Fresh Fruit Tart


Fruit Tart

I had some time on my hands over the weekend, so I decided to do a little experimenting! I have been wanting to find a good fruit tart recipe; I made one with a cream cheese-based filling some time ago, but it wasn’t good enough to warrant a second try. Fruit tarts are something I want to be able to pull out of my back pocket – you can’t deny its loveliness, and making it seemed to call more for planning ahead rather than any particular trick or skill. So, armed with a big cup of joe this morning, I set out to find my favorite fruit tart recipe.

There are 3 main parts that go into making a fruit tart (similar to the nigiri sushi I posted last week): the pastry crust, pastry cream, and fruit. Of the pastry crusts, recipes seemed be divided among Pâte Brisée (shortcrust / shortbread pastry) and Pâte Sucrée (sweet pastry). Of the pastry creams, recipes were divided among the cream cheese-based filling and a vanilla custard-based filling. The fruit is, well, fruit. So off to the world wide web I wet! Since I had already tested (and didn’t like) a cream cheese-based filling, I limited my pastry cream experiment to vanilla custard-based fillings.

Pastry crust contestants:

Tasty Bite Blog’s Pâte Brisée (Blog URL)
Ladurée’s Pâte Brisée (Ladurée Sucré Book)
Joy of Baking’s Pâte Sucrée (Blog URL)
Ladurée’s Pâte Sucrée aux Amands (Ladurée Sucré Book)

Pasty cream contestants:

Tasty Bite Blog (Blog URL)
Ladurée (Ladurée Sucré Book)
Joy of Baking’s Pâte Sucrée (Blog URL)

And the winners were.. Tasty Bite Blog’s pastry crust and Ladurée’s pastry cream!

Frankly, you couldn’t go wrong with any of the above choices, but if I had to choose, those are the two I would pick. As a general realization, I noticed that I liked pairing a sweet pastry cream with a non-sweet pastry crust. The sweet crusts (like Joy of Baking’s) tasted great on their own – maybe I could try making a shortbread of sorts next time.

Anyway, here are the recipes!

Pastry Crust (courtesy of Karen from The Tasty Bite Blog)

1 1/4 cups AP flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
Iced water
Pinch of salt

Step 1: Mix together flour and sugar. Combine butter with dry ingredients (I simply used my hands, covered with a plastic glove, to mash it all together).

Step 2: Once the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, add the iced water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together (do not overknead!). Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge for at least 1 hr.

Step 3: Preheat oven to 400F. Roll out the rough, and press into the pie/tart pan. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork so that the dough doesn’t puff up so much. Bake for 15 min, or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.


Pastry Cream (courtesy of Ladurée)

1 whole vanilla bean
400 ml whole milk
4 egg yolks
80g sugar
30g corn starch
25g unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

Step 1: Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use the tip to scrape the seeds into a saucepan. Add the milk and vanilla pod, and bring it to a summer. Remove from heat, cover immediately, and allow to infuse for 15 minutes.

Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until slightly pale. Add cornstarch.

Step 3: Remove the vanilla pod from the saucepan, and reheat the milk, bringing to a simmer. Pour a third of the hot milk over the egg yolk / sugar / cornstarch mixture to temper the yolks. Whisk together, and then pour that mixture back into the saucepan. Bring to a boil while constantly stirring with a whisk, making sure to scrape down the sides of the pan with a spatula.

Step 4: Remove from the heat, and pour the cream into a clean bowl. Allow to cool for 10 minutes so that it is still hot but not boiling, and stir in the butter.


Fruit Tart (bringing it all together)

Pastry crust
Pastry cream
Fresh fruit

Fruit Tart

Step 1: Once the pastry crust has cooled, spoon in the pastry cream and smooth the top.

Step 2: Add whatever fresh fruit you’d like, in whatever way you’d like, and that’s all there is to it! Enjoy!!

Fruit Tart


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