Loaded with a lush assortment of seasonal berries and other fruit, there’s nothing quite as lovely as a Fresh Fruit Tart. You’ll also learn some baking basics, like a tart crust and pastry cream, along the way.

A fresh fruit tart.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Fresh Fruit Tart Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Vanilla: ½ vanilla bean, split, may be substituted for the vanilla extract.
  • Fruit: Choose an assortment of different types, colors, and shapes. You could also decorate on a theme such as tropical (pineapple, kiwi, mango) or winter citrus (red grapefruit, blood orange, and clementine).
  • Apricot jam: Brushing some warmed apricot glaze over your fruit is like adding a shiny top coat. It keeps the fruit hydrated and looking its best. Apple jelly works too. Strawberry jelly tastes good but will tinge the fruit pink.
  • Pie weights: Used when blind-baking a crust so the crust stays flat. You can use store-bought pie weights or substitute dried beans (you cannot eat the beans after they’ve been baked). After baking, cool the beans completely and store them in a plastic bag for future baking projects.

Step-by-step instructions

Pastry cream

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until tiny bubbles appear on the surface, about 6 to 8 minutes (about 180 degrees). Stir to prevent the milk from scalding.
Bringing milk to a temperature of 180 degrees for pastry cream.
  1. 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.
Stirring hot milk into pastry cream.
  1. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to a firm consistency, about 5 to 8 minutes. Whisk in vanilla, then pour 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.
Waxed paper on the surface of a bowl of pastry cream.

Tart crust

  1. In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or with an electric mixer by hand, cream the butter and powdered sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
Creaming butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
  1. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add egg. Continue mixing until combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and salt and mix until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour and baking powder and blend until the dough comes together.
Beating tart dough with a hand mixer.
  1. Scrape dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and chill at least 1 hour.
Tart dough patted in to a disk.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch.
Rolling out tart dough.
  1. Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin, then gently unroll it over a 9-inch tart pan. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Trim any excess dough.
Unbaked tart dough in a curst.
  1. Cover the dough with parchment paper or foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans (you will need about 2 pounds). Bake 12 minutes.
Tart dough crust with baking weights inside.
  1. 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.
A baked tart crust.

Fruit Tart assembly

  1. Fill cooled tart crust with chilled pastry cream.
A tart crust with pastry cream inside and fresh fruit sitting around it.
  1. Arrange fruit in a decorative pattern. 
A decorated Fresh Fruit Tart.
  1. Using a pastry brush, brush fruit with melted apricot glaze (reheat as necessary if glaze cools and becomes too sticky).
Brushing apricot glaze on a fresh fruit tart.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 1 (9-inch) tart with 8 slices (including 4 cups pastry cream).
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: This fruit tart is a showpiece and should be served the day it is assembled. However, unbaked tart dough may be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling out to bake. The pastry cream can be made up to 4 days in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed directly on its surface.
  • Butter: For a buttery pastry cream flavor, softer texture, and a lovely shine, add 2 tbsp. butter with the vanilla in Step 3 of the pastry cream.
A slice of fresh fruit tart.

Favorite fruit desserts

A fresh fruit tart.

Fresh Fruit Tart

Loaded with a lush assortment of seasonal berries and other fruit, there's nothing quite as lovely as a Fresh Fruit Tart. You'll also learn some baking basics, like a tart crust and pastry cream, along the way.
4.99 from 67 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 40 mins
Chilling time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Servings 8 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 403

Ingredients 

For the pastry cream:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see note 1)

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 (see note 2)
  • Apricot jam melted, as needed (see note 3)

Instructions 

To make the pastry cream:

  • In a medium non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until tiny bubbles appear on the surface, about 6 to 8 minutes (180 degrees). Stir to prevent scalding.
  • 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 and pour 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 and mix until combined.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour and baking powder and blend until the dough comes together (do not over-mix). 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. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch. If the dough crumbles or breaks apart, press it back together with your fingertips. 
  • Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin, then gently unroll it over the tart, preferably with a removable bottom (9 inches, 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, see note 4). 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 assemble the fruit 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).

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Vanilla: ½ vanilla bean, split, may be substituted for the vanilla extract.
  2. Fruit: Choose an assortment of different types, colors, and shapes. You could also decorate on a theme such as tropical (pineapple, kiwi, mango) or winter citrus (red grapefruit, blood orange, and clementine).
  3. Apricot jam: Brushing some warmed apricot glaze over your fruit is like adding a shiny top coat. It keeps the fruit hydrated and looking its best. Apple jelly works too. Strawberry jelly tastes good but will tinge the fruit pink.
  4. Pie weights: Used when blind-baking a crust so the crust stays flat. You can use store-bought pie weights or substitute dried beans (you cannot eat the beans after they’ve been baked). After baking, cool the beans completely and store them in a plastic bag for future baking projects.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes 1 (9-inch) tart with 8 slices.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Make ahead:This fruit tart is a showpiece and should be served the day it is assembled. However, unbaked tart dough may be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling out to bake. The pastry cream can be made up to 4 days in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed directly on its surface.
  8. Butter: For a buttery pastry cream flavor, softer texture, and a lovely shine, add 2 tbsp. butter with the vanilla in Step 3 of the pastry cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 403kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 7gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 290mgPotassium: 124mgFiber: 1gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 640IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

    1. Hi Salma, do you mean a store-bought pie crust? It would probably work, but I’ve never tried it. A tart crust is a totally different thing, but a pie crust probably tastes good too. I would say – if YOU like it, that’s all that matters! :) thanks! -Meggan

  1. Hi Meggan! Before baking the dough crust in the oven, do you recommend poking holes at the bottom using a fork? I’ve seen this done with other recipes and wasn’t sure what it was for. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kimberly, whether you poke holes or not really depends on the recipe. This particular recipe doesn’t need holes poked in the bottom because you pre-bake it covered with foil and filled with pie weights (or dried beans). So this prevents it from puffing up. I have never tried baking it without the dried beans and compensating with holes in the crust. That would be a test for another day! Thanks for the question! -Meggan

  2. Made 2 of these tarts and they turned out great. It was my first time tempering anything. Thank you for the recipe and easy instructions

  3. I accidentally added the vanilla in before cooking the mixture on the stove rather than after, is that crucial? Also what is the consistency of the tart cream supposed to be of? I followed the directions precisely, my tart cream came out to be like firm but not smooth almost chunky? Help!

    1. Hi Emma, sorry I didn’t respond sooner! I am sure whenever you added vanilla was fine. It probably didn’t ruin anything. The cream gets firmer as it cools. Hopefully you noticed this too and were happy with the results! The texture should be like pudding. Thanks. -Meggan

    2. I had to remake the cream after I asked this initial question! Messed up with the eggs and cornstarch but it came out beautifully and delicious! I made them into mini tarts instead because that’s all the size pans I had! But just made it today in a normal pie pan size and it also turned out great! My favorite recipe and so far everyone has loved it! Thank you

  4. I tried making it but I’m disappointed that the dough feels sticky and can’t roll it out. It’s been in the fridge for over 2 hrs now. I don’t know Joe to fix it!

    1. Hi Gaby, if it feels too sticky to roll out, just add a little more flour (flour on the counter, flour on your hands, maybe even a little more flour in the dough). I don’t know why that would happen, but just add some more flour and see if that helps. I’m so sorry about that! I wish I was there with you to see what was going on! -Meggan

  5. I plan on making this beautiful tart and would like your thoughts on making it the day before serving?? Also I’m thinking of using rum in place of the vanilla… or possibly bourbon? Thank you

    1. Hi Carole, I am so excited for you to try it! You can make it ahead if you want, but personally I would prepare everything separately (the crust, the pastry cream, have all the fruit cut) and just build it the day you need it. If that absolutely isn’t possible, don’t skip the glaze on the fruit (the melted apricot jelly glaze?) That really helps keep the fruit from dying. My main concern here is the fruit! The rest of it is fine, but the fruit will be the first thing to look sad and ruin your presentation. So if you can hold off on adding that, that would be great. As for rum or bourbon, I haven’t personally tried this but I see other recipes on the internet that have that. So you should be fine? I think so! Good luck! -Meggan

  6. This looks amazing. I like the glaze idea.

    Tip: to press the dough evenly into the tart pan, use the side of a flat-bottomed measuring cup. If you’re looking for “perfectly pretty” that is. Its a tip taken from the Test Kitchen concerning gluten free tart crusts. :-))5 stars

  7. Instead of cake at my wedding, we made mini tarts like this. It takes me back and yours is so pretty! I still wouldn’t mind taking a bite though, because it’s better than cake in my book. Time to revisit this pastry and make your recipe for a trip down memory lane!5 stars

    1. Hi Melissa, what a lovely comment! That sounds so much better than a wedding cake in my opinion. Thank you so much for visiting the site and being so gracious. Take care and I hope you love the recipe if you try it!