Open Fruit Tarts

These individual “patisserie” style tarts will impress your friends and family – I promise. With a few hints and tips to prevent a soggy pastry I think these are a real winner.


Make the pastry in a food processor or by hand. Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in the bowl and blitz until mix resembles breadcrumbs.  With the motor running gradually pour in the egg and water mix and allow the dough to come together to form a ball.  Wrap in a beeswax wrap or paper and chill for half an hour.

Make the crème patissiere by mixing together the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla in a small saucepan.  Once the thick mix is smooth and without lumps start to add the milk little by little.   Add the butter the stir over the gentlest of heat until the butter melts then turn up the power and keep stirring all the time until the custard thickens.  Take off the heat, beat well then transfer to a cold bowl and allow to cool completely.  Cover with paper or dust with sugar to prevent a skin forming.  This will keep three to four days in the fridge.

Alternatively, the creme patisserie can be made and poured warm into the cool cooked pastry shells.

Take the pastry from the fridge and roll out between two sheets of plastic. Use a 10cm cutter to cut out circles to fit and slightly overhang the small tins or roll into one large circle and line the 23cm tin.  Pop into the fridge to firm up whilst the oven preheats to 190 degrees centigrade. Take from the fridge,  prick the bottom, line with paper and baking beans.  Place the individual tins onto a preheated baking sheet and blind bake  for 12 minutes at 190 degrees c until golden brown or the single tart for 15 minutes.

When baked carefully remove the paper and beans and trim the shells whilst still warm with a serrated knife and allow to cool completely.  Pop the tart cases back into the oven uncovered for a further five minutes if the base appears waxy and unbaked when the paper is removed.

Leave to go completely cold and if you want the tart cases to keep for longer – Paint the inside of the shells with the melted chocolate and butter and allow to set. (this will keep the shells crisp and the tarts will last up to two days)

Place the cooled crème patissiere into a piping bag and fill the pastry shells then decorate with fresh fruit, topped off with a glaze made from melted apricot jam and a little water.


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