I've attempted several fruit tarts in the past and never really found a great recipe. Generally speaking, the crusts have all been fine, but I've never found a cream filling that I loved. I've tried (and failed) making pastry cream from scratch. I've made cream cheese fillings, but the flavor was never quite right. With this tart, I combined 2 fruit tart recipes and ended up with an amazing result.
The cream filling for this tart is the cheaters way of making a delicious and really easy fruit tart. It tastes amazing and the texture is great, but it only takes minutes to whip it up. I made this version of a fruit tart as a birthday cake and it was a huge success. Not only do fruit tarts look stunning, but people tend to love them. If you need to make this recipe ahead of time, prepare all the elements individually and only cut fruits and assemble when you need it.
Crust recipe from Joyofbaking.com
Cream filling recipe from Joyofbaking.com
For the pastry:
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
For the Cream Filling:
1/2 cup (120 ml) mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup (120 ml) cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (30 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Topping:
Up to 3 cups of your favorite fruits and/or berries
Prepare the crust by whisking together the flour and salt in a bowl and then set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened. Add the sugar and mix until the the mixture is pale and fluffy.Slowly add in the beaten egg, mixing until just combined. Add the flour all at once and mix until a ball forms. Form the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Place in your fridge for 30 minutes, or until firm (can also place in freezer for a shorter amount of time).
Lightly butter and flour an 8 or 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the pastry into the bottom and up the sides of the form. Make sure not to leave the dough too thick in the 90º angle part of the tart pan. Cover in plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400ºF/205ºC. Make sure your baking rack is in the center of the oven. Remove the pastry from the freezer and lightly prick the bottom with a fork (this prevents the dough from puffing up too much). Put the tart pan on a larger baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350ºF/180ºC and bake another 15 minutes or until lightly golden and dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before using for the fruit tart. If preparing ahead of time, can be covered and stored for a few days.
To make the cream filling, beat together the mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. If too thick, add a little more whipping cream.
To assemble, remove the edge of the tart pan from the bottom. Spread the cream filling over the cooled tart base and top with fruit and/or berries. Serve immediately or store in the fridge to eat later that day. If storing in fridge, allow the tart to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.