Wednesday, 9 May 2012

French Fruit Tart

Take me into any Patisserie and the one pastry that will catch my eye every time are the French Fruit Tarts. Fresh fruit atop smooth pastry cream encased in a buttery sweet pastry - that has and always be my choice of dessert. And so it was only a matter of time that I tried to replicate this relatively delicate dessert in the  comforts of my own kitchen. 

I haven't had the best track record with regards to pastry making but this recipe courtesy of JoyofBaking yielded perfect, Patisserie like sweet crust pastry with minimal effort. And the aroma emitted from the oven during the baking process was mouth watering! This recipe is definitely a keeper and one which I will be using many times in the near future!

Making the pastry cream/creme patisserie was a breeze too - maybe I was having a good day in the kitchen; as it took all of 10 minutes for the cream to come together. The only piece of advice I would impart is to keep an eye on the cream at all times when cooking as there is a risk that if left too long on heat, or if the heat is too high, the pastry cream may curdle.
I also learnt that to prevent the crust from turning soggy, a glaze is spread over it to act as a sealant. I used a strawberry jam glaze this time around but am quite tempted to go for the chocolate option the next time around! Think melted chocolate (or Nutella?), fresh fruit and creme patisserie yummm!

Coming from a land full of exotic fruits, it seemed only right to go local with the topping. My initial plan was to use mangoes, lychees and dragon fruit and I envisioned the myriad of colours in a circular pattern however while assembling the layer of fruits, I realised that the contrast of the deep red dragon fruit would look just as gorgeous next to the white flesh of the lychees. And I was right :)

The tart disappeared within 24 hours and was such a hit with my cousins that I may have to make another one for the BBQ we're having this weekend!

French Fruit Tart

Makes one 9-inch tart

Recipe from Joy of Baking

Sweet Crust Pastry

195 g all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
50 g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. Sift flour and salt in a bowl. Whisk briefly so that flour remains light.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg gradually and beat until just incorporated. 
  4. Add the flour in one go and mix until the dough forms a  rough ball.
  5. Remove and flatten dough to form a disk. 
  6. Wrap in cling film and leave in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour to chill. (Or 15 minutes in freezer)
  7. Lightly butter and flour a 9" inch tart tin with a removable bottom.
  8. Evenly roll out the chilled dough and place it over the tin.
  9. Pat the dough out evenly, ensuring all ridges are covered. Cover with cling film and freeze for a further 15 minutes.
  10. Pre-heat oven to 200C. Prick the dough with a fork to prevent dough from puffing up during baking process.
  11. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180C and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
  12. Remove and cool completely before filling.
Creme Patisserie

* this can be made a couple of days in advance and refrigerated.

300 ml full-fat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
50 g caster sugar
20 g all purpose flour
20 g corn flour (acts as thickener)
  1. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until incorporated. Immediately add all purpose and corn flours (which have been sieved) and mix well until a smooth paste is obtained.
  2. In a saucepan, heat milk until bubbles form. Remove from heat and slowly add to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking in the mixture, which will form lumps. If there are lumps, pour mixture through a strainer.
  3. Next, pour the egg mixture into a saucepan and cook over a low heat until the custard comes together, whisking constantly.
  4. Continue to whisk until custard becomes thick. Add the vanilla extract.
  5. Pour into a clean bowl and cover with cling film immediately to prevent a crust from forming.
  6. Leave to cool completely before using/refrigerating.
Jam Glaze

100 g strawberry jam
1 tbsp water
  1. Heat jam and water in a small saucepan over a low heat until diluted. 
  2. Remove from heat and leave to cool before brushing over cooled pastry, saving some to be brushed over the fruit topping.
Fruit Topping

Canned lychees
½ red dragon fruit, cubed

  1. Remove tart from tin by gently pushing the bottom center upwards.
  2. Generously brush bottom and sides with jam glaze.
  3. Fill with creme pattistiere.
  4. Arrange fruits according to desired pattern.
  5. Brush remaining glaze over the fruits.
  6. Best served chilled.


  1. Nice photos. Very vibrant colours.

  2. Beautiful fruit tart - so colorful & vibrant! I love dragon fruit!!

  3. looks so delicious.. i love lychees. they are such a floral fruit.

  4. Oh wow! What a lovely tart & very eye catching too! Love the amazing color combo , looks so refreshing & delicious! :)

  5. That looks amazing!! And such a great combination of fruits, yuuuuuuum!

  6. Very pretty ! You are right, lychees and dragon fruit makes a beautiful contrast together

  7. Lynchee and dragon fruit are great combination. Beautiful!

  8. Strawberry tarts always catch my eye, closely followed by fruit tarts. Love the use of local fruits - I've always been a little bit scared of fruits I am unfamiliar with, and this is a great way to get into it. And thanks for a good pastry recipe :)

    Also, I made creme patisserie for croquembouche the other week, and I found what you did - either I was having a good day, the recipe was a really good one, or creme patisserie just isn't as hard to make as people try to make you believe it is, because it was a roaring success! If want to check out the recipe I used click on my name to get a link to my blog; after that, it's filed under "desserts".

  9. Well done!! I'm with you on the fresh fruit tarts, not only do I love them but they are always so beautiful. Love the lychee you have on here. When I saw the pic I thought it was surrounded by macadamia, which I love too, but lychee works better!

  10. WITH DRAGONFRUIT??? Sorry. You have no idea how much I adore and miss dragonfruit. I would kill for a slice of your tart!

  11. joyofbaking never fails me for me either! the dragonfruit looks so vibrant

  12. I am in for our local exotic fruits and you have done a fantastic tart using them. I never seen anyone using the red dragonfruit and sure very creative thinking.

  13. I just love your contrasting colors of the fruit and the tart!!Beautiful!I bet it tasted delicious :)

  14. wow, that is beautiful! and sounds super delicious!

  15. Dragon fruit is such a tasty delicacy around here, no doubt I would enjoy of slice of this very much! Berry tarts are good but even better with exotic fruits like this. Delicious post!

  16. D: Arghhhhh this looks so good! Why, oh why have those uber smart scientists not produced tastable screens as of yet? I absolutely adore dragonfruit, and lychees, but unfortunately in the backcountry of MN where I am, it's impossible (yes I do sadly mean impossible) to find. The last lovely, savored morsel of both fruits I had was in England last month visiting family. And I'm not rich enough to make the trip just for some fruit (lol!). Thank you for the wonderful recipe and drool worthy pictures. :) Next time I get my hands on those two I'll certainly give this a shot.


    - Eve

  17. Lychee!!!! They're one of my favorites, I felt kinda dumb when I couldn't figure out what they were in the pictures haha. This looks so wonderful, I love all the flavors that you're using.

  18. That dragon fruit had me thrown, it looks so much like beets when it's cubed like that!

  19. Wow, I've never seen a tart topped with dragon fruit and lychee! I LOOVEE it! Great colors and thanks for the tips on a perfect tart crust!