We love fresh seasonal fruit tarts. You can easily purchase them at the store, but we prefer to make them at home. It makes them even more delicious when you use homemade flaky pastry, make your own pastry cream from scratch, and choose the freshest berries or seasonal fruit from the farmer’s market to top it. What we love is that fresh fruit tarts have just the right amount of sweetness and are a lighter dessert option for the warmer months.
The crust, pastry cream, and fruit topping are the three important parts. You want a good filling to crust ratio, so make sure you don’t make your crust too thick. We like to make ours no more than about ⅛ inch thick. One trick we’ve learned for small pastry tasks like this is to roll the dough with a flat rolling pin, and roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap to make the small circles of dough easier to handle. We use these individual tart pans for dinners for two or four, but if we’re having a party we like to make a larger one with these. We pre-bake the crust using aluminum foil to cover the crust so it won’t burn, and then fill the pan with these pie weights.
We use this TK All-Clad Copper Core Saucier for our pastry cream. We love it. It’s the perfect size and shape for whisking sauces. We have quite a few pieces from the All-Clad Copper Core collection, but a great feature of the new TK series is that it has a copper core without the decorative band around the bottom, so it’s easy to clean and doesn’t require any polishing. We also love the brushed finish and ergonomic handle.
After your pastry cream cools, pipe it into the cooked tart shells. We like to use these since they are disposable and you don’t need to worry about the mess. We also found this, which could be a really interesting tool. It would be especially helpful for filling cream puffs, and we would have liked to try it out on our croquembouche.
Instead of making a complicated glaze, we put about a half cup of simple syrup into one of our small All-Clad saucepans and reduced it a bit to thicken it, took it off the heat to cool, and tossed the berries in it. Get the recipe here. This gives the fruit a wonderful shine. Arrange the fruit directly on the pastry cream. We used blueberries, but you could use blackberries, raspberries, or any seasonal fruit you like!
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 vanilla bean, slit and seeds scraped out (or vanilla paste)
- 2 tablespoons Cointreau
- In a large bowl, whip the egg yolks and sugar until they form a ribbon when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. Add the cornstarch and whisk to combine.
- Heat the milk on the stove in a saucier until boiling, stirring often.
- Slowly pour the scalded milk in small additions into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until it’s all incorporated.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucier and heat until it comes to a slow simmer, constantly whisking it.
- Once it thickens, take off the heat. Add the butter, vanilla bean paste, and Cointreau. Stir to release some heat and cool slightly. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the top of the pastry cream, so that it won't form a skin.
- Allow to cool and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
Thank you to All-Clad for sponsoring this post.