Crustless Fruit Tart with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Crustless Fruit Tart with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Sometimes, a girl just doesn't want to turn the oven on so you have to do without. Crust. You have to do without crust and suffer through vanilla flecked custard, fresh berries, creamy bananas and dark, dark chocolate sauce that lies on the plate without pedestal, without solid ground save the inedible plate. It's hard. I know. But it's hot and humid here and a BTU spewing oven won't improve the situation.

Vaguely flag-like in it's colors, with a smatter of green mint to echo the season. It's kind of fancy and really simple. The sauce is like Hershey's in the can only better (you knew I was going to say that). Nice served cold—almost tastes like a banana split. 

Vanilla Custard

Makes enough for  4 generous individual tarts or 6 smaller versions

Makes about 2 cups

2 cups whole milk
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Put empty pods in a saucepan with the milk. Set scrapings/seeds aside. 

2. Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a bowl. Add egg yolks and vanilla bean scrapings and whisk furiously until it is smooth and pale yellow.  

3, Bring the milk to a low boil (bubbling around the edges) and remove from the heat. Remove and discard the pod and add a little hot milk to the sugar/egg mixture whisking quickly to temper the eggs. Slowly add the rest of the warm milk continuing to whisk until relatively smooth. 

4. Return mixture to stove top and cook at a slow bubble, whisking constantly, until thick. Add the butter and vanilla and whisk until incorporated. Scrape into a bowl and set over bowl of ice water until cool, stirring frequently.  When cool, place plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Chocolate Sauce

adapted from David Lebovitz

Makes about 2 cups—you'll have leftovers

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup dark dutch-processed cocoa
2 ounces chocolate (semi or bittersweet), chopped
1/2 teaspoon espresso granules

1. Heat water, sugar, agave an cocoa in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in espresso granules and chopped chocolate. Stir until melted in and cool (will thicken as it cools). Store in refrigerator for 10 days. 

Fruit and Assembly

1 1/2 cups assorted berries and/or bananas

Put a few tablespoons of custard on a plate (I used a ring mold to make it pretty), top with fruit and drizzle with chocolate sauce.  

Pack leftovers into jars and you have a great grab and go dessert. Movie in the park? Sidelines at a soccer game?  


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