This Homemade Fruit Tart is seriously incredible – with a buttery shortbread crust, a homemade vanilla pastry cream, and fresh berry topping, it’s a MUST make.
Well, we’ve officially hit the midway point of summer and I can’t say I’m sad. Sacramento has finally hit the unbearably hot temperature-level on the scale and I am over it. Bring on the fall!
However, I am enjoying all the summer fruits right now, so I wouldn’t mind holding onto those for a little longer. The berries are just so good right now.
Speaking of berries, they happen to be an excellent little topper in today’s recipe. And lemme tell you – this recipe is SO incredible.
Homemade Fruit Tart
I admit, I don’t think I had ever had a proper fruit tart prior to making this one. I have had various mixed-fruit desserts in my time but never a fruit tart, and this blew me away. It’s quite literally the perfect recipe. You’ve got the shortbread crust that’s buttery and cookie-like. You’ve got the homemade pastry cream filling that’s vanilla-y and luscious. And you’ve got the fresh berries on top which just add the perfect little bit of fruity freshness to the tart.
In a word: spectacular! But I choose to use more adjectives to really sell ya on it!
The crust is basically a shortbread cookie crust consisting of all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, some salt, and melted butter mixed together until it becomes a dough. You’ll press it into a tart shell or a springform pan, which is what I used since I somehow misplaced my tart pan along the way.
We’ll bake the crust up for about 20-30 minutes to get it nice and toasted as our base for the fruit tart.
The filling is a classic vanilla pastry cream (hi, for all us non-fancy folks, it’s essentially a homemade vanilla pudding) and it is surprisingly simple to do – it just has a couple steps. The required ingredients are whole milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste if ya wanna get fancy schmancy), cornstarch, salt, and butter. I mean… you can’t go wrong with that lineup!
However, me being me, I’m also gonna let you know that you could toooootally make instant vanilla pudding out of the box and use it instead. Priorities!
For the topping, I used fresh berries: strawberries, bluebs, blackberries and raspberries, but you could theoretically use any sliced fruits you’d like. This would be beautiful with all dark berries fruits, for instance, or all red fruits. Stone fruits would be another beautiful look for late summer.
Once assembled, you’ll get a bite of that sturdy, buttery crust; the creamy, vanilla-y filling and those tart, bright berries altogether and it will be HEAVENLY, I tell you! You’re going to LOVE this Fruit Tart recipe!
*recipe very modestly adapted from Alison Roman
Homemade Fruit Tart
FOR THE TART CRUST:
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE PASTRY CREAM & TOPPING:
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- Assorted fresh fruit, sliced or cut in half if large
- Preheat your oven to 350℉.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, confectioners sugar and salt together. Add in the melted butter and mix with a rubber spatula until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough. Press the dough into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom OR a 9" round springform pan.
- Prick holes all over the bottom of the tart crust with the tines of a fork. Bake until the bottom is nicely golden brown and the edges are slightly crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- For the pastry cream: In a medium saucepot, combine the milk and ½ cup of the sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, but do not boil. Once at a simmer, remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the egg yolks, cornstarch, vanilla bean paste/extract, and salt. This mixture will be really grainy and coarse at this stage, so don't fret. Working carefully but quickly, slowly pour a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously at a constant pace to prevent egg yolks from scrambling and to temper the egg mixture. Repeat by adding more milk to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to incorporate, until all the milk has been incorporated.
- Return the now cohesive mixture back to the saucepot the milk was simmering in, and place it on medium heat. Whisking constantly, the mixture will go from having small bubbles around the edges of the pot to deep, big bubbles in the center of the pot and will thicken significantly, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
- Transfer the pudding to a heatproof bowl and cover the top of the pudding with plastic wrap (actually place the plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to prevent the pudding from forming a "skin"). Refrigerate until cooled.
- To assemble: spread about half of the pudding onto tart crust in an even layer, bringing it close to the edges. Top with the fruit of your choice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set, or until ready to serve.
This Fruit Tart totally rocked my world, and I know it will rock yours too!
Have a super sweet day!