Vanilla Custard Fruit Tart

Vanilla Custard Fruit Tart

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Chill Time: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
412 Calories
23g Fat
45g Carbs
9g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 412
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 12g 59%
Cholesterol 157mg 52%
Sodium 424mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 9g
Calcium 143mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This tart features a sweet, crumbly crust filled with velvety smooth vanilla custard, all topped with ripe, juicy fruit for a refreshing treat. The tart pastry is the most time-consuming part of the recipe, but it's not overly complicated to make if you have the right tools and ingredients.

Ingredients

  • For the Tart Shell:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • For the Custard:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • For the Fruit Topping:
  • 3 to 4 cups sliced fresh fruit (such as strawberries, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, or berries)
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this vanilla custard fruit tart is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for baking.

To Make the Pastry in a Food Processor

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vanilla Custard Fruit Tart ingredients

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  2. Process the flour and butter in a food processor until coarse crumbs form.

    flour and butter in a food processor

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  3. With the motor running, add the water, and lemon peel through the feed tube and process until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.

    water and lemon peel added to flour and butter in a food processor

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  4. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. or just until firm enough to roll out. If not using immediately, wrap with plastic and refrigerate up to three days or freeze up to three months.

    tart pastry wrapped in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

To Make the Pastry by Hand 

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vanilla Custard Fruit Tart pastry ingredients

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  2. Put the flour and butter into a medium bowl.

    flour and butter in a bowl

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  3. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

    butter and flour mixed with a pastry blender

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  4. Add the water, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Stir until the dough holds together.

    flour, butter, water and lemon peel mixture in a bowl, dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  5. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. or just until firm enough to roll out. If not using immediately, wrap with plastic and refrigerate up to three days or freeze up to three months.

    tart pastry wrapped in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Bake the Crust

  1. Press the prepared tart dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a nine- or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze for 20 to 30 minutes until very firm.

    tart dough / pastry in a tart pan

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Prick the bottom of the tart shell at one-inch intervals with a fork.

    tart dough in a pan, prick the tart shell dough with a fork

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  3. Line snugly with foil.

    aluminum foil over on top of tart dough in a tart pan

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until crust is set and just beginning to brown.

    tart dough partially baked in a tart pan

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  5. Remove foil and bake until crust is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes more. Set the crust on a wire rack and cool completely.

    baked tart dough in a tart pan cooling on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Make the Custard

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vanilla Custard Fruit Tart, custard ingredients

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  2. In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Make sure the whisk reaches the corners of the pan.

    milk, sugar, flour and salt in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  3. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, and whisking constantly, boil for four to five minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove the pan from the heat.

    whisk the milk mixture over the heat in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks.

    whisked egg yolks in a bowl

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  5. Gradually whisk in about one cup of the hot milk mixture.

    milk mixture and egg yolks mixed together

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  6. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and, whisking constantly, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly thicker. Remove the pan from the heat.

    egg yolk mixture and milk mixture whisked together in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  7. Add the butter and vanilla, and stir until the butter is melted.

    milk and egg yolk mixture mixed together with butter and vanilla in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  8. Strain the custard through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl.

    Strain the custard through a fine sieve

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  9. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.

    Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard in a bowl

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Assemble

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vanilla Custard Fruit Tart ingredients

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  2. Stir the chilled custard and spread it into the prepared crust.

    custard inside of tart crust

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  3. Top with the fresh fruit.

    fruit tart with custard topped with fresh fruit

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the preserves until slightly thinner in consistency, about 5 minutes.

    preserves heated in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

  5. Brush the fruit with the preserves. Serve the tart right away or refrigerate, covered, up to 24 hours.

    Vanilla Custard Fruit Tart, preserves brushed on the fresh fruit

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Tip

  • To save a little time, you can opt to skip making the pastry from scratch and buy pre-made tarts or dessert shells, but make sure you read any instructions for preparation, especially if the tarts are frozen.

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