Patisserie fruit tart

Patisserie fruit tart

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to make the sort of fruit tart you get in fancy French patisseries. I think they look spectacular! They are, in principle, pretty simple: sweet pastry tart case, set crème pâtissière and fruit. Precision is the key for this tart, not only in the cutting of the fruit to show it off at its most attractive, but also in a well-set filling and a thin but stable case. Make this to treat someone you love, or if you just feel like showing off.


Quantity Ingredient

For the crème pâtissière

Quantity Ingredient
220ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 large egg yolks, (save the whites)
50g caster sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
150ml double cream

For the almond crust

Quantity Ingredient
150g plain flour, plus more to dust
75g unsalted butter, chilled and chopped
75g caster sugar
25g ground almonds
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the fruit filling

Quantity Ingredient
4 kiwi fruits
200g strawberries, (12 large ones)
100g blueberries
100g raspberries

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
electric whisk
rolling pin
23 cm loose-bottomed tart tin
baking beans, (or use about 300 g of dried beans or raw rice)
pastry brush
wire cooling rack
piping bag


  1. Start by making the crème pâtissière. Pour the milk into a saucepan, stir in the vanilla bean paste and set over a low heat. While the milk is heating (keep half an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t boil) whisk the yolks with the sugar and cornflour in a heatproof bowl, using an electric whisk. They will turn slick and creamy.
  2. Just before the milk is boiling, pour it into the egg mixture in the bowl, whisking constantly. Once the milk and eggs are fully mixed together, pour back into the saucepan and continue to heat over a low heat, mixing with a silicone spatula, until the custard thickens up.
  3. Transfer to a clean bowl, lay cling film on the surface of the custard (to stop a skin forming) and put in the fridge to cool down.
  4. Now for the almond crust. Put the flour into a large bowl and add the butter. Rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and ground almonds, then the egg, until the mixture comes together as a soft pastry.
  5. Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and knead for about a minute to make sure it is fully mixed, then flatten into a 15 cm disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Peel the kiwis with a very sharp knife and slice them evenly and thinly. Hull the strawberries and slice them thinly lengthways.
  7. Unwrap the pastry and roll out on a lightly floured surface, making sure to regularly rotate it as you’re rolling (otherwise it will stick to the surface). Roll out to 28–30 cm wide, then roll the pastry up on to the rolling pin. Lay the pastry in the tart case and gently work it into the tin with your fingers. Leave the excess hanging over the edge; it will stop the sides from wilting down the tin while cooking.
  8. Pop the pastry case into the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  9. Prick the pastry case with a fork, lay in a circle of baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Take the case out of the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and remove the baking parchment and baking beans. Paint some of the egg white (saved from separating the eggs for the custard) on to the base and sides of the case and put back in the oven to bake for another 8 minutes.
  11. Take out of the oven, set on a wire rack and allow to cool down for 10 minutes before taking the pastry case out of the tin and allowing it to go cold.
  12. Whip the double cream with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks. Take the chilled custard out of the fridge, peel the cling film off and mix up with a silicone spatula. Fold in the whipped cream, a couple of tablespoons at a time. Load into a piping bag and evenly pipe into the cold tart case.
  13. Arrange the fruit on the crème pâtissière. This takes a little more planning than you’d think. It is very easy to just try and make a perfect circular pattern and leave it at that, but I reckon this looks a bit lazy and 1970s. I like to fan my sliced strawberries around the edges of the tart and then randomly place the rest of the fruit in. Start by arranging your larger pieces of fruit, then fill in gaps with progressively smaller fruits until all the crème pâtissière is covered. This will make the tart look much more interesting and appetising. Pop in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.


  • This recipe has a star bake (extra advanced) difficulty.


  • If you don’t have access to loads of perfectly ripe fruit, don’t despair! Halved strawberries laid all over a custard tart are magic just by themselves. I like to make seasonal versions with soft fruit from my garden: the tartness of a few redcurrants, blackberries and gooseberries really works with the smooth, sweet crème pâtissière.

    Make individual tarts if you have small tartlet tins; these are a good challenge and always look as if you’ve made an effort (though the pastry for these will need a shorter time in the oven; keep your eye on them).

    But, for my money, bigger is better. A good slice of this with a morning coffee is a pop of colour to cheer up even the most miserable rainy day.
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