Fruit Tarts


Fruit Tarts

Recipe from Tartine (Fresh Fruit Tarts, page 60)

You’ll be rewarded with some lovely fruit tarts filled with a delicious vanilla cream filling, garnished with fresh fruits, and encased in a sweet buttery crust. Well worth the time and effort.

Makes about: 1 9-inch tart, or 3 ~4-inch tartlets
Prep time: Tart shell making~30 minutes; Filling~20 minutes
Bake time: Tart shells, ~15 minutes
Total time: ~1+ hour

tart dough (makes 4 9-inch tart shells; this dough freezes well, so it’s easier to make more for future use. Otherwise, adjust accordingly to your use)

1 cup + 2tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 ½ cup all-purpose flour.

vanilla pastry cream filling (makes 2½ cups)
2 cups whole milk
½ vanilla bean
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2cup+1 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
4 tbsp unsalted butter

2-4 cups fruit, sliced or whole
3 tbsp apple jelly or apricot jam for garnish. You can also use a light drizzle of honey.

special equipment
Tart or tartlet pans
Rolling pin
Parchment paper
Pots (for making vanilla pastry cream)

Tart dough (directions for full recipe):

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Beat butter until smooth. (Use a hand mixer or do it by hand, with a fork.)
  3. Add sugar, and salt. Mix until smooth.
  4. Add 1 egg and combine. Mix in remaining egg until smooth.
  5. Add in flour and mix until combined.
  6. Divide dough into 4 equal balls and shape each ball into a ½ inch thick disk. Wrap in parchment paper (or plastic wrap) and chill until it hardens (~2h, or a bit faster in the freezer). You cannot roll the dough thinly unless it is chilled.
  7. When the dough is ready, you can line the tart pan. Place dough on piece of parchment paper (or lightly floured surface). Cover with another piece of parchment paper (or just flour the top), and roll out to 1/8 inch thick, starting from the center. Dough is rolled out sufficiently when dough extends ~1 inch around all sides of the tart pan.
  8. Transfer dough to tart pan. A few options
    1. Remove parchment paper and carefully lower dough into pan.
    2. Remove parchment paper from top of dough. Place tart pan upside down on top of dough, then carefully flip pan over. Press dough inside pan and remove parchment paper
    3. Using a fork, make small holes about 2inches apart in the bottom of the tart shell. This prevents allows air trapped below to escape, and ensures that the dough stays flat against the pan.

10. For partially baked shells, bake 5-7 minutes for tartlets and 7-10 minutes for a full tart. For a fully baked shell, bake about 5 minutes longer, until golden brown. For the fruit tart, you will want a fully baked shell.

Pastry Cream

  1. Prepare a bowl with a fine-mesh sieve for cooling the pastry cream (if you don’t have a sieve, it’s probably fine; just prepare the bowl).
  2. Pour the milk into a saucepan.
  3. Scrape vanilla seeds (they look like tiny dust particles) into the milk using a sharp knife.
  4. Add salt.
  5. Heat milk, vanilla, and salt over medium-high heat and bring to just a boil. Be sure to stir and ensure the milk is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, and eggs until smooth.
  7. When the milk is ready (just to a bowl), slowly pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture, and whisk constantly.
  8. Pour egg-milk mixture back into hot milk and continue to whisk over medium heat until the custard is “as thick as lightly whipped cream.” (aka, it looks like puffs of whipped cream.) This takes about 2 minutes.
  9. At this point, remove from heat and immediately pour through the sieve into the bowl (note: when I did this, it was too thick to pour through the sieve, so I just used it as is).

10. Let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

11. Whisk butter into cream 1 tbsp at a time.

12. To cool, cover bowl with plastic wrap and press the wrap directly onto the top of the cream, then place in the refrigerator. (This prevents the development of the skin).

13. Once the pastry cream has cooled, you can assemble the tart.



  1. Spoon pastry cream into prepared shell.
  2. Arrange fruit on top of the pastry cream.
  3. Drizzle with honey or, warm jam to form a glaze and brush on top.
  4. Tart can be stored up to 2 days in the refrigerator (will make the crust soft if kept longer).

speed tips: This recipe does take quite a bit of time, so just make sure you have enough time for each step.



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