Published July 1, 2004.
We developed our free-form tart recipe as a quick alternative to pie. For the flakiest pastry, we turned to a French technique in pastry making called fraisage, in which the dough is smeared with the heel of your hand, spreading the butter pieces into long, thin streaks between skeletal layers of flour and water. The dough is then lifted up and back over the fruit (the center of the tart remains exposed) and loosely pleated to allow for shrinkage. The bright summer fruit needed only the simple addition of sugar, 3 to 5 tablespoons depending on the type of fruit.