I was so impressed with the pastry cream that I made from the chocolate eclairs and profiteroles that I decided I needed another dessert to showcase this newfound love of mine. I turned to my trusty new copy of Dorie Greenspan’s book and saw a recipe for a berry fruit tart. Perfect!
I wanted to make the components separately so I could easily assemble the tart when I wanted. I made a batch of the pastry cream one night (only took about 20 minutes) and then baked the tart, cut up the fruit and assembled the final tart another day.
I didn’t have any left over pastry cream because the full pastry cream recipe made just enough to fill the tart shell. This fruit tart was a welcome treat for our Memorial Day weekend. The red and blue berries looked ever-so patriotic, and the dessert seemed refreshing without being too heavy. We had fresh berries from our farmer’s market and and were happy to include them in this treat.
I absolutely loved how this tart turned out. The colors were so patriotic, and it definitely made quite a stunning display. My only beef is that the pastry cream got pretty hard after 2 days in the refrigerator. I had to whip it pretty good to get it pliable enough to spread into the tart. Next time I make this, I will use the pastry cream the day of to avoid this problem.
Both my husband and I agreed that this has been one of our favorite desserts to date. I’ve been whipping up sweets for him for almost 10 years, so this statement is pretty significant!
PS. Don’t forget about my contest and giveaway! You have until 12pm ET on Friday, June 8th to enter. The winner will receive a Hamilton Beach 6 quart slow cooker! Be sure to leave me a valid email address so I can contact you if you win!
Berry fruit tart
- 1 and 1/2 cups pastry cream cooled or chilled (recipe below)
- 1 9-inch tart shell made with sweet tart dough recipe follows, fully baked and cooled
- 2 pints fresh perfectly ripe berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or an assortment)
- 1/3 cup red currant jelly mixed with 1 teaspoon water for glazing (I used peach jelly)
Sweet Tart Dough
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick plus 1 Tablespoon (9 total Tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
Make the dough
- Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor, and pulse to combine.
- Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients, and pulse until the butter is the size of peas and flakes of oatmeal. A trick I've learned is that you can grate cold butter on a cheese grater instead of cubing the butter. I don't own a food processor, so I used a combination of my blender and a hand-held pastry cutter.
- Stir the egg, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition.
- When the egg is in, process in 10-second pulses until the dough forms clumps and curds. (Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine will change.)
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly, knead the dough just to incorporate any loose dry ingredients.
Press the Dough Into the Pan
- Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (I used a Le Creuset tart pan without a removable bottom, and it turned out beautifully). Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes.
Bake the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side-down, tightly against the crust.
- Put the tart pan on a baking sheet, and bake the crust for 25 minutes.
- Carefully remove the foil. If the crust is puffy, use the back of a spoon to gently press it down.
- Bake for another 8 minutes or so, until the crust is golden brown.
- Transfer the crust to a wire rack (still in the pan), and let it cool to room temperature before filling.
- You can wrap the unbaked crust inside the tart pan and freeze it for up to 2 months. To bake it directly from the freezer, add about 5 minutes to the baking time.
Assemble the tart
- Whisk the pastry cream until it’s smooth. Spoon enough of the pastry cream into the tart to come almost to the rim, and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula.
- Lay the berries on the cream however you like. (If you are using strawberries, halve them vertically or cut them into slices.)
- Bring the jelly and water to a boil in the microwave or on the stovetop. Using a pastry brush, dab each berry with jelly, or glaze the entire surface of the tart, including the pastry cream showing through the berries.