The Classic Fruit French Tart, a sweet pastry crust filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with fresh fruits, is an ultimate Summer French dessert. A refreshing yet decadent tart that’s perfect for hosting. Let’s go deeper to discover each component :
The crust: « pâte sucrée ».
A pâte sucrée is a buttery, sweet, cookie-like pastry crust generally used in French baking for tarts featuring cream or custards. The combination of butter and powdered sugar creates a melt-in-your-mouth texture, which balances perfectly with the smooth vanilla pastry cream and juicy, fresh fruits. The crust gets baked on its own , before being filled with the pastry cream and topped with fruits. You can also bake it the day prior, to save time. Once baked, keep the crust unfilled in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
The pastry cream: “crème pâtissière ».
This pastry cream is known as “crème pâtissière”. French crème pâtissière is a custard flavored with vanilla, that is thickened using eggs and egg yolks.
Fresh, seasonal fruits are really the stars of the show here. Being a classic Summer dessert, the tart often features summer berries along with kiwis for a nice contrast of color. In general, any soft fresh fruits work here: sliced mango, sliced peaches, halved apricots, etc. Avoid crunchy fruits, such as apples or pears.
The glaze: apricot jam.
Apricot jam is commonly used for glazing fruit tarts in France. The apricot jam is slowly heated and passed through a fine mesh strainer to discard any chunks. Although less traditional, other jams work perfectly too: strawberry jam, raspberry jam, peach jam, etc.
For the « pate sucrée » crust :
½ cup (125g) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature.
¾ cup (95g) powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 1 ½ tbsp (40g) almond flour (ground almond)
1 large egg
1 ¾ cup + 1 tbsp (233g) all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
For the crème pâtissière:
1 cup (250ml) milk (2% or whole)
½ tsp vanilla extract (or seeds from ½ vanilla bean)
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
3 tbsp (38g) sugar
2 tbsp (17g) all-purpose flour
1 ½ tbsp (11g) cornstarch
For the fruits :
About 300g strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced in half
3 kiwis, peeled and sliced in thin slices
1 clementine, peeled and divided
7-8 cherries, halved and pitted
For the glaze :
¼ cup apricot jam or apple jelly, warmed
Step 1 - Make the « pâte sucrée » crust. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar until creamy and smooth. Add the vanilla extract, almond flour and egg, and mix until homogeneous. Add the all-purpose flour and salt, and mix until just incorporated and the dough comes together into a ball. Wrap in a plastic film and place in the fridge for 2 hours, minimum. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).