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Fresh Fruit Tart

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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.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled fresh fruit tart ingredients.

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.

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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.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 262 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:

For the tart dough:

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 powdered 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
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. The tart pan I bought has a removable bottom, can I remove the crust from the pan for serving and if so should I do it before or after I fill the tart with custard and fruit?

    1. Hi Diana, great question! You’ll take the baked and cooled crust out of the pan before you fill it. You should line your tart pan with parchment paper to keep the crust from sticking, and then you just have to be careful when you take it out (use a spatula or pancake turner, for example). The crust should not crumble apart on you. Enjoy! – Meggan

    1. Hi Devyn, I’m so sorry but I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free flours. It might work, but I don’t want to ruin your fruit tart. Sorry about that! – Meggan

  2. I can only vouch for the crust, as its all I made, but it was absolutely delicious! delicate yet firm , held my fillings well and cut well also!5 stars

  3. This was so delicious. I had an issue where my crust is hard, is this how it’s suppose to be or is there a way I can make it less tough?

    1. Hi Aminta, so glad you loved the flavor! Sorry your crust was hard. This can happen if too much flour is used while rolling out the dough, or if the dough was overworked. Hope this helps and that your next one comes out amazing! – Meggan

  4. I just made this for thanksgiving, and my family loved it! I have never made one b4 and impressed myself! My family requested another for Christmas! The only alter i did was to use 1 cup of whole milk and one cup of heavy cream to make the custard cream. and iI subbed in vanilla bean paste in place of vanilla! Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  5. I made this recipe for the first time last night. Took it to dinner group and everyone loved it, even though I forgot to include the apricot glaze. I would make this again in a heartbeat. I think you could cut the sugar amt. for the filling to 3/4 cup vs. 1 cup. Meggan’s directions are perfect. Great recipe and a very nice presentation. Thank you, Meggan!

  6. Is the filling supposed to be a pudding type consistency? Mine is like a thinner pudding. I was expecting a thicker cheesecake-like consistency.

    1. Hi Stacy, pastry cream is closer to custard rather than how thick cheesecake’s consistency is. I’m sorry it was runny, it’s possible it needed a little more time on the stove to thicken. Sorry about that. – Meggan

    1. Hi Sam, I’m so sorry it’s salty! Is it possible you used more than 1/4 teaspoon salt? The salt is there to enhance the flavor of the custard, not make it salty. Hope this helps! – Meggan

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