Thursday, 11 July 2013

Stone Fruit Tart

There is an old-fashioned charm and romance about a picnic in the park. It is about being a child all over again. And I am convinced that given a choice, most people would pack their picnic baskets with the same food that was in the picnic baskets of their childhood. And, if not that, then with the stuff they read about in their childhood books. Think Enid Blyton with hard-boiled eggs, jam sandwiches and lemonade.
So, why am I talking about a picnic in the park when its pouring buckets here in India. Well, because Facebook is bombarding me with photographs of my friends in the Western Hemisphere, out in the park, food laid out on the mat and them cheekily grinning into the camera whilst lazily sipping on their sangrias from mason jars!  

And, while I do love the rains, I really do, I wouldn't mind going for a picnic and stretching out on the green grass and mindlessly gazing at the blue sky. And I'd take this stone fruit tart along with me.
This tart would have definitely not been in my childhood picnic basket but when you are a food blogger, your friends expect something better than jam sandwiches! And, this tart is perfect for the occasion.
The tart is from one of my favourite baking books, 'The Popina Book of Baking'. What is unique about the tart is that the tart shell is filled with a sponge dough that is then topped off with fruits. As the tart bakes, the fruits will sink a little and the sponge dough will rise in places.  Once baked, you don't have to worry about soggy fruit or the filling oozing out, the sponge dough bakes like a cake making it ideal to transport and for picnics and travel.
I went with stone fruits but you could go with an assortment of berries like the original recipe or any fruit of your choice. But, remember not to be stingy with the fruit because they are the stars of the show.
As you bite into the tart, you will encounter an array of textures from the firm, tart shell to the soft, sponge dough to the ripe juiciness of the fresh fruits. It is the slightly tart, fresh flavour of the fruits that counters the sweetness of the sponge and tart brilliantly. For me, this tart celebrates the stone fruits of the season beautifully and that is reason enough to make this tart.

So, whether it is Central Park or Hyde Park or just, your cosy, dining table, this tart is a perfect companion for you and your friends!

Stone Fruit Tart

Adapted from the 'Popina Book of Baking'

For one 23-cm loose-based fluted tart tin

For the Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
  • 250 gms plain flour
  • 125 gms unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 85 gms demerara caster sugar (the original recipe calls for golden sugar)
  • 1 egg

For the Sponge Dough

  • 45 gms unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 90 gms demerara caster sugar (the original recipe calls for golden sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90 gms plain flour

  • 2 peaches, peeled, stoned and cut into thick slices
  • 2-3 plums, stoned and halved
  • 10 cherries, pitted
  • 3 tablespoon apricot jam, to glaze (optional)

For the Sweet Shortcrust
  • Put the flour, butter and sugar in a mixer and pulse until you get crumbs.
  • Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together into a ball.
  • Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Take the chilled dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until 3-4 mm thick.
  • Line the tart tin with the pastry and trim the excess dough around the edges and refrigerate the tin while you get on with preparing the sponge dough.
For the Sponge Dough
  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 deg C.
  • Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric whisk.
  • Add the egg and baking powder and combine well.
  • Then gently fold in the flour by hand until evenly combined.
  • Remove the tart tin from the refrigerator and spoon the sponge dough into the tart shell and spread evenly.
  • Scatter the fruit all over the sponge.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. The fruit will sink a little into the dough and the sponge will rise up in places and be golden.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes.
  • If you would like to glaze the tart, heat the jam until runny and melted. Brush the jam all over the tart filling.
  • Serve warm or straight from the fridge with some custard. 


  1. What a lovely tart! So colorful!

    1. I know.. all that fruit is just perfect for the season!!:)

  2. Loved your pics. And the tart looks delicious.

    1. Thanks Charul!! The tart was a good way to showcase all the fruits of the season!!


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