This stunning fruit custard tart, loaded with fresh berries is somehow light and fresh whilst being completely creamy and indulgent too. Top it with seasonal fruit and you can have this any time of year. This custard tart, based on a classic French fruit tart, is layer after layer of deliciousness and one of my favourites.

  • Crisp, buttery tart shell
  • Creamy, vanilla custard filling
  • Your favourite fresh seasonal fruit

While fruit custard tart looks (and is) totally perfect for spring or summer, you can absolutely indulge in winter too – just try topping it with these cinnamon apples.

The just-barely-set filling is smooth, soft and melts on the tongue but it sets enough to cut perfect slices. This filling is essentially a form of crème patissiere (or pastry cream) and it tastes vanilla-y and oh-so-creamy.

Love a gorgeous fruit tart as much as I do? Try this mango tart or this simple strawberry flan.

A slice of fruit custard tart on a small dessert plate.

FEATURED COMMENT

The picture has a WOW factor. So i tried the recipe. This tart is WOW!!! All the guests at my party ABSOLUTELY ENJOYED IT.

Andrei Villamar

Ingredients you’ll need

Who knew something so beautiful could have just 9 ingredients.

Ingredients for fruit custard tart on a marble worktop.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Flour: Just regular plain flour / all-purpose flour is all you need.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of salt.
  • Sugars: You’ll need icing sugar (powdered sugar) for the pastry and just regular white sugar for the filling.
  • Egg: Use large eggs, free-range if you can.
  • Milk: Whole milk (full cream milk) is what you need for the custard filling.
  • Cornflour: Cornflour (aka cornstarch) is a fine flour used for thickening.
  • Vanilla: Use a pure vanilla extract as opposed to vanilla essence as it’s a natural flavouring and tastes so much better. If you want to be extra fancy, use vanilla bean paste, or fresh vanilla from the pod so you can see the little specks of vanilla seeds throughout the custard.
  • Berries: While the classic fruit custard tart is topped with loads of fresh berries, just like this one, you can certainly use whatever is in season. Choose your favourite fresh fruit and get creative. I used a combination of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.

How to make custard tart

Ok, so there are 3 layers, and you will need a little time for resting the dough but this couldn’t be simpler to make.

A collage showing how to make the pastry shell.

Detailed instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Make the pastry: Start by beating together butter and sugar, then add the egg (photo 1) and beat to combine. Add the flour (photo 2) and beat through until combined and beginning to clump together (photo 3).
  2. Make the tart shell: Shape the dough into a smooth dish and roll it out immediately (photo 4) on a lightly floured surface then lay it into your tart tin (photo 5). Press it down into the corners gently with your fingertips and leave the edges standing up (photo 6). Chill the tart shell for at least 2 hours.
  3. Bake the tart shell: Prick the base of the tart shell with a fork all over, then trim off the overhanging pastry. Line the shell with baking paper. Fill the paper with pie weights or rice to weigh it down and bake for 20 minutes followed by another 15 minutes with the baking weights removed.
A collage of 4 images showing how to make the custard tart filling.
  1. Make the custard: In a saucepan, combine milk, butter, sugar and vanilla (photo 7) then heat until fully combined and steaming. Whisk together some eggs and cornflour in a large bowl (photo 8) then slowly add in the milk mixture (photo 9), whisking the whole time so the eggs don’t scramble. Now pour it back into the pan and heat, stirring constantly for another 5-6 minutes or so.
  2. Assemble: Pour the custard into the cooled tart shell (photo 10) and level it out. Let it chill for 2-3 hours before topping and serving.  Whilst optional, you can brush a little warm strawberry or apricot jam mixed with a dash of water, over the fruits to give them a shine.
Top down view of a berry topped custard tart.

Custard tart tips

  • Weigh your ingredients: Just a little too much or too little flour can have a big effect on baking recipes. Make sure to weigh your ingredients for best results.
  • Don’t skip chilling: The pastry dough will keep it’s shape better and be a much crisper result if you make sure to chill the dough where stated. Pastry always works best when kept cool.
  • Trimming the pastry: Trim the excess pastry crust edges away right before you bake it, while it’s still cold. This will give you a nice square edge.
  • Don’t rush tempering the eggs: When you add a hot liquid to eggs, you need to do it slowly so they don’t scramble. This process is called tempering. Make sure to pour it in gradually, whisking the entire time to keep it smooth.
  • Stir frequently: When you return the custard mixture to the pan, make sure to keep an eye on it and stir frequently, so you don’t get lumps. As soon as you see it begin thickening, don’t stop stirring. If it’s happening too quickly, take it off the heat and whisk vigorously until smooth again.
  • Lumpy custard: If you’re concerned you may have some little lumps in the custard, you can strain it before adding it to the tart shell.

Storage

Store the custard tart in the fridge for 2-3 days. It will keep best without the fruit on top.

To keep the top of the custard from forming a skin cover with an upside-down plate. This will keep the custard from sticking to anything. If it’s going to be in the fridge for more than just overnight, I’d then wrap all of that in plastic wrap to keep any fridge aromas out.

A slice of tart on a plate with a forkful sitting just to the side.

If you try this fruit custard tart recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you and it helps other readers too!

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A tart filled with custard and topped with fresh berries.

Fruit Custard Tart

4.8 from 12 ratings
This gorgeous fruit custard tart has a crisp and buttery tart shell filled with creamy vanilla custard and topped with a pile of fresh berries. Fresh, creamy, smooth and crunchy all at once, this classic French tart is a feast for your eyes and your taste buds.

Ingredients

FOR THE PASTRY SHELL

  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened (7 tablespoons / 3.5oz)
  • 40 g icing sugar (powdered sugar) (⅓ cup / 1.4oz)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 225 g plain flour (all purp flour) (1 ¾ cups / 8oz)

FOR THE FILLING AND TOPPING

  • 3 ½ cups milk (875ml / 1.8 pints)
  • 57 g butter
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 100 g granulated white sugar (½ cup / 3.5oz)
  • ½ cup cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks, from large eggs
  • 3 cups berries, strawberries sliced

Instructions
 

  • FOR THE SHORTCRUST PASTRY:
    In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add the butter and icing sugar. Beat on medium until fully combined and smooth (1 – 2 minutes).
  • Add the egg and beat on low until smooth. Add the flour and beat just until large clumps are forming.
  • Turn the dough out and pull it together into a smooth ball with your hands (making sure not to handle it too much) then press it out into a 1 inch thick disk.
  • Place it onto a lightly floured work surface and dust the top with just a little flour too. Gently and gradually roll the pastry out, turning it often, to about 4-5mm thick or about 11 inches in diameter.
  • Place the rolling pin in the middle of the dough and fold one side of the pastry over the top. Lift the rolling pin so the pastry is hanging over it, and lightly dust off any excess flour from underneath. Carefully lay it into a 9 inch round tart pan with removeable base.
  • Press the dough down in to the corners all the way round with your fingertips, then press it into the scalloped sides. Leave the overhang standing upright and place the tart pan into the fridge to chill for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. If your freezer has space you can place it in there.
  • BAKE THE TART SHELL:
    Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F.
  • Trim the overhang off the pastry with a sharp knife laid flat along the top of the tart tin and prick the base of the pastry shell all over with a fork.
  • Lay a sheet of baking paper into the shell and fill with rice (or pie weights), nudging them into the corners.
  • Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes then remove the baking paper and rice and bake a further 15 minutes. If the edges are browning too much, cover them with foil. It's done when the base is starting to colour and the edges look a pale golden brown.
  • FOR THE FILLING:
    Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, and add the butter, sugar and vanilla, then heat over medium heat until steaming, stirring regularly.
  • While the milk mixture is heating, whisk together the cornflour, egg and egg yolks until combined.
  • Once the milk mixture is steaming, drizzle it slowly into the eggs while whisking constantly. Don’t pour it too quickly or the heat will scramble the eggs.
  • Return the entire mix to the saucepan. Heat over low-medium heat, stirring with a balloon whisk constantly, until it gets very thick. This will happen quite suddenly after about 5 minutes, so it’s important to keep stirring so you don't get lumpy custard.
  • The custard is thick enough, when it doesn’t settle back into itself in the saucepan when you lift the spoon and let it drop off.
  • 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 at least 3 hours before topping and serving.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. 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).
  3. Glaze: If you like, you can add a glaze to make the fruit shiny. Mix a dash of water with a tablespoon of strawberry or apricot jam, then warm it a little in the microwave. Gently brush over the fruit. I rarely do this but sometimes just add little dots of shine here and there.

More Information

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