Making a fruit tart is actually pretty simple. You start by blind-baking the pastry crust, then when it cools, fill it with vanilla pastry cream, top it with fruit and finish by brushing on a clear apricot glaze.
You can use all kinds of fruits for making fruit tarts, whatever's in season and colorful, with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and kiwi being especially popular.
Because tart dough, called shortcrust pastry, can be tricky to work with, it's easier to make several smaller tarts than one large one. You can make a larger fruit tart, too. It just takes more skill and/or patience. This fruit tart recipe will make about six 4-inch fruit tarts or one 9-inch tart.
- One-half batch of shortcrust pastry dough (375 grams or a little over ¾ of a pound)
- 2 cups vanilla pastry cream
- 3 cups fresh fruit (e.g. strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, peeled kiwi, etc)
- ½ cup apricot jam
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- On a lightly floured worksurface, roll out the pastry dough to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch, and as even a possible. Don't spend too much time rolling it, though, or you'll overwork the dough and the pastry will be too tough.
- Now cut the dough into circles that are a little larger than the diameter of the tart tin you're going to use — in this case, we're making 4-inch tarts, so you'd cut out circles about 4½ inches across.
- Press the circles of dough into the tart tins. You want to get a nice, tight fit against the bottom and sides. Trim off any excess dough by running your rolling pin over the tops of the tart tins.
- Line the shells with parchment paper and fill with uncooked beans, rice or pie weights to prevent the crust from puffing up while it bakes.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until the shells are a nice golden-brown color. Remove the pie weights and the paper and let the shells cool all the way before removing them from the tins.
- While they're cooling, heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan along with about a tablespoon of water until it liquefies. Pour the glaze through a wire mesh strainer and into a small bowl to remove any bits of fruit. You could also use peach jam. Either peach or apricot will give you a clear glaze. You could use red currant jelly if you wanted a slightly reddish glaze — it all depends on what kind of fruit you're using. Reddish glaze over green kiwi fruit might not look right.
- Now pipe the shells half-full of pastry cream. Or you could just spoon it in and gently smooth it down.
- Next, arrange your fruit on top of the pastry cream, about a half-cup per tart. Finally, brush each one with the apricot glaze. Refrigerate the tarts for at least an hour, until it's time to serve them.