This berry tart tastes as good as it looks, and I don’t mean toot my own horn here, but THIS BERRY TART LOOKS AMAZING! I’m so proud of myself. I’ve been trying to think of what to write in this paragraph for about an hour now, and I find myself just staring at the the top photo. During the photo shoot this afternoon (me in my kitchen taking pictures with a semi cheap digital camera while my kids hang off of my legs in a desperate attempt to get my attention) I found that I couldn’t get a bad picture of this berry tart even if I tried. She is a natural beauty. I pumped up the volume of some 80s techno music to drown out my kids pleading screams and clicked away. Every angle worked. Every side glance was perfection. When I shouted, “show me glistening!” she did effortlessly. Before I knew it I had taken 50 some pictures of gorgeousness. Then, like all prolific, creative, and important food photographers, I went downstairs and played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a 5 year old and soon to be 2 year old. I was Michelangelo.
There are two components to making this tart, and both can be made ahead of time. First, is the tart shell. The crust is a pate sucree, which is a tart dough that is sweet, rich, and crisp. Second, is the pastry cream. Pastry cream is a custard that is often used as filling in pastries and pies. Check out my “how to make pastry cream” post here. The pastry cream with this particular recipe is a bit different, but you’ll get the general idea. By the way, I got this amazing recipe from Williams-Sonoma.
To make the pate sucree, I used a food processor. I love making pie and tart dough in my food processor! My post on how to make pie pastry is similar to how I made the tart dough. Take a look at those photos here to get a better idea on how it’s done. One thing I did notice with this particular tart dough was that it was very crumbly. I found that kneading it a couple of times made it easier to roll out. Also, when fitting the dough into the tart tin, it helps to roll the rolling pin over the top of the rim. This cuts the pastry perfectly.
After you’ve made your pastry cream, and made and blind-baked your pate sucree, it’s time to assemble. Fill your tart with the cream then top with berries of your choice. Then sprinkle with some powdered sugar (I forgot to do that), and you’re good to go.
- 1 1/2 (187.5 g) cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 (46 g) cup granulated Sugar
- 1/8 tsp. Salt
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick or 113 g) cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 Egg Yolk, beaten with 2 Tbs. Heavy Cream
- 6 Tbs. Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tbs. All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbs. Cornstarch
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1 1/3 cups Milk
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 4 cups Mixed Berries, such as blueberries,
- raspberries, strawberries and blackberries
- Confectioners’ Sugar for dusting
- Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425º F.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt, and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the egg yolk/heavy cream mixture, and pulse until the dough begins to pull away from the center. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until it comes together in a ball. Shape into a 5-inch disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Using a standing mixture bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the granulated sugar, flour, and cornstarch and egg yolks on until thick and pale yellow.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and vanilla and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, pour half the milk into the sugar/egg yolk mixture and stir until combined. Then pour this mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk and place over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble, about 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and corners of the pan while whisking to prevent scorching. Pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl and cover the surface with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough into an 11-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch tart dish and trim the edges to make them flush with the rim. You can do this by rolling your rolling pin over the edge of the tart pan. If the dough starts to break, just piece it together in the dish. Line the pastry with parchment paper, fill with pie weights, rice or beans, and bake for 5 minutes, or until no longer wet looking. Reduce the oven temperature to 350º F. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and, using a fork, poke holes in the bottom of the crust. Bake until the crust is golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 1 hour.
- Spoon the pastry cream into the crust, arrange the berries on top and dust with powdered sugar.
- Food processor
- 9-inch round tart tin
- Rolling pin
- Pie weights
- Bench scraper
- *Tart dough will keep in the refrigerator for 24 hours, or in the freezer for up to 3 months (wrap well)
- *Pastry cream will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.