Fresh Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream

One of my favorite things about summer is all of the fresh fruit that’s readily available. I’m not the best when it comes to eating a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables, but at least I’ve always liked fruit. It’s a much greater struggle with me and vegetables; we’ve never seen eye-to-eye, and it’s something I really need to work on. In the mean time, however, I love taking advantage of the produce that summer brings. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and the list goes on and on… They’re such a welcome change of pace from the same old bananas and apples that I’ve been eating all winter long. Aside from fruit salads, snacks on sweltering summer days and mixed into cottage cheese for breakfast, I love using fresh fruit in desserts whenever I can once summer hits. They add an enormous punch of flavor to any baked good and usually leave them feeling just light enough to satisfy but not weigh you down. This tart is a fabulous way to use up your favorite fruit of the season. A sweet pastry dough is baked in a tart pan, filled with pastry cream and then topped with kiwi, raspberries, and blueberries. It’s cool, creamy and packed with fruit. The perfect end to a delicious summer meal.

There are three huge reasons why I think this is a totally amazing recipe, especially for the summer…

(1) You can make each of the components ahead of time, so you don’t need to worry about fussing around right before you want to serve this. The dough for the crust can be mixed and refrigerated for up to 2 days. The pastry cream can be made and refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can easily bake the crust early in the day you plan to serve it. Once the crust is baked and cooled, fill it with the pastry cream and top with the fruit before guests arrive. Pop it in the refrigerator while you enjoy dinner!

(2) This recipe is easily adaptable to whatever your favorite fruits of the season are. You could make a mixed berry tart, using raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. You could go all-strawberry. You could even use sliced peaches, apricots or nectarines. Whatever you like, throw it on top!

(3) It’s delicious, and there are copious amounts of pastry cream, which I could easily eat straight from the bowl with a spoon.

What would be your topping of choice for this tart??

One year ago: Top 10 List: Favorite Appetizer Recipes

Fresh Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes


For the Pastry Cream:
2 cups half-and-half
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Crust:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

For the Fruit:
2 kiwis, halved lengthwise, and cut into half-circles about 3/8 inch thick
2 cups (about 9 ounces) raspberries
1 cup (about 5 ounces) blueberries


1. Make the Pastry Cream: Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

3. When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half into the yolk mixture to temper. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

4. Make the Crust: Whisk together the yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bow; set aside. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until workable). Unwrap and roll out between 2 lightly floured large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9- to 9½-inch tart pan. Ease the dough into the pan corners and press the dough against the fluted sides of the pan. If some sections of the edge are too thin, reinforce them by folding the excess dough back on itself. Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough all over with a fork. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes. (The dough-lined tart pan can be sealed in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag and frozen up to 1 month.)

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a square of foil into the frozen tart shell and over the edge, and fill with metal or ceramic pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Set the baking sheet with the tart shell on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

7. Assemble the Tart: Spread the cold pastry cream over the bottom of the tart shell, using an offset spatula or large spoon. Arrange the kiwi slices in an overlapping circle around the inside edge of the pastry. Arrange the raspberries in rings just inside the kiwi. Mound the blueberries in the center. (The tart can be refrigerated, uncovered, up to 30 minutes.) Remove the outer ring of the tart pan and place the tart onto a serving platter; serve.

(Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated)


87 Responses to “Fresh Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy on June 5, 2012 at 12:52 am

    wow that looks fabulous!! (and delicious!!) aren’t kiwi simply stunning fruits with their green and black! perfect for a tart:) i love fresh fruit desserts. thanks for sharing!


  2. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on June 5, 2012 at 1:03 am

    What a gorgeous looking fruit tart! I would probably use all the fruits you used, maybe add some strawberries or mandarin oranges, but kiwi is a MUST. My hubby loves fruit tarts so maybe I’ll give this a whirl for him :)


  3. Jeannie on June 5, 2012 at 5:28 am

    That tart looks so fresh and perfect! Simply gorgeous!


  4. San Marcos Chiropractor on June 5, 2012 at 5:45 am

    I love fresh fruits especially kiwi. This tart is perfect for summer. What do you think about pre-baked tart crust?


    • Michelle on June 5th, 2012 at 9:58 am

      This tart crust is pre-baked, or are you talking about a store-bought crust?


  5. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on June 5, 2012 at 6:04 am

    This is my kind of summer dessert. Love it!


  6. Tanya Schroeder on June 5, 2012 at 6:32 am

    This is gorgeous!! I struggle with veggies too, maybe if I could have those in a beautiful tart too.


  7. Shirley@bells-bakery on June 5, 2012 at 6:35 am

    This looks absolutely sensational,such a great use of colour!! Love this time of year with the ammounts of fresh fruits you can get.


  8. tesei on June 5, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Oh my goodness, it looks absolutely fantastic! Thank you :-)


  9. Katrina on June 5, 2012 at 6:58 am

    This tart is stunning! Perfect for summer.


  10. Sandra on June 5, 2012 at 7:35 am

    This is such a gorgeous picture! There’s no doubt that I will be making this very soon. You nailed this one!!!


  11. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on June 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

    That tart is beautiful! It’s almost (almost!) too pretty to eat.


  12. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on June 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Gorgeous! I love the fact that you can make the components ahead of time!


  13. Meghan @ After the Ivy League on June 5, 2012 at 9:14 am

    This is a beautiful dish. I love this time of year too, all my favorite fruit is in season!


  14. Catalina @ Cake with Love on June 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I made a tart like this one week ago, but used only strawberries tot op it! I love how the pastry cream paired with the fruits and the flaky crust!


  15. Annamaria @ on June 5, 2012 at 9:46 am

    The tart looks perfect. My desserts usually have some kind of chocolate in them but I’ll have to try making this one. I think I’ll substitute grapes for the blueberries – I got sick on blueberry pie a life-time ago and never had any since. Thanks for the post.


  16. Eva @ Eva Bakes on June 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I made a fresh fruit tart just like this one a few weeks ago, and it was downright amazing. I’m making another one tonight for a work potluck. Your tart looks incredible!


  17. annie on June 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

    You are absolutely spoiling us with these great treats you’ve been posting. This is my absolute favorite dessert for summer, but now I don’t have to buy the ready made tart shell, I can make my own. Thanks.


  18. Jennifer on June 5, 2012 at 10:48 am

    This is such a pretty tart! I love how the colors come together and make such a lovely display. I wouldn’t change the toppings. I would use exactly what you’ve used because I love all of those fruits.


  19. Ashley on June 5, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Here in Belgium they have these in the bakery. We are Americans stationed over here and one of the great things is the bakeries. The ones they make have a really yummy glaze over them. I hate doing anything with dough but I may have to get over that fear and try this. Thank you for the recipe.


  20. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Pepper on June 5, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I have always wanted to make a tart! Yours is so pretty!


  21. DB-The Foodie Stuntman on June 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I like how this dish can be made ahead of time!


  22. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on June 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    The toppings look absolutely delicious as is! I love the three colors together!


  23. Joy on June 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I love love fruit tarts.


  24. Mireia on June 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm



  25. Alya on June 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Oh my, the photos alone are enough for me… I feel full already. I love fruit tarts! Thanks for sharing!


  26. Danielle W on June 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I think I just drooled..this looks amazing. You always have the best pictures!!


  27. Angelyn on June 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    This look so delicious! And it’s absolutely beautiful!!


  28. Mi Vida en un Dulce on June 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I can’t resist Pastry Cream, it a tentation for me. And your crust looks very interesting, I never made one with cream. And I like the idea that we can make it in parts, so we can make it in advance so we don’t have to be stressed when we need it.


  29. Michael @ BlueberryChuckle on June 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    That looks so beautiful! If kiwi wasn’t so expensive, I’d probably make that. Just bought a TON of strawberries today, so might need to make a modification :)


  30. Tracy {Pale Yellow} on June 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Whenever I see tarts like this one, I always dream of making one! So beautiful!


  31. Pam on June 6, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I’m so glad you made this beautiful tart. I searched the site earlier this spring for this recipe when I finally bought my tart pan. My girls love these and I don’t want to buy it from the store. Thanks for all the great recipe.


  32. Jaclyns Cookies on June 6, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Absolutely beautiful tart! I’m saving this for when I go blueberry picking this weekend :)


  33. Phoebe on June 6, 2012 at 10:05 am

    That looks so amazing! when i make a fruit tart i use a cream cheese filling which tastes great too!


  34. Sarah @ Miss CandiQuik on June 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Ive been searching for a great fruit tart recipe – trying this one this weekend! Thanks for sharing :)


  35. Auto Insurance Homer Glen on June 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    WOW! Looks delicious. I think my favorite part about this fruit tart is that it is all fresh homemade ingredients. I have had fruit tarts and fruit pizzas that are made with refrigerated cookie dough and then topped with the orange marmalade (not a fan of). Can’t wait to try this fresh and homemade version… perfect for summer entertaining!!!


  36. Debra Kapellakis on June 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Stunningily beautiful!


  37. safoora on June 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    This looks gorgeous. What would be an alternative for half and half for non Americans? half whipping cream and half milk?


    • Michelle on June 10th, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      Hi Safoora, You got it exactly – half heavy (or whipping) cream and half whole milk. Enjoy!


  38. Kborner on June 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Made this tonight for a dessert. Mine wasn’t as pretty as yours but it tasted great. Thanks for a lovely dessert!


  39. Lea's Cooking on July 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Yummy:) I will give it a try:))))))))


  40. Ike on July 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Did anyone’s cream come out too thin?


  41. Ann on September 16, 2012 at 11:03 am

    My pastry cream came out too thick! I couldn’t even strain it. Any suggestions?
    It was really easy to put in a pastry bag and pipe it in my mini shell though. Every one loved it and they were looking for more!

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe!


    • Michelle on September 25th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      Hi Ann, The pastry cream was probably cooked just a tad too long and got thicker than intended (assuming you didn’t make any ingredient substitutions). Glad everyone enjoyed the tart!


  42. gemma on February 5, 2013 at 9:53 am

    it looks very delicious,but in making the cream,what is half and half means?thanks.


    • Michelle on February 5th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Gemma, Half & half is sold here in the U.S., but it’s essentially 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 heavy cream, so you can substitute those quantities for the half & half in the recipe.


  43. Anna Mike on February 13, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Thanks for posting your lovely recipes. They always turned out great for me especially your cupcakes. Anyway, would it be alright if I use full cream milk instead of half and half? It’s not available easily here in Malaysia.


    • Michelle on February 13th, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Hi Anna, I would recommend half full fat milk and half heavy cream. Using only milk may not thicken it up enough.


  44. Juli on April 11, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Great recipe idea. My pastry cream never quire thickened. It was still runny after sitting over night. Suggestions?


    • Michelle on April 11th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Juli, Did you make any ingredient substitutions? If not, it sounds like it wasn’t cooked quite long enough on the stove, therefore it wasn’t able to set up properly.


  45. Anum on April 29, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I really want to make this but I don’t have a tart pan…If I make this in a glass pie dish, should I just butter/grease the dish heavily before baking the crust? Or would this be better made in a springform pan?
    Thank you! It looks wonderful!


    • Michelle on April 30th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      You could definitely make this in a springform pan; it would be beautiful!


  46. Shally on May 14, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Do U think I can ship this tart via FedEx overnight to my family, it’s around 175 miles away(across 3 states). SO, what would u say I pack it with dry ice or just regular packing to make sure it’s packed nicely & doesn’t move inside the box. I’m not sure if I need to keep it cool(using ice) or not. I’m sure with fresh fruit on top of it freezing won’t work. Please Please Please give me your input. Thanks.


    • Michelle on May 15th, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Hi Shally, I don’t see any way that this could be safely shipping, given that it needs to be refrigerated and that it would very likely break in the shipping process.


  47. Anum on May 20, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I’ve heard that heavy cream can be replaced with a ratio of 1 part butter to 2 parts milk, when not whipped. Do you think that could apply in the case of the 1 tablespoon heavy cream in this?


    • Michelle on May 22nd, 2013 at 12:27 am

      I have not used that substitute before, so I can’t give you 100% certainty on it, but it never hurts to try!


      • Anum on May 22nd, 2013 at 2:43 pm

        Two more questions, thanks for taking the time to answer!
        Can the crust be baked the night before and be left in the fridge overnight?
        And if the tart is assembled for more than 30 minutes, will it get soggy?


        • Michelle on May 23rd, 2013 at 11:30 pm

          The crust can be baked ahead, but you don’t need to refrigerate it; it should be kept at room temperature. Yes, the bottom crust can start to become soggy the longer it sits, so it’s best to have the components ready, then assemble not long before serving.


  48. Alice on May 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Gorgeous tart! Thank you for posting the recipe! I wonder if I could use heavy cream in place of the half-and-half used in the pastry cream recipe? Would that make the cream too thick? Thank you!!!


    • Michelle on May 23rd, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Alice, You can use heavy cream, but I would suggest replacing it with a 50/50 split of heavy cream and whole milk – you’ll get closer to the consistency that the half-and-half will create.


      • Alice on May 24th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        Thank you Michelle, I’ll have to try your recipe soon! :-)


  49. Anum on May 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I made this last night, and it was wonderful!!! Thank you for the recipe!
    I brushed the crust with heated apricot jam and let that set for 30 minutes before assembling, to prevent sogginess. I assembled about 5 hours in advance, and it was the perfect texture, and even was this morning as well!


  50. Mandy on June 5, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I tried to make the crust twice and failed miserably. What if I don’t have a food processor? Am I stuck with store bought crusts until I can get one?


    • Michelle on June 6th, 2013 at 10:26 am

      Hi Mandy, Of course not, dough can be made by hand, it’s just made easier with a food processor. Whisk together your dry ingredients, cut in the butter, then fold in the ice water with a rubber spatula until it’s cohesive.


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