Fresh Berry Tart

This Fresh Berry Tart has a sweet cookie tart crust shell filled with Whipped Cream Vanilla Pastry Cream and topped with fresh berries.

fresh fruit tart with vanilla pastry cream

I have wanted to make a tart for a very long time, years even. In particular, I’ve wanted to make this Fresh Berry Tart, as it’s on the cover of one of my favorite cookbooks. Unfortunately, I did not have a tart pan and could never rationalize buying one just to satisfy my tart-making urge. 

fresh fruit tart with vanilla pastry cream

Earlier this summer, my mom gave me a hand-me-down tart pan, and I couldn’t wait to use it. My cousin’s birthday was in mid-June, and she loves fresh fruit, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to experiment with my first tart.  

fresh fruit tart with vanilla pastry cream

I dropped this tart off with my cousin on her birthday, but there was a little extra dough and filling, so I filled a ramekin with it so Bob and I could taste test beforehand. We really liked this tart, especially the pastry cream! I will definitely be trying more varieties in the future!

Fresh Fruit Tart Recipe Structure

Like I’ve said before, the recipes in the Pie and Pastry Bible are lengthy and include a lot of details, which are extremely helpful but can make assembling a dessert like this somewhat overwhelming. For example, the book groups recipes by type – the dough recipes are first, followed by the pastry cream recipes, and then other recipes for add-ins. This means that the actual tart recipe refers you to one page for the crust recipe, to another for the pastry cream, and then to a third for the whipped cream that is added to the pastry cream. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! 🙂

fresh fruit tart with vanilla pastry cream

I hope that I’ve been able to simplify the recipe here. When broken down into steps, it’s really not that difficult or time consuming, it just takes some organization.  

fresh fruit tart with vanilla pastry cream

Gluten Free Option for Fresh Berry Tart

I have not tried this myself with this tart, but I have good luck substituting Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour for all purpose in a number of baked goods. I think it would work well for this tart crust to make an entirely gluten free dessert!

Looking for more fruit desserts?

Check out these other desserts featuring fruit:
Fresh Fruit Tart
Ambrosia Pie
Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake
Blueberry Crumb Bars
Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes
Blueberry Vanilla Cupcakes with Blueberry Ganache
Citrus Glazed Butter Cookies
Apple Crumble Pizza Pie
French Apple Cake
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Caramel Apple Bars
Sweet Cherry Pie
Mixed Berry Pie
Fresh Blueberry Pie
Blueberry Boy Bait
Best Blueberry Muffins
Easy Blueberry Cheese Danish
Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies with Blueberry Ganache
Peach Blueberry Crumbles
Roasted Cherry Brownie Sundaes with Cherry Port Sauce

fresh berry tart with vanilla pastry cream

Fresh Berry Tart

A sweet cookie tart shell filled with whipped cream vanilla pastry cream and topped with fresh berries.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • For a 9 1/2- or 10-inch by 1-inch tart pan


Sweet Cookie Tart Crust (Pate Sucree):

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar (can pulse regular sugar in food processor to make superfine)
  • 200 grams all purpose flour (1 1/2 scant cups – dip and sweep method)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Superstabilized Whipped Cream:

  • 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (cold)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

To Assemble Fresh Berry Tart:

  • 3-4 cups fresh berries (rinsed and dried)
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/3 cup apricot preserves (warmed and strained)


For the Sweet Cookie Tart Crust:

  • Prepare the tart pan by greasing and lightly flouring, tapping out excess flour.
  • In a food processor with a metal blade, pulse the butter and sugar about 15 times or until the butter is no larger than small peas.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the yolk and cream. Add it to the mixture and pulse just until incorporated, about 8 times. The dough will still be in crumbly pieces. Empty into a plastic bag and press the dough from the outside just until it holds together.
  • Remove the dough from the plastic bad and place it on a very large piece of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap, knead the dough a few times until the dough becomes one smooth piece. Flatten it into a 6-inch disc.
  • Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or freeze for 10 minutes until firm enough to pat into the pan or to roll.
  • Roll the dough to 11 inches (for a 9 1/2-inch tart pan) between pieces of floured plastic wrap. Slip dough onto a baking sheet and into the refrigerator for a few minutes before transferring to the tart pan.
  • Put dough into pan and chill 1 hour. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees F (for at least 20 minutes before baking crust).
  • Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and fit into tart, add rice or beans as weights (or pie weights).
  • Bake tart on a baking sheet for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 375 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. If not set, the dough will stick to the parchment paper. If this is the case, lift out the weights with the parchment and prick dough lightly, then continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes more.

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • Have a strainer set over a small bowl near the range.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs and cornstarch. Gradually add 1/4 cup of the half-and-half, whisking until the mixture is smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved.
  • Place the sugar in a medium, heavy, nonreactive saucepan. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups half-and-half and the salt. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring occasionally. Whisk 2 tablespoons of this mixture into the egg mixture. Pass the egg mixture through a strainer into a small bowl.
  • Bring the half-and-half mixture back to a boil over medium heat. Quickly add all of the egg mixture, whisking rapidly. Continue whisking rapidly for about 20 to 30 seconds, being sure to go to the bottom edge of the pan.
  • The mixture will become very thick. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the butter. Whisk in the vanilla extract at this point.
  • Immediately pour the mixture into a bowl and place a piece of greased plastic wrap directly on top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until cold.
  • When Vanilla Pastry Cream is cold, fold in the Superstabilized Whipped Cream (instructions below). This whipped cream is gelatin-stabilized to prevent thinning of the pastry cream.

For the Superstabilized Whipped Cream:

  • Refrigerate the mixing bowl and beater for at least 15 minutes.
  • In a small heatproof measuring cup, place the gelatin and water and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Set the cup in a pan of simmering water for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the gelatin is dissolved (or microwave on high power for a few seconds, stirring once of twice). Set it aside briefly. (The mixture must still be warm, or it will lump when added to the cold cream.)
  • In the chilled mixing bowl, beat the cream and sugar until the cream just begins to thicken. Gradually beat in the warm gelatin mixture and beat just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.

To Assemble the Fresh Berry Tart:

  • Brush cooled crust with 3 tablespoons strained warmed apricot preserves.
  • Put whipped cream vanilla pastry cream inside shell. Arrange fruit on top. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
  • Brush strained warmed apricot preserves (~1/3 cup) on top. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour before serving.


Superstabilized Whipped Cream can be stored refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Source:  Adapted from The Pie and Pastry Bible
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword dessert, fruit, tart

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