Saturday, August 8, 2009

Summertime Fruit Tart

Carol Noreen, from Wisconsin, won the $25 gift certificate to Williams- Sonoma. Congratulations, Carol! Today is the last day to enter this week's contest. All you have to do is leave a comment. If Blogger acts ornery and won't let you comment, send an "enter me" email to Julie will be announcing the winner on Tuesday. And don't forget to come back and comment for a chance to win next week's gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma!

It looks like Cleo and I are on the same summertime wavelength. Last week, she remembered a mouth-watering strawberry pie and recreated it. In my case, ripe blackberries glistening in the sun have been begging me to bake a fruit tart with the wonderful fruits of summer before they disappear. The fruit tart has four steps: baking the base; making the custard; arranging the fruit; and pouring a glaze over the top. You can skip the first step by buying a pre-made base, but the recipe I use for the base is very easy. A fruit tart is best made in a fruit tart pan with fluted edge and a bottom that lifts out.

A true fruit tart custard is supposed to be a creme patisserie (pastry cream). I've eaten some that seemed more like marshmallow, but I prefer a vanilla pudding style cream. I checked Julia Child's recipes and found that she makes a creme patisserie that requires so much beating it might replace a gym workout. Like my protagonist, Sophie Winston, in the Domestic Diva Mysteries, I like to bake, but I prefer to keep it simple and easy whenever possible. I came up with my own less strenuous version, but honestly, I think any creamy but firm vanilla pudding or custard will work.

While I was looking at Julia's recipe, I realized that she uses the same glaze that I grew up with -- heated apricot jam. I've a feeling that glaze has been in use for a very long time.


This very basic spongecake recipe is based on a Dr. Oetker Recipe. Those with German ancestry will recognize the Oetker name as a staple in German kitchens.

1 egg
3 tablespoons warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Grease a tart pan with butter.
3. Beat the egg with the warm water until frothy.
4. Add the sugar and beat until thick and lemon-colored.
5. Beat in the baking powder and the flour.
6. Beat in the vanilla.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake 20 - 25 minutes. When done, cool on a cake rack. Do NOT remove it from the tart pan.


2 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pot, but do not bring to a boil.
2. Beat the yolks with the sugar until thick and lemon-colored.
3. Add the flour and continue beating.
4. While beating, slowly pour in the scalding milk.
5. Mix thoroughly, then return the mixture to the pot.
6. Over medium heat, stir constantly until thick. It will foam a bit on the top, but keep stirring until it's a nice custard-like texture.
7. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and the butter.
8. Pour into the tart pan over top of the spongecake base. Spread to the edges.


Prepare the fruit by washing and drying it. When the custard has cooled, arrange the fruit in a pleasing pattern. It does not need to be heaped. I used blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries.


1 jar apricot jam
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Put the jam through a sieve to eliminate the chunky bits.
2. Stirring constantly, mix the rest with the sugar over medium heat.
3. Bring to a boil. Continue to stir another minute or two. It should look clear and the sugar should be dissolved.
4. Spoon or pour over the fruit while hot. If you need to, you can reheat any that has gelled.

Refrigerate the fruit tart. Before serving, push the bottom up with your hand to separate it from the rim.


Don't forget to leave a comment to enter our contest for a $25 gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma! Just sign in to this blog and leave a comment. If Blogger won't let you leave a comment, send an "Enter me!" e-mail with your first name and state to


  1. This looks absolutely scrumptious! All three berries. Yes, yes, yes! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm with Avery - your fruit tart looks AMAZING - like the ones I see in New York's patisseries. I love how clear your instructions are - really just a few easy-to-follow steps and you have an incredibly impressive dessert.


  3. Krista,

    That looks fantastic! I love the warmed apricot jam as a glaze.


  4. I'm in trouble now. I know I'm going to love this one. When I showed the photo to the family they asked how soon we can have it ;-)


  5. Oh my gosh, Krista, that is so PRETTY! Too pretty to eat...not! :) I'll give this one a go.


  6. Will make this for sure! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  7. I agree, I also like mine more pudding-y. The final result looks gorgeous. I like baking but, I am too impatient to be a good baker. My stuff looks like goo but tastes great.

  8. This is just gorgeous! It reminds me of those beautiful fruit tarts you'd find in a lovely French patrisserie.... fabulous! One one of those recipes that really pays off in the end and is sure to garner oohs and ahhs from guests!

  9. Thanks, everyone, for your lovely comments. Fruit tarts are always a visual treat, and they taste great, too! Jessica, I'm so flattered!

    LOL, ThatBrunette! As long as it tastes good -- that's all that really matters, right? : )

  10. That looks delicious. I think Fruit tarts are very cool and I agree, I don't like marshmallow cremes for a tart, but a pudding. I do like mashmallow cream in my fruit dip though.

  11. Simply beautiful!!! There will be lots of fruit desserts this month!
    And, speaking of Julia...I just got back from seeing Julie/Julia...for the second time. I loved it! And Meryl Streep is such a consummate actor, isn't she?! Made me want to run right home and COOK!!!