There’s nothing better than biting into a fresh fruit tart – that sandy, buttery shell contrasted perfectly with the creamy vanilla pastry cream, and the burst of flavor from the fresh fruit on top… yum! And, although a fork and knife would be the civilized approach, these 4” tartlets are so adorably delicious, we give you permission to just pick them up and dig in if you’re feeling inspired 🙂
This formula uses our Organic Pastry Flour in the tart dough, which is a classic pâte sucrée. It’s a simple, versatile base that is perfect for you to finish in any way you feel inspired. And we encourage you to do just that! Choose whatever fruit you like (especially if it’s ripe and in-season), play with the flavor of your pastry cream (almond is fantastic), or add a thin layer of melted chocolate and allow it to cool before filling and topping.
We’ve also included a formula + process steps to add a neutral mirror glaze to your tartlets if you’d like. This optional step helps to preserve the fruit (if you’re not eating them the same day) and also gives them a polished, professional look.
Number of Units: 12 assembled tartlets
|PÂTE SUCRÉE||Baker’s %||Weight|
|Organic Unbleached Pastry||100||262 g|
|Powdered Sugar||45||118 g|
|Baking Powder||0.6||2 g|
|Almond Meal||15||39 g|
*Includes extra dough to account for waste.
|Sift||Flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt|
|Add||Butter until mealy|
|Add||Egg until dough comes together|
|Add||Almond meal until fully incorporated|
|Rest||Wrap in plastic wrap and rest 4 hrs|
|Cut||Roll out dough to 1/8″ thick, cut dough to fit pans|
|Rest||Rest dough for 30 minutes in fridge|
|Baking*||Blind bake @ 325° F for 10–12 min, remove weights finish baking|
|Cool||Cool tart shells completely before filling|
|Unmold||Unmold tarts from tart shells|
|Fill||Fill with pastry cream and fruit, glaze fruit|
*Baking time and temperature can vary depending on type of oven.
|PASTRY CREAM||Baker’s %||Weight|
|Whole Milk||100||575 g|
|Vanilla Bean (1 bean)||N/A||1 g|
|Egg Yolks||20||115 g|
|Butter, softened||3||17 g|
*Enough for 12 tartlets with a bit left over.
|Sift||Cornstarch, 63.5g sugar, salt|
|Boil||Milk, vanilla bean, 63.5g sugar|
|Whisk||Egg yolks and cornstarch mixture until fluffy|
|Temper||Hot milk mixture into egg mixture|
|Boil||Bring mixture to a boil and boil until thickened|
|Strain||Strain into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap|
|Cool||Place into an ice bath and cool|
|NEUTRAL MIRROR GLAZE||Weight|
|Knox Unflavored Gelatine||7 g|
|Cold Water||57 g|
|Boiling Water||57 g|
|Lemon Juice||10 g|
|Sprinkle||Gelatin over cold water, sit 1 min|
|Add||Boiling Water, mix until dissolved, 3 min|
|Add||Sugar and lemon juice|
|Strain||With sieve into clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap|
|Cool||Until room temp and slightly thickened|
|Set||Glaze will set up at room temperature or in the fridge|
Active Time: 40 min / Inactive Time: 4.5 hr / Baking Time: 20-27 min
Prep – Dough
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into ½ inch cubes, make sure to keep the butter cold.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the flour mixture and cold butter. Mix together until mealy, where the pieces of butter resemble bread crumbs. Add in the egg and vanilla until the dough comes together. Add the almond meal until fully incorporated.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 4 hrs or overnight.
Prep – Pastry Cream
Cut vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out all the seeds from inside. Place the seeds and pod into a medium pot with the milk and half of the sugar.
Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl. In another bowl whisk together the cornstarch, the other half of the sugar, and the salt. Have a clean bowl, a strainer, and an ice bath close by.
Boil milk mixture on medium low heat. While you are waiting for the milk to boil, whisk together cornstarch mixture and egg yolks until slightly thick. When the milk boils, temper it into your egg mixture by adding about half of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking the whole time. It is very important to whisk this whole time so that the eggs do not curdle. Once incorporated, pour the mixture back into the pot, whisking continuously. Return the mixture to a boil, whisking until it becomes thick and the consistency of pudding, about 3–4 minutes. Whisk in butter.
Strain the pastry cream into a clean dry bowl. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin. Place the bowl in an ice bath (a mixture of ice and water) to cool the pastry cream.
Prep – Glaze (optional)
Below are two ways to make a glaze for your tartlets, if you choose to do so.
The first way, outlined in the formula above, is to make a neutral mirror glaze. We were shown this method by our friend, pastry chef Jim Dodge.
To make the neutral mirror glaze, start by boiling some water. Sprinkle one packet of Knox Unflavored Gelatine over the cold water and let it sit for one minute. Add the boiling water and mix for about 3 minutes until completely dissolved. Once dissolved, add the sugar and lemon juice. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and let it come down to room temperature. It will be runny but slightly thick. Once it has cooled, brush it onto your fruit, making sure to take your time to fully glaze each piece of fruit. If the glaze gets too hard, warm it back up by heating gently on low. The glaze will set at room temperature or in the fridge.
The second way to make a glaze is by brushing a light colored jam, like apricot jam, onto the fruit. For this method you mix together the jam and just enough water to make the jam a little loose. Warm this mixture up and strain it to remove any chunks. Let it cool to room temperature and brush onto the fruit. The glaze will set at room temperature or in the fridge.
When you are ready to bake, take the dough out of the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 325° F.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of about ⅛ ” or a little less. When rolling the dough, remember to turn the dough a quarter turn each time. Turning helps keep the dough in a uniform shape and also helps gauge if the dough is sticking to the table. If the dough is sticking, gently move your dough to the side, lightly flour the table and the dough, and then continue rolling.
To line the tartlet pans, cut out pieces of dough a little larger in size than the size of the pans. Gently press the dough into the pans and up the sides. Roll a rolling pin across the top of the tarts to remove any excess dough that is hanging over.
Tip: An easy way to cut out the right size dough for each pan is to use a cookie cutter that is a little larger than each pan, about 4.5–5”.
Gather up the remaining dough and repeat the process of rolling, cutting, and lining until you have used all of your dough and tart pans. If the dough at any point becomes too warm and difficult to work with, place it back into the fridge until cool for 5–10 minutes.
Once you are done lining your tart pans, place them into the fridge to firm up and get cold, about 30 minutes.
Now it’s time to bake. Dock the tart shells by poking them with a fork on the bottom and sides. Line them with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (or dried beans/rice). Bake on 325° F for 10–12 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and bake until the edges are slightly golden, about 15 minutes more.
Let them cool completely.
Un-mold the tart shells and fill with pastry cream. Arrange fruit on top and apply glaze with a brush. Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to serve.