Loaded with a lush assortment of seasonal berries and other fruit, there’s nothing quite as lovely as a beautiful Fresh Fruit Tart. Learning how to make a fruit tart is one of the classic, basic recipes that leads the way into learning how to make other beautiful desserts.
How do you make a Fresh Fruit Tart?
- First, make the most delicious French pastry cream.
- While the pastry cream is chilling, bake an easy, flaky tart crust.
- To the cooled tart crust, add the pastry cream and arrange a beautiful assortment of fresh fruit on top.
- Last, brush the fruit with melted apricot glaze.
Why do Fruit Tarts need to be glazed?
Once placed, the fresh fruit needs a little help to stay bright and hydrated, so I make a light, sheer glaze using apricot jam that I brush over the fruit to give it a polished look and to protect it while it’s waiting to be served.
Think of the glaze as a sort of top coat! The result is amazing.
How do you glaze a Fruit Tart?
To make the glaze, gently warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan on the stove, stirring frequently. Once melted (but not bubbling), carefully brush the glaze over the fruit using a pastry or basting brush, like this one. Apple jelly works too, if that’s all you can find.
What’s The Difference Between a Tart and a Torte?
A tart is a pastry made with a crust that typically consists of flour, a little bit of sugar, an egg, and flour. Some tart crusts call for ground nuts or the addition of other types of flour to change the flavor and texture.
Tarts can be filled with:
- Savory filling (such as my Mushroom and Leek Tart)
Some tarts and fillings are baked together at the same time, others consist of a pre-baked tart crust and filled later. They are very similar to pie, but have a thinner filling-to-crust ratio. Tarts can have a top crust or only have a bottom crust.
Torte comes from the Italian word torta meaning “cake.” While torte is sometimes used interchangeably with “tart,” they aren’t necessarily the same thing. A torte aligns more closely with cakes.
Italian and German tortes are frequently made with ground nuts, sugar, and eggs to create soft, cake-like layers that can be filled, stacked, and decorated as simply or elaborately as desired.
Tortes are usually baked in a springform pan or round cake pans rather than a fluted tart pan or pie plate. Cheesecake, all kinds, is popular type of torte.
How do you make a Fruit Tart that doesn’t turn gummy?
Sometimes, even the prettiest fruit tarts can suffer from an unappealing gumminess when you take a bite.
You can prevent this from happening to yours, though: make sure you bake the crust until it is brown, so it’s cooked enough to withstand the moisture of the pastry cream. Also, assemble the tart as close to the time you’re planning to serve it as possible, preferably within a few hours.
Can you freeze a Fresh Fruit Tart?
Alas, this beautiful dessert is best on the day it’s made. You probably won’t be happy if you freeze it.
The tart crust, however, can be frozen in a disk, rolled flat, or in the tart shell. It needs to be tightly wrapped to prevent freezer burn. Add a 5-10 minutes to the baking time if baking a frozen crust in the tart pan, or for the specified time if crust is thawed. The dough must be thawed completely in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before rolling out and placing in the tart pan.
The pastry cream can be made the night or even a few days before and refrigerated until ready to assemble. Once the fruit tart has been topped with the fresh fruit and apricot glaze, it won’t last quite as long and the crust may become a little soggy. But it will still taste delicious!
How do you store a Fruit Tart?
This tart is best served the day it is made; cool or room temperature storage is fine that day, but be sure to refrigerate the leftovers.
What fruit is best for a Fresh Fruit Tart?
If berries are hard to find, please don’t feel like you must scour your town looking for exactly the fruit called for in this recipe.
Depending on the season, what looks and tastes good at the market, and what is regional to your area, you can mix up the fruit any way you like and come up with your very own signature fruit tart.
Here are some ideas.
- Stone fruit: plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, fresh dates
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, marionberries
- Woodland theme: currants, gooseberries, mulberries, raspberries
- Tropical theme: Pineapple, kiwi, mango
- Winter citrus: Blood orange, grapefruit, tangelo
- Orchard theme: apples, pears, quince
This beautiful dessert is a blank canvas, begging to be filled with different flavors, textures, shapes, and colors, all handpicked by you.
Fresh Fruit Tart
For the pastry cream:
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the tart dough:
- 7 tablespoons butter softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
For the fruit tart:
- 1 pint Fresh cut fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, mango, and kiwi
- Apricot jam melted, as needed
To make the pastry cream:
- In a medium non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat, warm milk until tiny bubbles appear on the surface, about 6 to 8 minutes (about 180 degrees Farenheit / 82 degrees Celsius).
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in cornstarch and salt.
- While whisking constantly, pour in half of the hot milk. Whisk in remaining hot milk and return to saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to a firm consistency, about 5 to 8 minutes. Whisk in vanilla. Scrape in to a bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on to the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 to 3 hours.
To make the tart dough:
- In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or with an electric mixer by hand, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add egg. Continue mixing until combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and salt, mix until combined.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour and baking powder and blend until the dough comes together (do not overmix).
- Scrape dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and chill at least 1 hour.
To blind-bake the tart crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (177 degrees Celsius).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch (0.3 cm to 0.6 cm). If the dough crumbles or breaks apart, press back together with your fingertips.
- Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin, then gently unroll it over the tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom (9 inches or 24.4 cm in diameter, or substitute a pie plate).
- Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Trim any excess dough. Cover the dough with parchment paper or foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans (you will need about 2 pounds or 1 kilogram, see notes). Bake 12 minutes.
- Remove pie weights or beans and parchment paper or foil. Return to oven and bake until golden brown and fully cooked, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Cool completely.
To make the tart:
- Fill cooled tart crust with chilled pastry cream. Arrange fruit in a decorative pattern.
- Using a pastry brush, brush fruit with melted apricot glaze (reheat as necessary if glaze cools and becomes too sticky).
- You can use dried beans when blind-baking the crust so the crust stays flat and does not puff too high. However, you cannot eat the beans after they’ve been baked. Just cool them and store them in a plastic bag for future baking projects. Or you can substitute pie weights, if you have them.