Berry tart with custard

There's nothing better than a summer berry tart that showcases all the different berry tastes individually especially when it's summer and local berries (especially in California) are at their peak ripeness.  This summer berry tart has fresh berries over a not-too-sweet egg custard or crème pâtissière that is baked in a sweet shortcrust pastry or pâte sucrée that's deliciously crumbly with a cookie texture.  It looks like it would be difficult to make, but it's super simple with a never disappointing outcome!

I started making these tarts many years ago after visiting France as an exchange student and enjoying all their little tartlets.  Although this can be made as tartlets, making a large tart is less laborious and time consuming, but just as delicious!

Tips for making summer berry tart

Most fruit can be used that doesn't bleed so pick whatever is in season and allow the fruit to naturally enhance the taste of the dessert.  

Types of berries for the summer berry tart

All berries can be used.  Large berries like strawberries can be sliced in half. I prefer to remove the strawberry stems by hulling them rather than slicing the tops off.  In this way, the strawberry looks more natural.  Use berries at their peak of ripeness but are not overripe.  Overripe berries tend to bleed (let out their juices) easily and are more difficult to work with.  If the berries are slightly underripe and not sweet enough to your liking, a fruit jelly glaze will be added which will slightly sweeten the berries.

Summer berries

Summer berries such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries can be used.

Wash and dry the berries well before applying to the tart in order not to allow the moisture to ruin the custard.

Springform pan.

Use a springform pan (a pan with a removable base).  This allows the tart to have a decorative edge and makes cutting and serving much easier.

tart pan with silicone brush

Sweet shortcrust pastry, sweet pastry crust (pâte sucrée)

This pastry has a texture of a cookie rather than a pie as a result of the higher fat content, the addition of eggs and a levening agent. The pastry shell is the only part that is baked before adding the custard and fruit topping.  This pastry shell does not require rolling out, but rather pressing the dough into the tart pan.

Sweet pastry cream or  crème pâtissière 

This egg custard is a less sweet pastry cream or crème pâtissière so if you love sweet, add more sugar.  Once the sweet pastry cream is thick enough, pour it into the baked tart shell.  Allow the sweet pastry cream to set completely before adding the fruit, otherwise it will be very messy.

Custard in sweet crust pastry

Glazing the fruit.

After decorating the tart, apply a thin coat of glaze to give the tart a shine.  The easiest way to do this is to liquify some apple or strawberry JELLY in a microwave until thin and runny. Place the jelly bowl into a bowl of boiling water to keep it thin and viscous.  Work quickly to apply the jelly.  If the jelly starts to thicken, microwave the jelly again and continue the glazing process.

When using strawberry jelly, the red color tends to discolor the custard, so try to brush the jelly only on the fruit and pack your tart full of berries. 

Close up of berry tart

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Berry tart with custard

SUMMER BERRY TART

Michelle Sam
Delicious fresh fruit tart made with a sweet crust pastry and custard
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 421 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Sweet Pastry Crust

  • 110 grams unsalted butter
  • 67 grams sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 240 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • tsp salt omit salt if using salted butter

Custard

  • 800 ml whole milk
  • Tbsp flour
  • Tbsp cornstarch
  • Tbsp custard powder
  • cup sugar Less can be added depending on taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 34 grams butter

Fresh Fruit topping

  • 1 cup fresh berries and fruit Any appropriate fruit in season.
  • 3 Tbsp strawberry or apple jelly. NOT jam or preserves. Needs to be clear.

Instructions
 

Crust by Hand

  • Preheat oven to 400°F or 204°C
  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Beat eggs
  • Sift dry ingredients
  • Add beaten eggs and dry ingredients to creamed butter. DO NOT OVERMIX. Mixture should be crumbly
    Sweet crust pastry
  • Press into 1 13" round tart pan or pan of your choice. Pan should have a removable bottom.
  • Poke several holes with a fork into the base of the tart to avoid the pastry from bubbling up during baking.
  • Place tart pan with removable base on cookie sheet
  • Bake in oven until golden brown. 5-8 minutes

Crust with Food Processor.

  • Preheat oven to 400° fahrenheit or 204° celcius
  • In food processor, combine butter and sugar and blend
  • Beat eggs
  • Sift dry ingredients
  • Add beaten eggs and dry ingredients to creamed butter. DO NOT OVERMIX. Mixture should be crumbly
  • Press into 1 x 13" round springform pan with removable bottom.

Custard

  • Heat milk in a thick bottomed saucepan.
  • Add butter when warm.
  • Beat eggs and dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Add a small amount of heated milk to the egg mixture and stir until smooth.
    Add warmed milk to egg mixture
  • Pour the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan of heated milk.
  • Return the saucepan to the stove and cook the custard over medium low heat. Stir continuously until the mixture turns to a very thick custard.
  • Pour the custard into the baked tart shell.
    Custard in sweet crust pastry
  • Let the custard cool.

Fresh fruit topping

  • Slice the fruit .
  • Arrange the fruit .
  • Heat the fruit jelly in a small bowl in the microwave until it bubbles.
  • Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the fruit to give it a shine. You may have to keep microwaving the jelly if it congeals or you can place the bowl containing your jelly into a bowl of boiling water to slow down that process.
  • Enjoy!
    Close up of berry tart

Nutrition

Serving: 8slicesCalories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 10gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 177mgPotassium: 259mgFiber: 1gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 651IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 191mgIron: 2mgNet Carbohydrates: 56g
Keyword custard, fresh fruit, Phyllo dough
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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