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Fresh Vanilla Fruit Tart: The Perfect Summer Dessert Recipe

Treat your family and friends to a delicious summertime dessert made with a classic shortbread tart shell filled with sweet vanilla pastry cream and topped with fresh fruit.


VANILLA FRUIT TART

Courtesy of Karli Chouinard, Owner of Sweet Vermont Treats


INGREDIENTS

For Shell:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest from half of a lemon

For Filling:

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ c cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter

Top:

  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Mandarin oranges
DIRECTIONS

For the shell:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch non-stick tart pan.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and lemon zest.
  • Add flour, one cup at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition.
  • Press into tart shell making sure the dough is evenly distributed throughout the pan. 
  • Bake until light golden brown, about 13-15 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool until the pan is slightly warm before removing the shell.

For the filling:

In a saucepan stir 2 ½ cups of milk with the sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

In a separate bowl, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining ½ cup of milk.

Using a ladle, temper eggs by adding some of the hot milk to the egg mixture in the separate bowl. Be sure to add only small amounts of milk at a time to avoid cooking eggs too quickly. 

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil until thickened. The temperature should read 165 degrees. 

Remove from heat and add in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a container to help prevent lumps forming in the cream. Once in the container, immediately place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream so it doesn’t create a thick skin on top. Refrigerate until cool. 

While items are cooling, prepare fruit. Wash and slice desired fruit, making sure that all pieces are dried off.

Once both items are cooled, spread the filling into the shell with a spatula. Leave ¼ inch of room between the top of the pastry cream and the top of the tart shell, so the filling doesn’t seep out once the fruit is place on top. 

Place fruit on top and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Slice and enjoy!