The classic fruit tart is a staple in French bakeries and has been one of my favorite summer desserts since I was a child. The combination of the buttery, sweet, crispy tart shell filled with silky vanilla pastry cream and topped with perfect summer fruit is everything a dessert should be.
My favorite fruits to use are berries (all kinds), nectarines, peaches, fresh Bing cherries and kiwi for the pop of color it adds. You can use any combination of fruits you like. It is best to avoid melon and other fruit that have a high moisture content, like citrus or pineapple. These will seep moisture into the pastry cream and make it separate. It is also a good idea to avoid fruit like apples, pears and bananas, as they will turn brown. You can create an intricate pattern or just pile the summery goodness on top. The fruit is glazed with a thin layer of apricot jam (marmalade also works well) to keep it from drying out and give the finished tart a beautiful sheen.
This recipe can also be made into individual servings by using small 3-inch pans ( approximately 6-8) or muffin pans (approximately 15).
Gluten-Free Classic Fruit Tart
A classic French fruit tart with a slightly sweet, buttery crust, silky vanilla pastry cream and beautiful fresh fruit. This is the perfect summer dessert.
- 1 baked 10-inch tart shell
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 112 grams granulated sugar (½-cup) (divided)
- 4½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 448 grams whole milk (2 cups) (can sub non dairy milk)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 28 grams unsalted butter (2 tbsp)
- ¼ cup apricot jam (or marmalade)
- 1 tablespoon water
- Fresh Fruit (approx. 4 cups*)
Bake according to instructions. Remove your baked and cooled tart shell from its pan, and place on a serving plate. Set aside until ready to assemble.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, egg, ¼ cup sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
In a saucepan, bring the milk and ¼-cup sugar to a simmer. Whisk the egg-milk mixture into the rest of the milk in the saucepan.
Slowly pour ½ cup of the warm milk and sugar mixture into the egg mixture, while whisking continuously -- this is called tempering and is an important step to make sure that you don't end up with scrambled eggs.**
Pour the tempered egg-milk mixture back into the rest of the milk in the saucepan, whisking continuously.
Cook the pastry cream over low heat, whisking constantly, until it starts to thicken, about five minutes.
Turn off the heat, whisk in the vanilla and butter. Keep whisking until the butter is melted, and the pastry cream is smooth.
Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and push the wrap down in the bowl so it sits directly on the surface of the pastry cream. This prevents a skin from forming on top. Chill until cold, at least an hour (or up to two days before assembly).
In a small saucepan, heat the apricot jam with one tablespoon of water over medium heat, whisking, until thin (or heat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds). If the jam is chunky, remove chunks or strain it through a sieve.
Use a pastry brush to gently dab the fruit with a thin layer of apricot glaze. This makes the fruit nice and shine and keeps it from drying out. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
Whisk the chilled pastry cream until smooth, then spread it evenly into the tart shell using an offset spatula. Tip: If you are not eating your tart the same day, you can brush the inside of the tart shell with a thin layer of melted chocolate or white chocolate to prevent it from getting soft.
Arrange your fruit over the pastry cream in your desired design.
*Avoid melon and other fruit that has a high-moisture content, like sliced citrus or pineapple. These will seep moisture into the pastry cream and make it separate. Also avoid oxidizing fruit like apples, pears, and bananas; these fruits will turn brown. All fruit should be fully dried after rinsing and before putting it on the tart.
**If you see any coagulated egg bits in your finished pastry cream, strain the hot pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer before putting it in the bowl to cool.