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.
4.98 from 82 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 Cassidy, it sounds like the pastry cream may have needed a little more time during step three, while thickening. It can be fixed by adding a little more cornstarch and continuing to whisk until the cream thickens. I hope this helps! – Meggan

  1. Excellent recipe. Followed directions using strawberries and blueberries, probably more than called for in recipe. Also used seedless blackberry jam as one of our friends is allergic to apricots plus I thought a blackberry glaze would enhance the color. Great recipe – will definitely make again.5 stars

  2. How would you recommend making this recipe sugar-free? Could I sub a gluten-free flour for the crust?

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

  3. My filling wasn’t thickening and now there is chunks of cooked egg in it. Is it wasted now or is there a way to save it?

    1. Hi Emily! You can pull from the heat and pulse with an immersion blender or vigorously whisk it until creamy, for about 15 to 45 seconds. If it’s blended too much and becomes watery it can’t be fixed. If you remake it, and see the lumps starting to form, you can do this to stop it. Hope this helps! -Meggan

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