This Fresh Berry Tart is one of those natural beauties. It looks like you put a lot of time and effort into making it… but in reality… the berries do all the work by just standing tall and looking pretty. I really like making tarts because they’re so easy to make, and they’re always well received. Berries and pastry cream…how can you go wrong with that?
When Kyle was little, I used to drive to our favorite strawberry stand where the long-stemmed strawberries were as big as plums and as sweet as can be …and he loved them. Ever since he was little, strawberries have had a place at our table for Easter in some form or fashion.
If you’re looking for a lovely spring dessert to serve this Sunday…this Fresh Berry Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream is quick , simple, and delicious. I think you’ll like it!
Thanks for taking the time to stop by!
Fresh Berry Tart:
For the Tart Shell:
One 9″ tart pan with removable bottom
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt on low speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour and mix until combined. Be sure to scrape down the bowl. Add the egg and mix until a smooth dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Flatten into a disk about 1/2 inch thick and 6 inches round and wrap lightly in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
Lightly coat a shallow 9-inch diameter tart pan with oil or butter.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly flour a work surface and the top of the dough. Using a rolling pin, press gently on the dough from the middle. When the dough is shaped into a circle 12 -1/2inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick, lay the dough on the tart pan. Gently press the dough into the edges of the pan. Run a rolling pin over the top of the pan to trim the edges. Wrap the tart pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm – 20-30 minutes.
Remove the tart shell from the refrigerator and line the crust with parchment paper and then fill it to the top with either pie weights, beans or dried lentils. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
For the Pastry Cream:
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add the egg yolks and continue to whisk until well blended.
In a heavy saucepan, heat the half-and-half until it begins to simmer. Pour half of the egg mixture into the simmering half-and-half whisking vigorously until well blended, then add the other half and continue to whisk vigorously until the cream begins to thicken. You will have lumpy and unattractive pastry cream if you don’t continuously whisk the cream as it thickens.
Remove the pastry cream from the heat and add the vanilla. Pour into a glass bowl with a lid. Stir the pastry cream several times as it cools to prevent a film from developing on the top and from lumps from forming. Refrigerate until chilled. When ready to serve, pour the pastry cream into the prepared tart shell and decorate with fresh berries. I used 1-1/2 pints of strawberries, 1 pint of raspberries and 1 pint of blackberries. You can decorate using only one fruit, such as strawberries… and you can also use sliced bananas and kiwis.