This classic fruit tart is made with a buttery shortbread tart shell, a custard filling made with vanilla pastry cream, and topped with fresh fruits and a fruit glaze. This is the kind of tart you would find in a French pastry shop but you can make it right at home! Pin it for Later »
Classic Fruit Tart Overview
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Components Used: Shortbread Crust (Sable Breton), Pastry Cream Filling, & Fruit Tart Glaze
A classic fruit tart is made with a shortbread crust (also known as sable breton) and a custard filling that is a traditional vanilla pastry cream. The tart is then topped with fresh fruit and glazed with a simple fruit glaze to create a beautiful shiny finish.
A classic fruit tart is made with a variety of fruits, but can be made with any fruit according to what is in season or your preferences.
How to Make a Fruit Tart with Custard
The crust and the filling for this tart can be made the day before serving and kept separate. On the day of serving, you can assemble the components and top with you fruit. Fruit tarts are best eaten within the first 24 hours as the crust will start to become soggy. (Note: I have kept it in my refrigerator for up to 3 days and it is still pretty delicious! But it starts to lose quality after the first day).
Make the Pastry Cream Filling
I like to start with the pastry cream so it has time to chill before assembling the tart. If you have never made pastry cream before, it is relatively simple and you can find a full detailed pastry cream tutorial here.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until double in size then whisk in the cornstarch.
Heat the milk and vanilla until boiling. Slowly stream some of the hot cream into the egg yolks to temper them (so they don’t scramble). Put all of the mixture back into the pot and cook over medium heat.
Once thickened, strain the pastry cream and mix in the butter. Place a piece of plastic wrap right on top of the cream and cool completely in the refrigerator.
Make the Shortbread Crust
For the crust of the tart we are making a shortbread crust. This is a simple, cookie style, crust that requires very few ingredients.
Butter and sugar are mixed together with salt, vanilla, and flour. Press the crust into your tart pan and then use a fork to dock it all over. This can be made in a 14 x 4.5″ (35.5 x 11.4 cm) rectangular tart pan like the one pictured, or in a 9″ (23 cm) round tart pan. You can also make it as mini tarts using 3- 5″ or 5- 4″ tart pans.
Bake the crust until golden brown and crispy and cool completely before assembling.
Arrange the Fruit & Glaze
No more than 24 hours before serving, assemble the tart. Spread the pastry cream over the crust. Top the tart with sliced fruit and arrange in a pretty pattern. You can use any variety of fruit that is in season and you like.
Prepare the fruit glaze by warming jelly or jam with a bit of water or orange liqueur. Strain the glaze if you used jam so that you have a smooth consistency. Gently brush the glaze over the fruit so that it has a nice shiny finish.
Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
- The crust and the pastry cream can be prepared the day before assembling. Keep the pastry cream in the refrigerator and the crust at room temperature until it is time to assemble.
- I would recommend assembling the tart no more than 24 hours before serving. It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, but after the first 24 hours it begins losing quality.
- Another delicious variation to a classic fruit tart would be to use lemon curd or strawberry lemon curd as the filling in place of the pastry cream!
Make the Custard (can be done up to 24 hrs before assembling)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350
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