Fruit Tart w/Lemon Pastry Cream

It was my sister-in-law’s birthday this past Monday, so my hubs and I had her over for a special dinner.  I’m sneaky because a few weeks ago at Thanksgiving while we were eating dessert, I asked her what her favorite cake/pie was; she told me that she loves fresh fruit tarts, so I knew that I’d make her a Fruit Tart w/Lemon Pastry Cream for her special day.  I’ve never made a fruit tart before, so I was a little wary how it would turn out.  Luckily, it turned out pretty well!  There’s several steps to making this tart, i.e. baking the crust first, making the pastry cream, slicing the fruit, etc.  If you give yourself enough time, this tart is pretty simple to make and well worth the steps.  I love this crust recipe because it almost reminds me of a sugar cookie.  Also, I made lemon filling instead of vanilla and it really tasted delicious with the sugary cookie crust and fresh fruit.  The fruit is the simple part because you can choose whatever fruits you like.  I had every intention to use raspberries but after seeing them not looking so hot at the grocery store, I decided to use a pomegranate.  Pomegranate arils taste amazing and are much more appropriate for this holiday season!
Have you ever made a fruit tart before?  What was the biggest challenge?


For the pastry:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp very cold water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes

 For the Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

For the Topping:

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1 half-pint of blackberries
  • 1 pomegranate (you won’t use all the arils)
  • 1/3 cup apricot jam


  1. To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl.  Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas.  Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.
  2. Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk.  Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.
  3. To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn.  Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick.  Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round or rounds 2 inches greater in diameter than your tart pan.
  4. Transfer the dough round to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan with or without a removable bottom (if using pan without removable bottom, spray with cooking spray) and press it gently onto the bottom and sides of the pan, forming an even layer.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes and preheat an oven to 375ºF.
  5. Line the pastry shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights, rice or beans. Bake until lightly golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the weights and parchment.  Continue to bake until pale gold, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Let cool on a rack.  If using a tart pan without a removable bottom, place a large serving plate over the tart pan and turn upside down allowing tart to come out of the tart pan and onto the serving plate.
  6. To make the pastry cream, warm the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear along the edges of the pan, 6-8 minutes.  In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar.  Add the cornstarch and salt.  Pour in half of the hot milk while whisking constantly.  Whisk in the remaining hot milk and add to the saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to a firm consistency, 5-8 minutes.  Scrape into a bowl and whisk in the lemon extract and zest.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  7. To assemble the tart, stir the pastry cream with a rubber spatula until smooth.  Spoon into the bottom of the tart shell and spread evenly.  Starting on the outer rim of the tart, place the blackberries around the tart.  Next, overlap the kiwi slices in the middle ring of the tart.  Last, fill the center with the pomegranate arils.
  8. In a saucepan over low heat, heat the jam until it liquefies.  Using a pastry brush, gently brush the fruit with a thin coating of jam.
  9. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, let the sides fall away and then slide the tart onto a serving platter.  Refrigerate until ready to serve, then let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

*Adapted from Pie & Tart


Filed under Desserts

23 responses to “Fruit Tart w/Lemon Pastry Cream

  1. This is stunning. I mean out of this world, mouth agape stunning.

  2. This is a beautiful tart, Kara. I love love love pastry cream and to make it lemon… well, I think I love you. And this tart. I want it all. Right now. No sharing allowed. 😀

  3. Absolutely gorgeous! Look at those lovely colors! Just perfect!

  4. Nina

    Hi Kara,
    That tart looks like the ones I pay big bucks for at the bakery. I will have to try your receipt for this tart! My husband and boys love fruit tarts. Happy holidays to you and your family.

  5. This looks like a beautiful and light dessert. You did an amazing job with it. 🙂 Now even my kids would eat all their fruit if it came in a pretty dessert like this. 🙂

  6. Mom

    WOW!! This looks absolutely amazing. I would love to make this for Christmas but I’ll definitely need your expertise. YUM!

  7. How pretty! The colors of the fruit look amazing! I want to just eat it all up now!

  8. What a beautiful fruit tart!! Wish I could dive right in…I love the pomegranate! 🙂

  9. Beautiful job!! I don’t think I’ve made a fruit tart before (specifically for that purpose that is) but it looks good and not too terribly difficult. This would be perfect on a holiday table.

  10. Liss

    I had the pleasure of tasting this beautiful tart and it was so delicious! Great job Kara!

  11. Your fruit tart looks so beautiful and the lemon pastry cream sounds heavenly!

  12. BEAUTIFUL..with all capital letters! I love how you made this tart, not only pretty but tasty looking too!!! Well done!!!

  13. Pingback: My Top 10 Favorite Recipes from 2011 | Happy When Not Hungry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s