August 16, 2011

Blueberry and raspberry tart

This berry tart falls into the "did I make that?" category.  For me, this is totally out of the box.  First of all, if I'm ordering dessert, I always go with chocolate if it's an option even though I may admire the other pretty selections that feature colorful fruits and things.  Chocolate is the non-human thing I love the most.  Secondly, I am not a fan of fruit tarts (wasn't, anyway).  How can that be possible?  I don't know.  I am a serious creature of habit and not very adventurous, to tell you the truth. 
But I want to like pretty things and with this blog, I want to learn how to create things I haven't made before even if it's just baking a tart or a pie.  And I had a great time making and assembling this blueberry and raspberry tart.  After making the tart shell and pastry cream, this tart comes together in a snap.  It is really awesome to make something tasty and "aesthetically pleasing" (I used to have a boss who would call my spreadsheets "aesthetically pleasing") from nothing.  
Maybe I'm like a child who helps in the kitchen to prepare a meal and is then more willing to eat the food.  I made and vigorously ate this fruit tart and found it surprisingly delicious.  I'd still go with chocolate when it comes time to order dessert but now I know why so many people like my sister love fruit desserts so much.  And my sister, the fruit tart expert in the family, sampled my tart and loved it.  I felt so proud of myself!
And this is kind of my farewell to the season.  Summer is slipping away.  I wanted to make this berry tart for July 4th but didn't get around to it.  Here we are near the end of August and I'm glad to have gotten it done and learned something new in the process.  I hope you have been having a great summer.  When I was a kid, I loved winter best among all the seasons.  As I get older, I enjoy the warm weather more and more (and I'm constantly feeling cold).  I love being able to get ready to go out with my son in less than 2 minutes.  Pretty soon, there will be jackets, hats, gloves and boots to contend with.  At the same time, I love the change in seasons when Fall comes and it gives us a chance to catch our breath from the hectic social schedule of the summer.  I'm already looking forward to the holidays but that's just me. 

I have been building my way to this berry tart from the last two posts.  After making the tart shell and pastry cream, all that's left to do is to add the best fruit you can find.  I choose blueberries and raspberries in this case. 

The tart shell:
Make one recipe for the tart shell.  It is very convenient to do this a couple of days ahead of time.  I made the dough, pressed it into the tart pan, and placed it in the freezer two days ahead of time.  It can stay in the freezer for up to one month.

Just bake the day you are ready to assemble the tart and let cool completely.

The pastry cream:
Make the pastry cream the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator, with plastic wrap directly on its surface.  (I made my pastry cream the morning I assembled the tart and I think overnight would be better, particularly in very hot weather).

Putting the tart together:
Start by assembling everything you'll need.  The cooled tart shell, pastry cream, and berries.  I'm also going to dust a bit of confectioners' sugar over the top of my tart.

Fill the tart shell with the pastry cream.  It is very luscious and smooth.  The egg yolks give it a richness and that vibrant color.
Add the berries, in this case, blueberries and raspberries.  I'm just doing it rather randomly.  Just gently drop them over the top, don't press them down.
I opted to simply add a light dusting of confectioners' sugar over the top of this tart but if you want a more polished look, you could also create that classic glaze topping very easily.  All you need to do is heat up some apricot jam and dab/brush it over the fruit. 

I gotta say the taste of this tart way surpassed my expectations.  The crust is so good - sweet, slightly crisp, with a buttery, shortbread-cookie flavor.  The pastry cream is rich and sweet but not overbearing.  The slight tartness of the fresh fruit blends so well together in this package.  Yum!  My husband was delighted and my sister raved about it too.  All in all, it takes a few steps to put together but if you break the steps up over the course of a few days, it is quite easy and the result is a wow!  For me, the hardest part was taking pictures of the finished tart.  As much as I love working on this blog thus far, I often can't wait to make things again without the need to play photographer! 

The only issue I had with the tart was when I went to slice it to share some with my neighbor, the pastry cream was loose.  It wasn't a soupy mess but the cream was loose and it didn't slice like you'd want it to when you're giving it to friends.  I've learned in recent years not to sweat the little details or be a neurotic perfectionist so I was fine with it.  When I told my neighbor I was sorry that the cream was a bit loose, she was nice enough to comment that it was how she likes it.  I thought that was very kind of her.  She stopped by a couple days later to tell me she loved the tart and wanted the recipe!  I was thrilled.

As for the somewhat loose cream, I don't think it helped that the tart had been sitting out in the sun for about 15 minutes for its portrait but having never made this before, I'm not totally sure if there's something I could've done to help the custard set up even more.  It tasted perfect and I followed the recipe carefully but I'll pay even more attention next time.  I did notice that the tart and pastry cream sliced more cleanly the next day after being in the refrigerator overnight.  And we thought it tasted just as good the day after even though most recipes will recommend you eat the tart the day it's made. 

Next time around, I'd love to try making individual, mini tartlets.  No need to share and no worries about slicing into pretty portions!

The recipe:

Blueberries, 1 pint*
Raspberries,  1/2 pint*
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

One tart shell recipe

One pastry cream recipe

Fill cooled tart shell with the pastry cream.  Gently place the berries on top of the pastry cream.  Do not press down.

Dust the top of the tart with some confectioners' sugar.  (You could also warm up some apricot jam and brush over the fruit for a shiny finish).

* Adjust the proportions of the fruit to your own liking.  You could also use other types of fruit such as strawberries and blackberries.


  1. I LOVE IT!!!!! SO DELICIOUS!!!!!!

  2. I was looking for a raspberry blueberry tart and came upon your blog. I was wondering if you refrigerated your tart after you put it together? I always do for atleast 6-12 hours over night and it comes out perfectly firm and creamy. I use a Mascarpone filling (so delish) and an almond flavored tart shell that's to die for. Let me know if you'd like to try the recipe, you won't be disappointed.

  3. Yes, Chris/Jenn, that is what I did wrong. I didn't refrigerate the tart before making that first slice. I found it much firmer the next day. Your tart recipe sounds delicious. An almond tart shell is on my long list of things to make (I love almonds!). Would love to see your recipe if you wouldn't mind emailing it to me. Thank you!



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