Mad about Fruit Tarts

              Fruit Tarts

Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Tart Dough)

In my opinion, the most important part of a fruit tart, or most tarts for that matter, is the crust. For fruit tarts, I prefer a firm, crisp, not-so-crumbly that it falls apart on the first bite, sort of crust. The perfect dough for that is pâte sucrée.

Pâte sucrée is a really simple dough to make in your stand mixer or even by hand and there’s really only one rule to follow: Don’t overwork the dough. What I really like about pâte sucrée, is that I can make a huge batch, divide the dough into several portions and freeze them. That way, I have an emergency stash on hand whenever I need to whip up a tart shell in a hurry.

More Tarts

Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)

I’ve always had issues with pastry cream. Most of the time, the cream doesn’t set firm enough. It’d be relatively firm off the stove, but gradually become more fluid as it cooled to room temperature. The first batch I made for these tarts became fluid as expected. I’d followed Dorie’s recipe to a T, so what was I doing wrong?

Initially, I thought it was because I hadn’t cooked the cream to the right consistency and had taken it off the stove too early. Then hubby, who loves his chocolate puddings and has been making them since he was a kid, pointed out that I’d probably stirred the pastry cream too much after it’d cooled past a certain point and broken down the starch.

              Fruit Tarts

I stubbornly insisted that the recipe said to wait for the pastry cream to cool to 60 degrees C before incorporating the butter or the custard would break. *humpf* Besides, he’d always cooked his puddings from Dr Oetker pudding mixes, what did he know about making custards from scratch or about stirring in butter? *grummel* Still, I secretly wondered if he was right.

              Peach Tarts

So for the second batch, I cooked the custard a little longer than usual, very bravely stirred in the butter almost immediately after transferring it to a bowl and resisted the urge to stir the pastry cream while it was cooling. The result: a custard that stayed firm even after cooling to room temperature! Fine, so I was wrong and hubby was right after all. Hmm… I wonder what other tidbits on cooking he has hidden away… Perhaps it’s time to quell the kitchen Nazi in me and share some stove space with hubby!

              Dark Chocolate Tart

An alternative to a pastry cream filling is dark chocolate ganache. I’d have preferred to top it with edible gold leaf, but didn’t have any on hand, so I went with gold luster dust instead.

Note: The design ideas for the blueberry, raspberry and chocolate tarts came from the wonderful dessert spread at Brasserie Les Saveurs (St. Regis, Singapore). The dessert spread is available as part of afternoon tea or Sunday brunch buffet.

Brasserie Les Saveurs
The St. Regis, Singapore
29 Tanglin Road · Singapore 247911
(65) 6506 6866

Daily Afternoon Tea 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday Brunch 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

13 Responses to “Mad about Fruit Tarts”

  1. veron Says:

    I love your mini-tartlets! They look so vibrant. I am the same way with the hubby - disregarding his suggestions - after all I am the baker - only to find out that he was right :).

  2. jan Says:

    beautiful! I’d love to get the recipes!

  3. Emily Rose Says:

    these are so pretty!! I am very impressed!

  4. Rachel Says:

    I had no idea that over stirring made your pastry cream more fluid! I think I may have just discovered why mine always fail and I might just have enough courage to try another attempt. Thanks (to you and your hubby)!

  5. Laurel Says:

    hi there! the key to making a firm custard is the cooking part. simply said, after u’ve incorporated all ur ingredients into the liquid, u have to keep whisking it and this mixture should, or rather, must bind after 1-2mins. make sure that the custard is bubbling in the pot after that before u can put out the flame.
    the addition of the butter depends on how firm ur butter is. if u’ve just taken it out from the chiller, then u can blend it into the custard once its temp has dropped to 80 degree celsius. if u’ve a soft butter, then add the butter in once the custard warm. FYI, sometimes in the commercial kitchens, we do not even put butter! but the custard stays firm.
    also, the amount of butter will affect the texture of the custard. try this: for every litre of milk/cream, incorporate 100g butter.

  6. Stef Says:

    Hi Karen! That was a very interesting point that H brought up,let me confess that I always stabiise my custards with a little bit of gelatine!
    *blush*
    However,I will try his method next time…it does sound very promising!

    Although I have to say,this reminds me of the last tart I did…with champagne grapes and topped with a sweet wine gelee glaze…the pastry cream had vanilla bean and white chocolate incorporated inside (no need for gelatine,the white choc stiffened it considerably)…the crust had ground almonds in it…lovely! =)

  7. Karen Says:

    Veron: Thank you! That’s a big compliment coming from a great baker like you. :) Yeah, I almost always dismiss his suggestions, but mull over them a little in secret. Hehehe. You’ve reminded me that I really need to start making macarons again, except that it’s been so long that I’m worried I might have lost my macaron mo-jo. :D

    Jan, Emily Rose: Thank you!

    Rachel: I know! Pretty insightful, no? Wishing you lots of luck with your next pastry cream attempt. You might want to read Laurel & Stef’s comments for more help.

    Laurel: Thanks for the advice! I’ll definitely keep it in mind the next time I make pastry cream.

    Stef: Great to hear from you! Yeah, I mentioned that I might try a gelatine rescue and he said, “NO!”. Your tart sounds completely yummy, although I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate! Pâte sucrée has ground almonds in it too. :) Now that the holidays are here, we should meet up for lunch some time!

  8. jiaxin Says:

    Lovely pictures! Do people actually hire you to do food photography?!
    Also, maybe you can increase your yolks ration to your egg whites to firm up the custard and make it richer.

  9. joey Says:

    hello karen.you have a yummylicious and delicious blog..i saw your photos in flickr..the yummies looked sooooooo real, i’m so hungry..
    and i just loved how your tartlets look.i’m just curious, what mould do you use to make your tart shells?i can’t find the ones like yours which is without the fluted edges.thanks in advance!!

  10. Stef Says:

    Hi Karen! I’m not the greatest fan of white choc either…in fact I don’t eat it! But it did go very well with the slightly tart champagne grapes…

    Oh yes…our long awaited lunch date,haha! Let’s arrange something soon and then maybe…just maybe…I can talk you into making more Lebkuchen which I am still dreaming about thanks to your excellent version last year! =)

  11. vanessa Says:

    hello!
    i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the fruit tart?
    my mum loves them but i cant find nice ones in singapore, so i was thinking of making one for her birthday.
    do let me know please, thanks!

  12. Delonte West Says:

    hello!
    i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the fruit tart?
    my mum loves them but i cant find nice ones in singapore, so i was thinking of making one for her birthday.
    do let me know please, thanks!

  13. Priscilla Says:

    Hi,

    im having my wedding on 10. nov. 12..

    we would like to order 200 fruit tarts from you.. not too sure if you do that, and if you can make it slightly bigger from those that you have on your website and if you have individual packing..

    please advice if your price.

    thanks
    priscilla

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