French Fruit Tart
Fresh, colorful, and bursting with juicy fruit, rich pastry cream, a deliciously sweet pastry crust, and an easy fruit tart glaze, this French fruit tart recipe makes a showstopper dessert that is perfect for Spring & Summer!
Servings: 12 servings
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar, divided (100g)
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 5 egg yolks
- 4 Tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into chunks
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (156g)
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar (65g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 Tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into chunks
- 3 kiwis, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced ⅜-inch thick
- 10-12 strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
- ½ cup mandarin oranges, drained
- ½ cup blueberries
- ¼ cup raspberries
- ½ cup apple jelly or apricot preserves, warmed
Combine the milk, cream, and half of the sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the liquid comes to a simmer.
As the liquid heats, whisk together the remaining sugar, salt, cornstarch, and egg yolks in a medium bowl until light and creamy.
Once the milk mixture is hot, slowly whisk about 1 cup of the liquid into the egg mixture to temper the yolks. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the hot milk mixture and , reduce the heat, and continue to whisk constantly until the pastry cream is thick and a few bubbles start to pop on the surface, then remove from the heat.
Remove the pastry cream from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla, then transfer to a bowl and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap placed directly onto the surface of the pastry cream so a skin doesn't form. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 3 hours.
Whisk together the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in a small bowl.
Combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food process and briefly process to combine. Add the cold butter pieces to the flour mixture and pulse to cut into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 pulses.
While the food process is running, add the liquid through the feed tube and continue to process just until the dough comes together around the blade.
Turn out the tart dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a 6-inch disk, then wrap it tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour. Let sit out on the counter for 10 minutes to soften slightly before rolling out.
Roll out the pastry crust on a lightly floured surface until it is slightly larger than your tart pan (mine is a 9-inch pan). Carefully transfer the dough to the pan by rolling it onto the rolling pin, then gently easing the dough into the pan, pressing into the corners and fluted sides of the pan.
Run the rolling pin over the top of the pan so that the excess dough gets cut off on the edge of the pin, making a clean edge. Patch any edges that are too thin with excess dough, trimming away the edge again as necessary. Freeze the tart shell for 30 minutes.
When ready to bake the tart shell, heat oven to 375 degrees F. Press a double layer of foil into the frozen tart shell, covering the edges of the pan and filling the tart shell with pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, then carefully remove the pie weights and foil and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, until the tart shell is fully baked and golden. Cool completely before filling.
When the tart shell is completely cooled, spread the pastry cream over the bottom of the shell. Arrange the fruit in a decorative fashion over the cream, overlapping the sliced kiwi or mandarin oranges, and mounding raspberries or blueberries in the center of the tart.
Melt the jelly or preserves in a small saucepan or the microwave, stirring until smooth. Use a pastry brush to gently dab the melted jelly over the fruit. You may not use all of the jelly. Slice and serve.
- Make-Ahead: If I am making this ahead I like to melt a small amount of chocolate and spread it on the bottom of the baked crust before filling with pastry cream. This helps prevent the crust from getting soggy or soft as quickly. Or you can make the crust up to 3 or 4 days ahead and storing in an airtight container. The pastry cream can also be made 3 or 4 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Then everything can be assembled the day you plan to serve it.
- Storing: A fruit tart is best enjoyed the day it is assembled although it's still good the next day as well, even if the crust has softened slightly. To store leftovers, cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. It can be eaten for up to 3-4 days but is best when it's freshest.
- Freezing: You can bake and freeze the tart shell for up to 1 month. Wrap it carefully in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe bag until ready to use.
- Substitutions: You could also use 2 cups half-and-half in place of the whole milk and cream, or 1 ⅓ cup skim or low-fat milk with ⅔ cup heavy cream.
- Vanilla: If you do not have vanilla bean paste, you could just use regular vanilla extract instead.
Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 807IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 4mg