Classic mini fruit tarts have to be one of the most elegant desserts that are so easy to make at home. A sweet crumbly shell covered with a layer of chocolate and filled with smooth pastry cream and topped with the freshest fruits! You’ll enjoy every single bite packed with flavour and texture.
When I was growing up, on Sundays after lunch, I remember my aunties and cousins coming over to our house. It used to be one of my favourite activities! Having everyone over and spending the afternoon talking, playing, drinking tea and most importantly eating. For this reason my mother used to grab a couple of pastries from the confectionery right round the corner every Sunday so to enjoy them with tea. One request I used to make, was for her to get me either a chocolate cannoli or a fruit tart. I was obsessed! I needed to have my usual Sunday pastry fix and it had to be one of these two. Although deep down I always preferred fruit tarts. In fact, I had a whole ritual on how I was supposed to eat the tart.
As the years went by, fruit tarts have always been a favourite and a classic I constantly pick when I go to a bakery here in Luxembourg. They were in fact the reason why I bought these mini tart pans last year during the lockdown. Although, I know, it took me quite a while to share these with you.
Making the Fruit Tarts
These classic mini fruit tarts are the perfect mix of textures. The base is made from a crumbly sweet pastry dough which is blind baked on it its own. Blind baking is when you cook a pastry for a tart or pie without any topping. The trick here is to prevent the bottom of that tart to lift and puff up. The best way to blind bake is to cover the dough in the tart with a piece of parchment paper and weigh it down with either pie weight (specific for this use) or use dry beans.
After the tartlets are ready, I like to cover the base of the tarts with a generous layer of chocolate. The tarts I had when growing up always had it and as I wanted to recreate those memories I had to do it. The chocolate gives the tart an extra bite and another layer of sweetness with a hint of bitterness. Also it prevents the base from getting soggy, so win win!
On the chocolate layer, after it’s cooled down, the tarts are filled with a delicate smooth pastry cream. It’s important to let it cool completely before adding to the tarts as you don’t want the cream to re-melt the chocolate layer. Everything has to be all cooled. Finally, the fruits are added! For these ones I went with a berry feast. However other toppings which go perfectly with fruit tarts are kiwis, mandarines, apples, grapes and mangoes.
For the final step it’s ideal that you glaze the fruit with a sweet gelatine glaze so that it gives a nice shine to the fruit and it seals everything and makes the fruit last longer.
Mini Fruit Tarts
- 340 g plain flour 2 1/2 cups
- 2 egg yolks
- 65 g icing sugar 2/3 cup
- 170 g butter 3/4 cup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- zest of one lemon
Vanilla Pastry Cream
- 250 ml full fat milk 1 cup
- 15 g cornstarch
- 25 g sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds from one vanilla podP
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 40 g milk/dark chocolate melted
- strawberries/ raspberries/ blackberries/ blueberries as desired
- 7 g gelatine powder
- 250 ml warm water
- 12 g sugar 1 tbsp
Preparing the Tart Base
- Start by preparing the tart base dough. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter and mix to a crumbly mixture. Work with your fingertips so that you don't melt the butter.
- Add the icing sugar and the lemon peel and combine well.
- Form a well with the ingredients, put the egg yolks in the middle and start mixing. Knead the dough briefly until all the ingredients are incorporated and a smooth dough is formed.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for about an hour.
Preparing the Vanilla Pastry Cream
- In a small saucepan with the heat turned off, combine together all the pastry cream ingredients. Cook your cream filling on medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens. It is important to not move away from the cream while cooking as once it thickens you have to remove it from the stove immediately or it will burn. Place the cream into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic wrap is touching the cream. Leave it to cool down in the fridge for at least an hour.
Making the Tarts
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Spray the tartlet tins with some baking spray and set aside.
- Divide the chilled dough into 8 equal portions.
- Open each piece of dough into a circle, slightly bigger than the tartlet tin, between two sheets of cooking paper. Do not add any additional flour.* Place the dough over the tartlet tin and gentle press it in. Remove any excess dough from the edges by rolling over with the rolling pin. Poke several fork holes at the bottom.
- Blind bake** the tartlets for about 15-20 minutes at 180°C.
- Once cooked let them rest for a few minutes.
- While the tarts are cooling down melt the chocolate. Brush the chocolate over the tart base and let them cool down completely until the chocolate sets.
- Once the chocolate is all set and cooled, fill each tart with the pastry cream. And place them in the fridge for 15 minutes so that the pastry cream sets slightly.
- In the meantime prepare the fruit you'll be using to decorate each tart. Decorate each tart with the fruit on top and finally brush the gelatine glaze on top of the fruits so that it keeps everything fresh and gives it a nice shine.
Preparing the glaze for the fruits
- Add the gelatine, sugar and water together and mix well until they let it bloom.
- Refrigerate the gelatine glaze for about 15 minutes. However, it's important that you don't let is set completely that is solidifies. Therefore, do this step when you are almost ready with the tarts.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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