Is there anything better than a beautiful fruit tart full of fresh, seasonal fruit? Well, maybe just that delicious buttery crust that can become the vessel for the fruit.
Tarts are relatively simple to make, and can have a dramatic presentation on your dessert table. The secret to a perfect fruit tart is to wash and strain your fruit in a colander, and then to pat it dry with a towel to remove any extra liquid in the fruit.
We are going to take you step by step through two tart recipes that are perfect for spring. And remember, tarts are playful and fun! Feel free to use either crust and filling together, and any of your favorite fruits and jellies to glaze.
Patê Sablée with Frangipane and Mixed Fruit
This tart recipe generally makes enough crust for an 11” tart or two 9” tarts, but you can use any size tart pan you like and monitor the baking time.
– The patê sablée crust can be done by hand or in a stand mixer.
– If using a stand mixer, freeze the cubed butter for at least 1 hour before mixing.
– When the butter is distributed perfectly (whichever method you choose) it should look like small crumbs.
– For the frangipane filling, you will want your butter to be room temperature.
250 g (2 Cups) All-Purpose Flour
140 g (1 stick + 2 tbsp) cold butter
100 g (1/2 Cup) granulated sugar
1 egg yolk, blended
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine the flour and sugar on a pastry board. Using a board scraper, cut in the butter (if mixing by hand). You can view the technique for cutting the butter into the dry ingredients in this video at 1:15. You can combine the butter and dry ingredients using a stand mixer instead, simply freeze the butter for one hour and use the flat paddle.
Add the yolk and vanilla and cut it into the dough. Once mixed, fraisage the dough until it comes together. Fraisage is a technique used to maximize flakiness of the dough and minimize handling. If the butter is cold, smearing the dough across the surface of the board will create layers of butter, creating more “flake” while baking. The more you handle the dough, the butter will begin to melt and you will lose some flakiness. The resulting dough will be dry.
Form it into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
120 g (1 stick + 0.5 tbsp) room temperature butter
120 g (2/3 Cup) granulated sugar
1 tbsp. Frangelico (or liqueur of your choosing)
120 g (1 1/3 Cup) almond flour
Cream the butter. Add the eggs, Frangelico and half the sugar and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add the rest of the sugar and the almond flour and combine.
Spread evenly into the patê sablée tart crust.
Bake the patê sablée with the frangipane at 350ºF for 30-40 minutes or until frangipane is just golden. Allow to cool to room temperature.
At this point you can assemble and serve your tart, or the tart shell with the frangipane can be wrapped well in plastic wrapped and frozen for later use within a few weeks.
Fruit topping and glaze
Cutting the fruit: One of the challenges in fruit tarts is beautifully cut fruit. Here are some simple techniques to assist in making your citrus fruit and kiwi cuts look professional!
To make the glaze, heat apple jelly with a small amount of water to create a thick, but paintable consistency.
Lay the cut fruit on top of the cooled frangipane tart and brush with the apple jelly glaze.
Pro tip: You can make this tart ahead! If for some reason the fruit starts to look less than perfect in the fridge the day after baking, you can simply remove the fruit layer, place new fruit and glaze the tart again. Good as new!
Patê Sucrée with Pastry Cream and Strawberries
125 g of softened butter
40 g almond flour
120 g 10x sugar
2 pinch salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
210 g All-Purpose flour
Whisk together the butter, almond flour, 10x sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Add the egg and salt and combine. On a pastry board, place the all-purpose flour in a mound and create a well in its center. Fill with the butter mixture. Using a pastry scraper, chop together the butter mixture and flour, scraping from underneath to fold into dough until just combined. Then, fraisage the dough 2-3 times to bring the dough completely together. The dough will be wet. Do not overwork the dough! Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill the dough 2-3 hours, or until firm enough to roll.
After chilled, roll the dough and place the dough into the tart pan. Prick the dough with a fork or pastry docker. Blind bake at 320ºF with weights for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and finish baking, approximately 15 minutes or until shell is just golden. The baked shell may be frozen at this stage for later use.
2 Cups milk
4 oz. sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 oz. butter
Dissolve half of the sugar into milk and gently heat in a saucepan. Be mindful not to burn the bottom. Heat to just below a simmer.
At the same time, mix the rest of the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and eggs in a heat safe bowl.
Once the milk and sugar have heated to just below a simmer (do not boil!), turn off the heat and immediately temper the egg mixture by adding 1/3 of the hot milk and sugar to the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Then, pour all of the egg mixture back into the milk and sugar in the saucepan. Continue whisking over low heat.
Once the mixture begins to thicken, count 90 seconds while continuously whisking and then remove it from heat and pour into a second heat safe bowl. Stir in the butter. Immediately cover with clear wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream and put into the refrigerator to cool. Pro tip: By placing clear wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream you will avoid forming a skin on the top of the pastry cream.
Once cool, place the pastry cream into your blind baked tart shell. You may need to loosen the cream right out of the fridge by giving it a quick stir.
Top with fruit just before serving to avoid creating any extra liquid on the tart. If you are serving the tart longer than an hour later than putting it together, we recommend glazing it to ensure the fruit looks its best. (See instructions above.) The longer after construction you wait to serve, the more likely you will have excess liquid forming on the top of your tart. Unlike with the frangipane tart, fruit cannot be replaced in a pastry cream tart.
Recipes and photos by Neomie