to have done it otherwise! Perhaps when I try Sugino san’s Tart aux Fruits Frais, will I try to crack my brains a little more!

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Snaily spirals of Crème patisserie

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Unfilled macaron shells with a rather messy entourage of summer fruits. Berries and macarons are like best friends and I couldn’t resist taking more shots!

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Tarte aux Fruits Rouges

Closeup on a filled macaron with my Crème patisserie and strawberry coulis concoction. If the tart is not consumed immediately and made a few hours beforehand, place the macaron on the tart just before serving. Macaron shells are like sponges and ready absorb moisture around them and in this case, from the underlying layer of pastry cream. This would cause the shells to turn soggy rapidly.

Slicing it up for the innards. The Crème Frangipane à la Pistache remained somewhat moist. Could do with a longer time in the oven.  But it was delightfully perfumed from the vanilla in Crème patisserie and nutty aroma of pistachios from Crème d’ Pistache.

It looks difficult but its not. So give it a try! Bon appetit!


34 responses

  1. such beautiful dessert is for the eyes only not the mouth! why i don’t get to eat this?

    May 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      haha its not difficult to make on your own!

      May 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm

  2. What can I say? Your bake not only looks pretty but delectable, palatable, appetizing, yummy, delicious…. Hehehe, in a word AWESOME! BTW, will I ever get a chance to be the happy recipient of your bakes? 😉

    May 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      haha sure! hope i’m able to try your bakes one of these days as well!

      May 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm

  3. My goodness but those are so gorgeous I wouldnt want to eat them! I love your macarons, smooth and even!

    May 14, 2011 at 12:10 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      thanks jeannie! I had one time too many failed macarons to get them decent. 🙂 looks like you have been macaroning quite a bit lately as well!

      May 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm

  4. hello alan!very well written and great illustrations!i read the recipe and can roughly know how you did this! am i brilliant or not? hahaha! but reading is one thing, doing it is another thing and i think it would be a mess for me to do it!NOt only that, i think i probably turn my kitchen upside down and so much washing up! i really think i cant handle this! oh, i know how to wash the berries and probably help you to decorate a little. You are really so talented!Sugino must be so proud of you!!

    May 14, 2011 at 12:58 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      I’m sure you can figure it out Lena! you are a brilliant baker yourself, churning out so many delectable stuff all the while! You are too modest la. I’m sure this is well within your means!

      May 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm

  5. so pretty and professionally made they beat those from bakeries hands down! well done! can’t stop oooh & aahhh-ing! haha

    May 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      thank you! such wonderful compliments! but there’s still a long way to go!!

      May 15, 2011 at 8:18 pm

  6. wow these are amazing i saw them on adam’s blog too and thought they look gorgeous. yours look really similar! ive never even seen red currants before in singapore! lucky u!

    May 14, 2011 at 11:34 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Hi Michelle! So coincidental that we are baking fruit tarts around the same time! Your “Hugo & Victor’s Victor Fraise Tart” looks equally if not more amazing!!!

      was really lucky to have spotted red currants but I was stupid not to have capitalise on their freshness when they were bought. Carpe diem!

      May 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm

  7. everything looks absolutely wonderful alan! love how we can now use refreshing fruits to welcome summer 🙂

    May 14, 2011 at 11:53 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      yeah! I welcome fresh berries anytime of the year in my stomach… oops i mean my bakes! LOL

      May 15, 2011 at 8:28 pm

  8. hmm.. are u experimenting with flash from the side? or is it a constant light source? looks good !

    May 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      very observant you are Jacob! Yeah, trying out various flash positions since I’d still reluctant to get a proper studio lighting unit. But still very harsh I’m afraid. Need to find ways to diffuse the flash. any ideas?

      May 15, 2011 at 8:30 pm

  9. Alan, I was out of it the past few days…don’t know why, don’t feel like cooking, baking or even thinking. I even find it hard to go visit my blogger friends or reply to comments. I hate feeling like this. What came to my mind this morning is, to come to your blog for inspirational photos and writings. This fruit tart looks elegantly stunning and exquisite, she stood there making every head turns to look at her wishing they can take her home.

    May 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Veronica, I can totally empathise with how you felt. Sometimes I just wanna relax and not do anything. to be absolutely lazy about things. But i find myself fiddling around in the fridge, meddling with my bakestuff in the kitchen and then the handwhisk and mixing bowl beckons at me! LOL

      May 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm

  10. Shirley@kokken69

    Very well executed, Alan! Kudos to you for trying another multiple-component dessert? They look sensational!

    May 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Thanks Shirley! Thankfully, these are fairly easy to put together. The upcoming ones I’m trying to put together are going to be a pain though…. Sugino’s Ambroisie or Aoki’s L’Côte d’Ivoire. I’m so damned!!!

      May 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm

  11. Did u know i just let out a gasp when i saw this blog of yours?

    What a stunning tart! Like seriously. Kudos to your effort!

    May 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Hi Sherie! thanks for the compliments! Its not very hard to put together really. Just seems hard. a facade! lol

      May 17, 2011 at 10:42 pm

  12. @Alan:
    Are you using a diffuser? If not, direct the flash to the ceiling(unless its very high) and let the light bounce off the ceiling.

    another way is to wrap the flash with tissue paper, that will diffuse the light too.

    hope that helps!

    May 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      yeah, i use diffusers for both slave flash and pop-up flash, but still rather harsh. gotta find a way to bounce the pop-up flash onto the ceiling then instead of directly on the subject. hopefully that would work better!

      May 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm

  13. Jasmine

    i can only say, you’re simply talented, meticulous and awesome! nowhere inferior to store bought ones or even better. really. is so appealing to the eyes! i can be your taster 😀 needless to say, those photos are so well taken!
    your macarons are so lovely! mine always have tiny air bubbles on the top. but yours is like sooooo smooth! how you do that?

    May 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      rap/tap the baking tray gently on a tabletop will help to expel air bubbles. but that has a tendency to spread the batter quite a bit resulting in flatten shells.I prefer to catch the bubbles as they rise to the top and prick them with a toothpick. more tedious yes…

      proper macaronage also helps to minimise bubbles. be sure to press well when blending the almond-icing sugar mixture with the meringue. after filling up the piping bag, use a scraper/spatula to flatten out the batter so as to expel any existing air pockets trapped within.

      i was told that using a larger piping nozzle also helps to prevent bubbles from formiing. I use a 1 cm diameter nozzle usually.

      hope this helps!

      May 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

  14. The tart looks like an awesomely refreshing treat for the hot weather we’ve been having! I’ve always wanted to make a summer fruits tart but the combined cost of buying all those fresh berries always put me off starting >.<

    i do think that some of the photos look a tad harsh, but since I'm not really someone who uses flash often, I can't help much – have you tried using a coffee filter or using a film canister for the pop up flash? it looks something like this – http://content.photojojo.com/diy/diy-film-container-flash-diffuser/

    May 29, 2011 at 12:15 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hi janine! hope you had a wonderful trip in Cambodia! I do use a diffuser for the pop-up flash but its still harsh. lots of experimenting to do. Worse comes I’d probably have to invest in a Lowel Ego set up like some of our blogger friends. See how it goes.

      May 30, 2011 at 12:12 am

  15. Pingback: Pierre Hermé’s Macaron Montebello « travellingfoodies

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  17. Nice work, very impressive. Nice photos…..

    March 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Thanks william! 🙂

      March 13, 2012 at 9:03 am

  18. Pingback: pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI paris @ Taipei – Valencia – バレンシア « travellingfoodies

  19. Eva

    wow this looks amazing

    October 15, 2012 at 1:04 am

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