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4.8 from 10 votes

Fresh Fruit Tart Recipe

This Fruit Tart recipe has a sweet and crisp pastry crust, a rich vanilla custard filling and fresh ripe fruit lightly brushed with the easiest fruit tart glaze. This classic French Fruit Tart is a simple, yet elegant dessert sure to impress your family and friends.
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword Fruit Tart Recipe
Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 12 servings
Calories 249kcal

Ingredients

Pastry Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  •  4 tablespoons cold butter cut into pieces
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cognac optional

Tart Crust

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (cold)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

Fruit Topping

  • You will need about 1 pint or 2 to 2 1/2 cups of assorted fresh seasonal fruit.

Kiwi strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches and mango are a good option. I also use fresh or canned mandarin oranges (drained)

  • Kiwi
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup apricot preserves (optional)

Instructions

Make Pastry Cream

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, cream, and half of the sugar and mix stirring occasionally until the liquid comes to a simmer.
  • As the liquid simmers, whisk together the remaining sugar, salt, cornstarch, and egg yolks in a medium bowl until light and creamy.
  • While continually whisking, slowly pour in about 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture. Continue to whisk until smooth. (This is called tempering, and it will prevent the yolks from scrambling).
  • Transfer the tempered egg mixture back to the saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. A few bubbles may burst on the top surface and the mixture will have the texture of pudding.
  • Remove from the heat, then whisk in the butter, vanilla extract and cognac (if using) until smooth and glossy.
  • Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap placed directly onto the surface of the pastry cream so a skin does not form. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Make Tart Crust

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Making The Crust In A Food Processor:

  • Combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Add the cold butter pieces to the flour mixture and pulse to cut into the flour until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.
  • While the food processor is running, add the heavy cream mixture through the feed tube and continue to process just until the dough comes together and forms a ball.

Making The Crust With A Pastry Cutter:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter and cut it in using a pastry cutter. Continue until the entire mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.
  • Pour in the heavy cream mixture and stir to combine. You can use your hands to really get it all combined, if needed.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten it into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  • Grease a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
  • Remove the tart dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the pastry crust into a circle slightly larger than your 9-inch tart pan.
  • Place the pastry into the greased 9-inch tart pan. Carefully transfer the dough to the tart pan by rolling it onto the rolling pin, then gently ease the dough into the pan, pressing it down into the corners and fluted sides of the pan, evenly.
  • Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan so that the excess dough gets cut off, making a clean edge. With the excess dough, you can patch up any areas that may be too thin.
  • Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes (you can do this while your oven preheats).
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Remove the tart crust from the refrigerator. Line the inside of the tart with foil and fill it with pie weights (you can use dried beans instead). It is important that you use pie weights to prevent the crust from shrinking or puffing). Alternatively, you can freeze the dough and bake it from frozen without the use of pie weights. From frozen, the tart shell will take about 20 minutes to bake.
  • Place the tart crust in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F (177°C). Carefully, remove the foil and weights. With a fork prick a few holes into the bottom of the crust and bake for 5-6 more minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling it with the pastry cream.

Assemble The Tart

  • When the tart shell is completely cooled, spread the pastry cream over the bottom of the shell. Arrange the fruit in a decorative fashion over the pastry cream.
  • In a small bowl, melt the jelly in the microwave in 20 seconds intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Using a pastry brush, gently dab the fruit with the melted preserves. This gives the fruit a shiny look. You may have some of the preserves leftover. This step is optional. Carefully hold the bottom of the tart and remove the sides. Serve.

Video

Notes

  • I have heard from a few readers that the tart dough was too crumbly (sandy) or too wet. Let me walk you through a solution.
    • First, I want to reassure you that the recipe works! I've used it for years while I ran my catering company. We made it by the hundreds in many shapes and sizes.
    • This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbook. Mrs. Garten is well known for testing and re-testing recipes until they are completely foolproof!
    • In baking, there are many factors that affect the end result. Climate, temperature, ingredients - even the size of an egg!
    • IF YOUR TART DOUGH IS TOO CRUMBLY - or dry, add additional heavy cream (milk or even water if you are out of heavy cream). Start with half a teaspoon of liquid and go from there. Don't add too much at once. If you are making the dough in a food processor, just put the dough back in the food processor, add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid and pulse a few times. The dough should come together pretty quickly.
    • IF YOUR TART DOUGH IS TOO WET - add additional flour. Start with a little bit and go from there. Don't add too much at once.
  • The tart crust recipe makes about six 4-inch mini tarts. Blind bake the mini tarts for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before filling.
  • The pastry can be refrigerated for 2 days or stored in the freezer, tightly wrapped for up to 3 months.
  • Instead of a mixture of cream and milk, you can use Half and Half.
  • Substitute the apricot preserves with apple jelly or orange preserves.

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 489IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg