This Fruit Custard Tart recipe is light and refreshing but indulgently creamy all at once. A crisp tart shell, easy custard and fresh seasonal fruit.
Simplicity can be so beautiful right? A beautiful Fruit Custard Tart is such classic simplicity, it’s pretty and tastes amazing.
When I see fresh strawberries, I find it hard to resist, so I bought a few punnets knowing that I’d been wanting to make this Fruit Custard Tart recipe forever. I also added blueberries and raspberries, just ‘cause.
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Just 3 simple steps
Now let’s really look at this. There are 3 simple steps between you and a creamy yet refreshing Fruit Custard Tart.
- Quick crisp tart shell
- Easy custard
- Fresh fruit
The tart shell is the perfect crispy, crunchy company for the filling. It’s a very basic pastry, made in the food processor then rolled super thin to get that crisp texture. It bakes for ½ an hour all up and then you’re done with the oven for this recipe. You could even bake this a couple of days ahead and store it in an airtight container until you fill it.
The custard filling is known as creme patissiere (French for pastry cream). See my post for all the details on this glorious pudding filling. It’s incredibly easy to make and is the same filling used for cream puffs and eclairs.
Once the tart shell has cooled, you’ll need to find around 10 minutes in your schedule to throw this easy custard together. This starts with heating some milk, sugar, butter and vanilla extract in a saucepan over low heat just to the point where it starts steaming. Drizzle it slowly into an egg and cornflour mixture to temper the eggs, then pour it all back into the saucepan. From there, you just stir it for 5-6 minutes until it becomes thick.
Time to get artistic
Once you’ve poured the custard into your tart shell and allowed it to cool and set, you get to work on chopping some beautiful fruit. In this case, berries. Arrange them on top, then brush them with a little warmed apricot jam to give them a shine and hello beautiful.
This gorgeous Fruit Custard Tart is such a joy to make and eat. From the crunch of the tart shell to the soft, creamy filling and vibrant fresh fruit on top, this is perfect dessert for any get together.
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Fruit Custard Tart
For the tart shell
- 150 g (1 cup + 1 tbsp / 5.3oz) plain (AP) flour
- 2 tablespoons caster or granulated white sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 115 g (1 stick / 1⁄2 cup) unsalted butter cubed and chilled
- 1 large egg
For the custard
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 30 g (2 tablespoons) butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1/3 cup cornflour
- ¼ cup water
- 3 egg yolks
- Fresh fruit of your choice
- 1 tablespoon apricot conserve optional
For the tart shell:
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour sugar and salt. Blitz to combine.
- Add the cubes of butter and process until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.
- Add the egg and process until it start to form a ball in the food processor.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line the base of an 8 inch fluted tart tin with baking paper. Use a tin with at least 1 inch high sides as the pastry will shrink down a little.
- Sit the pastry on a lightly floured bench top, then dust a little flour over the top. Roll out to an 11 inch circle (or until the pastry is about 2-3mm thick)
- Transfer the rolled pastry to your tin, gently pressing it down into the corners and up against the sides. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart tin to cut off the excess. Dock the base of the tart shell with a fork all over then place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Line the base of the tart shell with baking paper then fill with rice.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking paper and rice, then bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before filling with custard.
For the custard:
- Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, and add the butter, sugar and vanilla, then heat on very low heat until steaming, stirring regularly.
- While the milk mixture is heating, mix together the water and cornflour until smooth. Pour it into a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and add the egg yolks, then beat on high until light and pale yellow.
- Once the milk mixture is steaming, remove from heat. Turn the stand mixer down to low-medium and pour the milk mix in a slow steady stream into the egg mix. Don’t pour it too quickly or the heat will scramble the eggs.
- Once all the milk is added to the eggs, return the entire mix to the saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring with a balloon whisk constantly, until it gets very thick. This will happen quite suddenly after about 5 minutes or so, so it’s important to keep gently whisking increasing intensity as it gets very thick. You will end up with lumpy custard if you don’t.
- The custard is thick enough, when you can see the base of the pan as you stir and all the bubbles have disappeared from the surface.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before pouring into your tart shell. Level out the top with an offset spatula or knife. Place in the fridge and allow it to set for about 1 hour before topping and serving.
For the topping
- Top with chopped fruit.
- Optional step - Gently heat the apricot conserve until it becomes a little runny, then use a pastry brush to brush all over the fruit. This will just give the fruit a nice shine.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales like these are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).