Fruit Tart – A stunning and delicious treat made with a sweet and buttery crust and a luscious cream filling, then topped with colorful fresh slices of fruits. Nothing is as lovely as an eye-catching fresh fruit tart served on a fine summer day! Indeed, one of the best summer desserts to try!
I’ve been dying to share these photos and a recipe with you guys ever since the sun consistently showed up here in L.A. Good weather means good light, and natural light truly matters when taking food photos. As for this recipe, I can’t help but fire my camera away as I gaze at it in awe of how beautiful this fruit tart is.
Honestly, I felt a little bit down when I had to slice it up so that I could show you its lovely luscious cream filling. But it didn’t disappoint me, though, because it gets better and better as I look at it behind my lens – whether in its glorious full circle or sliced. The taste??? Well, superb would not bring justice to this summer treat.
Tart vs. Pie
Tart vs. Pie
Aren’t they the same? Apparently, not, but close enough. Let’s just say…they’re cousins. They are both baked delicacies that can be savory or sweet, wrapped in a crust, and filled with deliciousness.
A pie is a crispy, flaky, slightly sloped crust usually made with flour, salt, cold water, and lard or butter. It may have a top and bottom crust. Yum! On the other hand, a tart has shallow sides and only a bottom crust, perfectly crumbly but not too flaky. The tart pan has a removable base to make unmolding and removing it easier.
This tart has three layers of goodness that will surely make your taste buds sing for joy. Let’s tackle them one by one.
- Crumbly Sweet Buttery Crust – I used a basic crust recipe made of butter, flour, powdered sugar (or confectioner’s sugar), and egg yolk. It has the right amount of sweetness, not too overpowering.
- Luscious Sweet Creamy Custard – Our custard mixture is rich and creamy because of heavy cream, whole milk, butter, and egg yolks, with cornstarch as a thickener. No wonder our delicious tart here has melt-in-your-mouth goodness with every bite.
- Juicy Fresh Fruits – You can add as many fruits as you want. Especially the ones in the season because you can buy them in bulk to save money, and they are also on sale most of the time.
How to Make Fruit Tart
Make the Dough
- Grease the Pan – Butter or spray a 9-inch pie pan with a removable bottom – making sure it has enough oil. Set aside.
- Combine – Place flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix ingredients.
- Add Butter and Egg – Throw in butter and pulse until rough dough forms. Then add the egg a little at a time – pulse until the dough barely comes. (Photo 1-3)
Shape the Crust and Bake
- Work Quickly – Don’t overwork the dough; otherwise, it’ll be too tough. The dough will be barely moistened and come together into a ball when ready.
- Press it into the Pan – Lightly press the dough into the prepared tart pan – working from the center until the bottom and sides are fully covered with pastry – again, be very gentle when pressing the dough onto the pie pan. (Photos 4-6)
- Chill – Place the pie pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 30 minutes to prevent the dough from lifting. If you are in a rush, place dry beans on top to stop lifting.
- Preheat the oven to 400℉/205℃ and place the rack in the center of the oven.
- Bake – Bake the crust for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust is dry and golden brown. Set aside.
Make the Custard Filling
- Mix the Dry Ingredients – Add dry ingredients to a saucepan: cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine.
- Whisk the Wet Ingredients – Whisk together milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Gently whisk wet ingredients into the saucepan, ensuring no lumps or until the sugar has dissolved. (Photo 7)
- Stir Constantly – Place the saucepan on the stove at medium-high heat–keep constantly stirring until it starts to bubble.
- Cook for about 7-10 minutes until the mixture thickens. (Photo 8)
- Add Butter and Vanilla – Stir in the butter and vanilla until thoroughly mixed.
- Refrigerate – Pour into the bowl, then cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to use.
- Spread the Custard – When the tart shell is completely cooled, spread the cream over the bottom of the shell. (Photo 9)
- Arrange the Fruit – Decoratively arrange the fruit over the cream in any fashion that you desire. Drizzle with strawberry glaze if using. Slice and serve. (Photos 10-12)
- Chocolate Pie Crust – Just add a tablespoon (or two) of cocoa powder to our pie crust recipe to enjoy its chocolate flavor. Yum!
- Graham Crust – A simple trick to skip the baking part. Oh yes! You just need some graham crust, butter, and a bit of sugar, mix them, and you’re all set to enjoy a no-bake fruit tart. Woohoo!
- Pizza Crust – Dessert pizza? Why not! Try it with my homemade pizza dough instead for a fantastic snack twist. Oh, you’re going to love it for sure!
Tips and Tricks
- Confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar is finely ground sugar for a smoother finish. If you can’t find it in the baking aisle, you can grind granulated sugar in your blender until it’s smooth.
- I use unsalted butter in this recipe. If you just have salted butter, just omit the salt. Remember, salt is just a supporting cast in this showstopping dessert.
- Cold butter is ideal when baking pastries and pie dough. It creates pockets of fat-coated flour, which yields a flakier, more tender crust.
You can pre-bake the crust ahead, let it cool and cover it with an aluminum foil before storing it in the fridge. You may also make the custard filling in advance, too, and just cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator until ready. Assemble the fruit tart when ready to serve by pouring the custard into the baked crust.
Serving and Storage Instructions
Tarts are best enjoyed when served on the day you make it. It’s the perfect ending to jambalaya or smoked ribs. Honestly, I haven’t tried storing leftover fruit tart because I’ve never had any – it’s that good! But here are some tips anyway:
Since this has fresh fruits, I’d recommend storing it covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freeze it until firm. Once frozen, wrap it with a plastic wrap, cover it with aluminum foil, and put it back in the freezer. The tart should stay fresh for 3 months in the freezer if properly stored. Simply thaw it in the fridge overnight and serve cold when ready.
One of the common reasons the tart crust shrinks is over-kneading the dough, which overdevelops the gluten. And when heated, it contracts, thus pulling away from the edges of the pan. Make sure that you don’t overwork your dough and allow it to rest in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Blind baking or pre-baking the crust allows it to firm enough without bubbling up. This ensures that the crust is crisp enough to hold the wet filling. You can also create a barrier between the crust and filling by brushing the unbaked crust with a beaten egg before pouring it into the filling.
Berries are a sure winner, but you can also try sliced pineapple, mangoes, plums, melon, peaches, apricots, apples, and pears. Experiment and tap into your inner creativity!
What to Serve with Fruit Tart
But, of course, you need an equally delicious and refreshing beverage after a slice (or more! ;P) of this yummy summer treat, like these dessert drink recipes below.
More Awesome Summer Dessert Recipes to Try
I have nothing but praise for this fruit tart. You’ll love that nice little bite into it that is a contrast to the luscious smooth custard filling. What fruit are you going to ramp up the flavor with? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section.
This blog post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated with additional tips.
- 1½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup (45g) confectioner’s or powdered sugar
- 9 tablespoons (125g) unsalted butter, very cold (or frozen) and cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- ⅓ cup (45g) cornstarch
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (500ml) whole milk
- ½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (7.5ml) vanilla extract
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 4-5 kiwis, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup raspberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- ¼ cup strawberry glaze (optional)
- Butter or spray a 9-inch pie pan with a removable bottom – making sure it has been adequately sprayed. Set aside.
- Place flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix ingredients.
- Throw in the butter and pulse until rough dough forms.
- Then add the egg a little at a time – pulse until the dough barely comes together.
- Do not overwork the dough; otherwise, it'll be too tough. The dough will be barely moistened and come together into a ball when it's ready.
- Lightly press the dough onto the prepared pie pan – working from the center until the bottom and sides are fully covered with pastry – again, be very gentle when pressing the dough onto the pie pan.
- Place the pie pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 30 minutes or more; this helps prevent the dough from rising. If you are in a rush, bake with beans to prevent lifting.
- Preheat oven to 400℉/205℃ and place rack in center of oven.
- Bake crust for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust is dry and golden brown. Set aside.
- Add dry ingredients to a saucepan: cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine.
- Whisk together milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Gently whisk wet ingredients into the saucepan, ensuring there are no lumps or until the sugar has dissolved.
- Place saucepan on the stove at medium-high heat – keep constantly stirring until it starts to bubble.
- Cook for 7-10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
- Stir in the butter and vanilla until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour into a bowl, then cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Allow it to come to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to use.
- When the tart shell is completely cooled, spread the cream over the bottom of the shell. Decoratively arrange the fruit over the cream in any fashion that you desire. Drizzle with strawberry glaze if using. Serve and slice.
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
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