French Fruit Tarts

Crisp buttery pastry, filled with luscious vanilla crème patissiere and juicy fruit, what is there not to like! These take a while to make but are definitely worth it!

I usually make double the amount of pastry and freeze so it is handy at a later date.

Ingredients: for a 28 cm diameter tart or 4 x 10 cm tarts

For the sable pastry (like a buttery thin shortbread style pastry):

  • 500 g plain flour
  • 125 g very soft butter cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 80 g caster sugar

For the crème patissiere:

  • 500 ml milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 halved vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 70 g plain flour
  • A good pinch of salt.

Fresh fruit of your choice: Strawberries and raspberries are my favourite, but thinly sliced soft peaches, apricots or kiwi work well too.


1. Make the sable pastry: in a food processor (or by hand) whisk the egg, sugar and salt together. Add in the flour and process (or rub in by hand) until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add in (or rub in) the soft butter until the dough comes together. Tip onto a flat surface or into a large bowl and gently press into a ball. Cover with clingfilm or with a tea towel and chill in the fridge 30-60 minutes.

2. Make the crème patissiere: Heat the milk in a pan with the split vanilla pod (or bean paste) and vanilla essence along with a pinch of salt. While the milk heats up, beat the sugar and egg yolks together until they whiten. Stir the flour into the egg and sugar mix thoroughly, before gradually adding in the strained nearly boiling milk . Keep mixing well and pour back into a clean pan. Heat until the mix bubbles while mixing all the time!! You don’t want it to catch on the bottom. Once it is thickened cool the mix by immersing the pan in iced water and covering the surface with a piece of clingfilm so a crust does not form on the surface.

3. Pre heat the oven to 175 C. Grease the pastry tin lightly with butter. Roll out the pastry on a well floured surface to a 5 mm thickness. It is a very fragile pastry and you may have to put it in the pastry tin in pieces. Cover with greaseproof paper and weigh down with baking beans (or I use dried chickpeas) and bake for 15-20 minutes, before removing the greaseproof paper and baking for another 5-10 minutes until the pastry is very slightly coloured. Remove the oven to cool. Once cooled you can trim off the edges if needed.

4. Fill the cooled tart shell (s) with the crème patissiere and garnish with fresh fruit.

Hope you enjoy making this! Leave me a comment if you give it a try. Thank you for reading 🙂

Published by Laura

Born in France to English parents, but living in Scotland for the past 20 years now. Passionate about cooking and tasty simple food.

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