Fresh fruit tarts make for such stunning presentations, and are surprisingly easy to make!
A crisp and buttery tart shell houses a luscious and flavorful pastry cream, and the whole thing is topped with your choice of beautiful fruit! The recipe requires a bit of foresight in that the tart dough needs to be chilled before baking (and also cooled completely), and the pastry cream also needs to be chilled. Other than that, the recipe is easy and so versatile with how you choose to garnish it. I love a more natural/disarrayed look, but a neater and patterned look is so beautiful here too!
Fresh Fruit Tart
Tart Shell (Pâte Sucrée)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sliced fruits (berries, kiwis, mandarins, or peaches)
Prepare Tart Shell (Pâte Sucrée)
Set aside an ungreased 8 or 9-inch round tart pan (with a removable base).
In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter, sugar, and salt. Mix on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and mix on medium-low until thoroughly incorporated. Add all-purpose flour and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together and resembles wet sand.
Remove the dough from the bowl and gently pat it into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (the dough may feel very wet; rest assured that it will come together).
On a generously floured work surface, roll out dough to a 11-inch circle. Fit dough into the tart pan, and use a sharp knife to trim the crust. Use excess dough to patch any tears of holes in the crust. Prick the dough all over with a fork and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line the chilled tart shell with a round of parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove pie weights and parchment. Return tart shell to oven, and continue baking until golden brown, about 15 to 20 additional minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before removing from pan.
Prepare Pastry Cream
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch. Set aside.
In a small saucepan combine milk and sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, until the mixture comes to a simmer.
Slowly pour the warm dairy mixture into the egg mixture (tempering), while whisking constantly. Add the warmed mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the pudding/custard through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Cover the pastry cream with plastic cling wrap, making sure to press it directly on top to prevent a skin from forming.
Refrigerate until completely chilled (this can be expeditated by placing the pastry cream in a water bath).
Assemble Fruit Tart
Spoon the chilled pastry cream over the prepared tart shell and smooth into an even layer.
Arrange fruit as desired. Serve chilled and refrigerate leftovers.
Recipe for tart base adapted from Food Network.