Parisian Fruit Tarts {ModBak}

This is the first tart recipe in the Sweet Tarts & Pies section of The Modern Baker, and although I generally bake the Challenge recipes roughly in order, this was actually the 11th recipe I made from this section. We started baking from this section at the beginning of April, and I wanted to wait until the fruit at the grocery was a bit nicer looking before I made this tart.

This tart has three components — crust, pastry cream, and fruit filling. Each one is fairly easy to put together. The recipe calls for press-in cookie dough for the crusts, so that’s what I used. Based on my previous experience with this crust recipe, I refrigerated the dough before pressing it into 4 1/2-inch tart pans. The chilled dough is much easier to work with, and chilling some of the dough while working with the rest keeps it firm enough to handle. I baked the crusts for about 15 minutes at 350°F until the crusts were nicely browned and baked through.

The tart recipe includes a recipe for pastry cream, but I decided to take a shortcut and use King Arthur Flour pastry cream filling mix, which makes a rich, delicious pastry cream with no cooking or fuss.

The fruit was also very easy to prepare. I made an apricot glaze by boiling strained apricot preserves and water, then reducing it by about one-third. While the glaze was cooling, I washed, peeled, and sliced the fruit — kiwi, mango, blueberries, and blackberries. I had wanted to use fresh pineapple and strawberries, too, but I bought them too early and they weren’t in the best shape by the time I made the tarts.

After layering the fruit in a bowl, I poured in the glaze, then mixed it all gently with a rubber spatula. To assemble the tarts, I spread a layer of pastry cream in the shells, then piled on the fruit.

We absolutely loved these tarts. The crunchy cookie dough, creamy filling, and sweet-tart fruit all worked perfectly together. I will definitely be making these again and again for my family and friends. And since you can use any mixture of fruit you want, the possibilities are endless.

If you grew up eating “fruit pizza” made with canned sugar cookie dough and cream cheese filling, you owe it to yourself to try the real thing. You’ll be amazed at how easy these stunning and delicious tarts are to prepare. You could also make this as a single large tart, like my friend Abby did, to take to a party or carry-in dinner.

Either way, I guarantee it will make more of an impression than fruit pizza.

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12 Comments

  1. August 22, 2011 at 7:56 am

    […] In previous posts, I’ve mentioned my love for King Arthur’s pastry cream mix and noted that I generally use it whenever a recipe calls for pastry cream. This time, however, I decided to follow Nick’s recipe and make my own pastry cream. The recipe called for milk, sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla. It came together quickly and made a delicious pastry cream. […]

  2. ap269 said,

    June 3, 2011 at 5:46 am

    These look so good, hopefully, the e.coli crisis in Germany is over soon so I can buy berries and other fruit to make these again!

  3. Renee said,

    May 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    We absolutely loved this tart!!! I’ll have to make it again when berry season is in full swing.

    • gaaarp said,

      May 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      My wife and I were just talking about all the other possible fruit combinations for this tart.

  4. Margaret said,

    May 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Waiting for good fruit myself to make these. Got the Kiwis, and the blueberries. Now waiting for good strawberries, etc. pastry cream mix. Who Knew!!

    Love fruit tarts. Want one of yours!!

    • gaaarp said,

      May 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm

      Thanks, Margaret. I can’t wait to make more of these.

  5. Abby said,

    May 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I can’t believe how perfect your little crusts look…I think I’ll have to try the cookie dough crust again (now that I have a little more experience with tarts and crusts). And I’ll follow your lead and make the smaller ones next time…so easy to personalize that way (no raspberries for hubby who hates them, extra for me because they’re my favorite!). =)

    • gaaarp said,

      May 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks. I’ve had some practice, that’s for sure. You should definitely try them again. You’d like the little ones. Of course, your big tart was beautiful, too!

  6. Kayte said,

    May 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Stunning…I love the thought of serving something that is stunning…and eating it as well. Those look so good. My favorite things are those with fruit…these qualify without a doubt! Pastry Cream mix??? I had no idea….sounds like it was a hit.

    • gaaarp said,

      May 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      I bought the Pastry Cream mix for something a while back — Bavarian Cream Cheese King Cake, I think. I love it and always keep it on hand now.

  7. nancy said,

    May 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    We baked similar tarts from Dorie Greenspan’s book and they really are delicious and so very pretty, especially in the spring

    • gaaarp said,

      May 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      They would be especially nice with a little splash of red — raspberries or strawberries. I can’t wait to make these again. I think I’ll do “patriotic” colors for Memorial Day.


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