This cream-filled pastry topped with fruit really takes the cake! Not only is it delicious and fresh, but it’s also fairly simple to make from scratch. The most time-consuming part is waiting for everything to cool. Plus, this pastry cream fruit tart is super customizable.
The beauty of this dessert is everything can be made well in advance and assembled at a later time.
For the tart shell, we’ll be making an easy shortcrust in a food processor. Any kind of pastry dough can be used in this recipe, including traditional pastry dough or cream cheese-based pastry dough. The crust can be baked, cooled and set aside for a day or a few hours.
Pastry cream is also very simple to make and is best prepared in advance so it has time to completely chill.
Pastry cream fruit tart recipeMakes one 8″-10″ round or 14″ x 5½” rectangular tart
For the crust:
- 1¼ cup flour
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
For the pastry cream:
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the fruit topping:
- Any combination of fruits such as sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, sliced kiwi or sliced peaches
- ½ cup apple, peach, apricot or strawberry jelly for the glaze
Making the crust
Preheat oven to 375 F. Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the dough comes together.
Press into bottom and sides of the tart pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes and let cool completely.
Making traditional pastry cream
Place whole milk and heavy cream into a medium saucepan and heat over medium/high heat. You don’t want it to boil. Once you notice the milk and cream mixture steaming, remove the pan from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, flour and salt.
Add egg yolks and vanilla to the flour mixture. Whisk vigorously until all ingredients are combined. It will be lumpy and coarse, but that’s OK. It doesn’t matter what it looks like at this point — the important thing is that all ingredients are combined well.
Pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the yolk mixture and whisk until smooth.
Then, pour the pastry cream back into the pan used to heat the milk and place over medium heat. Whisk frequently. The cream will start to thicken. Once the cream begins to bubble remove it from the heat.
To create flavored pastry creams, simply stir in flavor extracts at this point.
Place a strainer over a clean bowl. Pour the pastry cream over the strainer into the bowl, allowing the strainer to catch any bits. Use a spoon to push the thick cream through, or carefully tap the strainer against the bowl.
Let pastry cream cool completely. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream, making sure to cover the entire exposed surface so it doesn’t develop a skin. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
If you want to make a lighter pastry cream, fold in 1-2 cups of whipped cream.
Assembling the tart
Once the crust is completely cooled and the pastry cream is chilled, we can assemble the tart.
Spread pastry cream evenly into the tart shell. /p>
Decorate the surface with fresh fruit toppings of your choice, arranging the fruit as you wish
Heat ½ cup of jelly in the microwave until warmed and fluid. Use a pastry brush to spread the glaze over the surface of the tart. Apple, peach and apricot are best for a neutral color. However, feel free to use strawberry jelly as well — it’s delicious with berry-heavy tarts! The pink hue of the glaze also blends in with the colors of the berries.