I’m beyond thrilled that berries are once again abundant and affordable so I can start overwhelming your newsfeeds and readers with treats full of summery fruit.  It’s difficult to incorporate more berries into a dessert than with a fruit tart, and because fresh fruit is used without being baked, they keep their beautiful vibrant colors.  With a flaky crust and luscious vanilla pastry cream filling, this tart is light and flavorful and won’t weigh you down – perfect for Memorial Day weekend festivities!

There are hundreds of vanilla pastry cream recipes out there, but this one actually comes from a dental assistant at my school (thanks Eileen!).  She heard about my blog and my knack for baking and just couldn’t wait to share her family’s beloved pastry cream recipe with me.  They use it mainly for cream puffs and cream pies, but I knew the recipe would also work well as the base for this summertime treat.  I love the idea of recipes being passed down through generations, especially because the recipe has been recreated and enjoyed so many times, you know it has to be good!  And good it was – I actually made this tart for my Dad’s birthday and we had no problem scarfing down most of the tart in one night.  It has a lot of fruit in it so it’s healthy, right??

I certainly hope you’ll give this recipe a try for the holiday weekend, it’s fresh and fun and perfect for a Memorial Day party.  But if you’re not feeling fruity this weekend, maybe try my Corona and Blue Moon CupcakesWatermelon Lime Jello Shots, or Nutella Dipped Frozen Bananas – all great treats to help usher in Summer 2012!

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Fruit Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

Ingredients:

for the crust:
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2" cubes

for the vanilla pastry cream:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tbsp
4 tbsp cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces

for the topping:
2 kiwis
~20 large strawberries
Handful of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries - or whatever you want!

Directions:

for the crust:
- Whisk together the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse briefly to combine.
- Add the butter pieces over the flour mixture and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs - about 15 1-second pulses.
- With the machine running, add the egg mixture until the dough just comes together (about 15 seconds).
- Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6" disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
- When the dough is ready, unwrap and roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface into a 13" round. Transfer the dough to a 9" tart pan and mold the dough to the sides of the pan. Freeze the pan for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and press foil over the frozen shell and fill with pie weights.
- Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from oven, remove the foil and weights, and then bake another 5-8 minutes longer until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

for the vanilla pastry cream:
- Combine the milk and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until simmering.
- Meanwhile in another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 2 tbsp of sugar for about 15 seconds. Then add the cornstarch and mix until pale yellow and thick.
- When the milk has reached a simmer, slowly add the milk to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly as you combine. Return the mixture to the saucepan and return to medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture just starts to boil and the mixture is thickened.
- Remove form heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract. Strain pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.
- Cover pastry cream with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the top of the cream so that a skin doesn't form. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

for the topping:
- To assemble tart, spread pastry cream evenly in tart shell.
- Cut up kiwis and strawberries and decorate as desired! I got my design inspiration for this tart from a local bakery - feel free to use this design or be creative come up with your own :)

Happy Birthday Dad and Happy Memorial Day Everyone!!

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15 Responses to “Fruit Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream”

  1. #
    1
    Alysha @Shesontherun — May 24, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

    What a gorgeous tart! It makes me want to get a tart pan. I absolutely LOVE your pictures. I’ve made homemade custard at home a few times (it was for a french apple pie).

  2. #
    2
    Javelin Warrior — May 25, 2012 @ 4:01 am

    Every Friday, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday. I love this post so I’m featuring it as part of the roundup (with a link-back and attribution) and I hope you have no objections. It’s a pleasure following your creations…

  3. #
    3
    Ally H — May 28, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

    In the ingredients for the Vanilla Pastry Cream it says 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and then in the directions it says 3/4 cup. Just wondering which was the correct one. I’m making it right now for memorial day :)

    • Erica — May 29th, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

      Sorry about that!! It should have said 1/2 cup, I just changed it in the recipe above. Hope it still came out great :)

    • Ally H — May 29th, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

      No need to be sorry! It was a HUGE hit! Thanks for the great recipe! :)

  4. #
    4
    MissCandiquik — June 1, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    I need this in my life – these kind of desserts are right up my alley. Now I have a great recipe for one, this could be dangerous.

  5. #
    5
    Mary Ellen — July 28, 2012 @ 2:31 am

    Did you use AP flour in the crust? It looks really really dark… like it rye flour or something. Just wondering.

    • Erica — July 30th, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

      Yes I used AP flour, I just overbaked it a bit (slash burnt it) so it looks really dark :)

  6. #
    6
    Deena — September 23, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

    Fiancee loved this! Thank you! (he loves fruit tarts so much that we are having minis instead of a wedding cake :)

  7. #
    7
    Skye — March 22, 2013 @ 9:58 pm

    I am SO glad I found you!

    I am a former pastry chef instructor and I have lost my most precious recipe for pastry cream. I found one online that looked OK, but oh, what a disaster. I found this one and I am now on Cloud Nine! This is it! Cream is now in the fridge, waiting until it’s cool and I’ll add my vanilla paste. I never add vanilla when a custard is hot, it tends to make things a little bitter. I always use vanilla beans or vanilla paste in things like this, the difference is amazing.

    Thanks again so much! I’ll have to prowl around this website a little bit! :)

  8. #
    8
    revitol stretch mark Cream reviews — June 22, 2013 @ 11:47 pm

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  9. #
    9
    Liz — July 13, 2013 @ 6:27 am

    Hi from London.
    My daughter has demanded mini fruit tarts.
    But I did not know how to make the cream.
    This looks just perfect. Thank you.

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    10
    cooking tricks for everyone — September 23, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

    Geez….great site and posts right here. Your material on this site
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