How to Make a Fruit Tart Filling

Written by merle huerta
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How to Make a Fruit Tart Filling
A classic fruit tart has two fillings: a base of French pastry cream and a top layer of seasonal fruit. (french fruit tart image by Peter Baxter from

Although variations exist, the classic French fruit tart has a layer of pastry cream, called creme patisserie, beneath a layer of seasonal fruit. Though some recipes call for instant vanilla pudding or cheesecake filling, French pastry cream, also used in Napoleons and cream puffs, is simple to assemble. As a companion for the fresh fruit layer, it provides a slightly sweet yet creamy balance to any slightly tart fruit topping.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3 mixing bowls
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • Wire whisk
  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Sifter
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2-qt. saucepan
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Paring knife
  • 4 kiwi fruit
  • 0.454kg. strawberries
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 227gr. jar raspberry jam
  • 8- or 9-inch tart crust
  • Pastry brush

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  1. 1

    Separate three chilled eggs into two bowls. Cover and refrigerate the whites for future use.

    How to Make a Fruit Tart Filling
    Pastry cream is the basis of many French pastries. (morning tea 1 image by mdb from
  2. 2

    Pour the sugar into the egg yolks and whisk them until they're smooth.

  3. 3

    Sift the flour and cornstarch together into a bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the egg yolks and whisk lightly until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

  4. 4

    Heat the milk in a 2-qt. saucepan on low heat until it foams and begins to boil. Stir often to prevent a film from forming on the surface and burning. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla. Whisk well.

  5. 5

    Drizzle warmed milk slowly into the egg mixture and stir to temper the eggs and prevent them from coagulating. Continue the process until all of the milk is incorporated into the egg mixture.

  6. 6

    Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook it over a low heat. Once it begins to boil, whisk constantly until it becomes thick. The texture should be stiffer than cooked custard. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

  7. 7

    Transfer the pastry cream into a medium bowl, cover it and refrigerate it.

  1. 1

    Peel the kiwi fruit and slice it into 1/4-inch slices. Wash the berries and drain them. Wash the strawberries, remove the stems and halve them with a paring knife. Set the washed and sliced fruit aside on a plate.

  2. 2

    Pour the raspberry jam into a saucepan and heat it until the jam melts. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.

  3. 3

    Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator and stir it to smooth any lumps. Arrange all the ingredients you will need to assemble the tarts on a table or counter in a semicircle arrangement with the tart crust as the centre focal point. From left to right, you should have the pastry cream, the plate of fruit and the saucepan with melted jam. If you're left-handed, reverse the order from right to left.

  4. 4

    Spoon the pastry cream into the tart crust and spread it out with the back of a spoon to fill the bottom half of the tart crust. Smooth the surface of the pastry cream.

  5. 5

    Layer the fruit in concentric circles atop the layer of pastry cream. Brush the fruit layer with the prepared jam.

Tips and warnings

  • Fresh pastry cream can last up to three days in the refrigerator.
  • The tart base can be a prepared pie crust, a graham cracker crust or a sugar-cookie crust.
  • Serve and eat the tart as soon as it's filled so the crust doesn't get soggy.

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