Monday, August 21, 2017

Tart-Pie or Pie-Tart?

I'm crazy for fruit tarts. I was thinking about the fact that a lot people don't have tart pans. Plus, some people aren't comfortable with pastry dough. So I wondered if I could reconstruct one into a pie.

I used a graham cracker pie crust. Easy-peasy to make. But honestly, I think it overpowers the pie. If I were to do this again, I think I might opt for pie pastry after all. However, having said that, it's still good.

I used my favorite pudding as the custard, adding an egg to amp it up a little bit. You can use your favorite pudding or custard as the middle. It doesn't fill it all the way to the top, which is good because it leaves room for the fruit. This part is a little tricky only because you want that creamy custard but there's also the desire to have it slice beautifully. If you use your own favorite custard, keep that in mind.

I'd been thinking about this for a while, so I had bought a brand new jar of apricot jam for the glaze. That, in my opinion, is the easiest way to go. Unless, like me, you open the jar and the lid doesn't make that little thwup sound. Oh no! I turned the lid over and sure enough, there was black crud growing in it. Sigh. So I had to use raspberry jam and my glaze came out darker than I'd have liked. Still edible, but not quite the right look. You can see that I went a little heavy on the glaze. Be sure you thin it with some water so you get a nice glaze on top.

I used strawberries, black grapes, and blueberries on the pie. Honestly, we liked it best with a little bit of whipped cream on top, but you can also eat it plain.

EUREKA MOMENT: When I try this again, I'll whip 1/2 a cup of heavy cream with about 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and blend it with the cooled pudding to lighten it up.

Custard Fruit Pie

9 cinnamon graham cracker sheets
6 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups 2% milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 quarts strawberries
1 cup grapes
1/4 cup blackberries

1/2 cup+ apricot jam

Preheat oven to 350.

Place graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they are crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse. Press into 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Bake for 9-10 minutes.

Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a heavy-bottomed pan. Whisk in cold milk and stir continuously. Heat over medium high until it begins to bubble. You may need to turn the temperature down a bit so it won't scorch. Stir for one minute then remove from heat. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk in a bit of the hot pudding to temper it. Add to the hot pudding, stirring continuously until blended. Continue to stir, return to heat and cook at a low bubble for one more minute. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and butter.

Allow to cool briefly then pour into baked pie shell.

Cool before adding fruit. Slice strawberries in half and arrange in a pleasing pattern. Add other fruit.

Heat apricot jam over medium heat, stirring. Remove any pieces of fruit. Add a little bit of water to get a thinner consistency. Pour or spoon over the fruit.

Serve plain or with whipped cream.

Graham cracker crust.

Add custard.

Top with fresh fruit.

Serve plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.

A very colorful mystery!


  1. Oh wow, Krista! This looks fabulous. My mouth is watering! MJ (off to share)

  2. That looks sooo good. Nothing wrong with that glaze either.

    1. Thanks, Pat! There are a few things I would do differently to improve it but so far everyone has gobbled it up. : )

  3. Beautiful fruit tart, Krista. So easy with the way you've glazed the fruit. Perfect, impressive dessert for an end-of-summer cookout! ~ Cleo

    1. Thanks, Cleo! Fruit is always the perfect ending to a fun cookout!

  4. I make a lot of fruit desserts especially pies and for a tart I like the shortbread cookie type base as it doesn't get as soggy as others if you don't eat it as soon as it has chilled after preparing. I like apple and currant jelly for glazing with apple being the perfect addition to an apple tart. Orange marmalade gives great sheen and flavor too. Looks great. Thank you for reminding me I need to make a dessert for tonight.
    Cynthia B.