I love Asian bakeries. Period. If given the chance I would spend all day in one and sit in the corner eating pastry like a crazy person. I love them because they are highly influenced by European pastry, their products tend to be less sugary, and their presentation is impeccable. They also like to use fresh fruit and there is nothing I adore more in the summertime than a fruit tart from my favorite bakery.
A few years back I made it my mission to construct a fruit tart that would rival that bakery. Why keep paying for it when I might be able to make it myself? I went through recipes ranging from Paula Deen to Joy of Baking until I found the perfect combination of crust and filling that I was looking for.
The first time I made this tart, I tried a crust that had the taste and consistency of a sugar cookie. While it was good, I really wanted a base with a buttery, crisp texture like shortbread. This recipe achieves that richness which helps to balance out the smooth cream cheese filling and fruit topping. My go-to fruits are usually strawberries, blueberries and kiwi, however you can change it up and use your favorite fresh fruits.
I already confessed that I would camp out in an Asian bakery, so you know that I’m not fooling around when I say that I would rank this tart within the top five favorite desserts that I have ever made. It’s that good!
Fresh Fruit Tart
Inspired by Paula Deen, Paula’s Home Cooking
Makes: 9-inch tart, Difficulty: Intermediate
- Special Equipment: You will need a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons water
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 quart of strawberries
- 1 pint of blueberries
- 2 kiwi
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2. Make the crust: In a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, flour, butter, and salt, and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust up the sides of the pan. Pat until the crust is even. Prick the crust gently and evenly with a fork and freeze for 15 minutes. This will help to prevent shrinkage when baking. Bake for 12-13 minutes on a baking sheet until very lightly browned. Set on a wire rack to cool completely.
3. Make the glaze: After the crust is cooled, combine the preserves and water. Microwave for 30-60 seconds until the mixture is warm and has a smooth consistency. Run through a sieve to remove any preserve particles. With a pastry brush, coat the entire crust with glaze. You will not use all of the glaze and save the remainder to brush the fruit. Let set for 20-30 minutes.
4. Make the filling: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add in the heavy whipping cream and beat for about 1 minute or until fully incorporated. Spoon the mixture in the crust and spread to cover evenly.
5. Assemble: Cut the strawberries in half and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries. Use the blueberries in a cluster at the center of the tart and to fill any empty spaces. After all of the fruit is placed, re-heat the glaze for 15-30 seconds to liquefy. Use the pastry brush to coat the top of the fruit. This will give the fruit a sheen and prevent it from drying out. Carefully remove the tart from the pan to a serving dish or cake plate. Keep the tart in the refrigerator and remove about 15 minutes before serving.
- Note: This tart is best served fresh but can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator uncovered.