As long as I can remember I have always wanted to order one of those fresh fruits tarts sold in the bakery case at the grocery store. The color of the tarts was always so vibrant and the fruit always looked so sweet and fresh. I’m not sure what stopped me from ordering one (probably the price) but for one reason or another I never took the plunge.
Fast forward to this weekend. As I was taking inventory of what I had in my fridge and thinking about what I could make, it hit me that I had all of the ingredients for a fruit tart. With more than enough time on my hands (thank you self-isolation) I decided to give it a try and I’m so glad that I did!
After a few attempts at a pliable dough for the shell, I managed to make a flavorful and super fresh tart. So, as you know, a fruit tart is typically made of three components, a crust shell, filling and the fruit that adorns the top.
It took me two attempts to make the shell. The first batch of dough I made was way too dry. I wasn’t pliable and it was impossible to roll out. On my second attempt, I tried a different recipe and thankfully it worked out. (Y’all I was loosing my patience). Instead of cutting cold butter into the flour and sugar mixture, the second recipe started off with room temperature butter. The recipe called for the room temperature butter to be creamed and for the flour and sugar added to the butter. That worked out a lot better!
After I was able to get the crust worked out, I moved on to the filling. Overall the filling was easy to make and it turned out to be super sweet (almost too sweet), rich and creamy.
Finally, the fruit. Towards the end of the process, I started to get a little lazy and I just plopped the strawberries on top. In hindsight I should have sliced them just to make the tart a little more esthetically pleasing.
Even though there are a few things I would tweak, I was extremely pleased with how this tart turned out and I would 100% serve this at a lunch or family dinner. Honestly this would be perfect for Mother’s Day!
– Using a crust recipe that called for room temp. butter. Starting off with softened butter made the crust more pliable and easy to work with.
– Lining the crust with a thin layer of warm jelly to create a moisture barrier that prevents the custard from making the tart shell soggy.
– Incorporating the lime as a topping/garnish. The custard was extremely sweet and the tartness of the lime helped to cut the sweetness.
What I Would Do Differently:
– I would make the custard less sweet. The recipe that I used called for 2/3cup of sugar however it said, “you can use a little more if you prefer” which led me to think that with 2/3cup of sugar ,the custard was going to have a subtle sweetness. Not the case. I could have easily used 1/3cup of sugar and have been okay.
– I would have whipped the egg yokes a little longer to make them lighter. Th custard was good (at one point I was eating it straight from the bowl) but I could have been a little less dense.
– Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are standard tart toppings but next time I will consider using more tart fruits (especially if the custard is on the sweeter side) I like really like the juxtaposition of the sweet custard and the tart fruit. Kiwi and lime would be good options.
– This isn’t something I would necessarily do differently but I would be interesting to change up the flavors and make this a more “fall appropriate” recipe in the cooler months.. Instead of a plain vanilla custard, I would add a dash of cardamom and cinnamon to warm it up. Instead of fresh strawberries, I would opt for apples and pears (maybe even caramel drizzled apples and pears). Def. going to try this out closer to September. I’ll let y’all know how that works out.