A crisp, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crust is topped with delicate vanilla pastry cream and decorated with brightly-colored berries. And the best part? It’s quite simple to make! We love this easy shortbread fruit tart!
This week, we celebrated my husband’s birthday. He wanted food. So we started the day with thin pancakes and ended it with beef enchiladas and this tart. It was a huge hit with everyone! I actually like it a lot better than one I had recently purchased for my son’s birthday from an upscale market.
Since it was a birthday celebration, I used regular flour. But I’m already sensing requests for a repeat, so I will be exploring gluten or grain-free shortbread crust options. Feel free to use any tart-appropriate crust you’d like.
Cream butter, sugar and salt, then add flour and (optionally) lemon zest.
Form it into a ball with your hands.
Press it into a tart pan, prick with a fork and bake.
Once the crust has baked and cooled, glaze it with warm jam to preserve it’s texture.
Top with pastry cream which I adapted from Joy of Cooking (directions below).
Arrange fruit on top and enjoy!
- Fruit of choice for topping
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar (I used powdered sucanat)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (could sub whole wheat)
- zest of one lemon (optional)
- jelly for glazing (I like currant)
- PASTRY CREAM:
- ¼ cup sugar (this makes it very light - use ⅓ if you like it more sweet)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons organic corn starch (or arrowroot which will work but affect the texture a bit)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1⅓ cups milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- FIRST MAKE THE CRUST. Preheat the oven to 350. Using a hand mixer on high speed, cream the butter, sugar and salt together for about 1-2 minutes. Add the flour and lemon zest and mix until a crumbly dough forms. Form it in your hands then press it into an 11-inch tart pan. If your tart pan is smaller, press it to desired thickness and use the extra dough for cookies. Prick all over with a fork and bake for 20-22 minutes, until it starts getting golden-brown on the edges. Cool on the counter (or let cool, then refrigerate if you are assembling later).
- MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE PASTRY CREAM: With a hand mixer set on high, beat the sugar, flour, corn starch and yolks until sugar is well-incorporated and the mixture is pale yellow (about 1-2 minutes). Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, heat the milk to a simmer. Whisk in ⅓ of the milk into the egg mixture to temper it. Then, quickly scrape all the egg mixture back into the saucepan and heat until it starts to bubble, whisking the whole time. Take it off of heat and spoon it into a bowl. Top with wax paper to prevent skin from forming. Let it cool on the counter. (If are assembling later, let cool then refrigerate up to 2 days.)
- ASSEMBLE THE TART. Warm a few tablespoons of jelly in a saucepan and brush on the crust. Place it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to set. At this point, I like to lift the tart out of the pan on its removable bottom and place it on a cake pan. Top it with the pastry cream. (Note, it may not go on smoothly like a custard, but that's ok - just spread it as best you can.) Arrange fruit on top and enjoy!