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This Puff Pastry Fruit Tart is an easy, yet stunning dessert! Make the base with store-bought or homemade puff pastry, fill it with pastry cream and top it with an array of your favorite fresh fruits!

Puff pastry fruit tart on a black plate set on a white marble surface.

Looking for an elegant and easy dessert? Look no further than this mouth-watering Puff Pastry Fruit Tart! This absolutely stunning tart would be an excellent grand finale for any dinner. All you need is a bit of puff pastry and vanilla bean pastry cream! I added some bourbon to my pastry cream filling to take it up a notch, but you can personalize it any way you like. Top it off with your favorite fruits and, voilà, dessert is ready!

Why you will love this puff pastry fruit tart:

  • Easy elegance: If you want a super simple but breathtaking dessert, this is the tart for you! Your tart will look like you spent hours in the kitchen, but actually has no complicated steps. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!
  • Your personal touch: For this easy puff pastry dessert recipe, you can customize it to the exact size, flavor, and fruit of your preference. I take you through all the details so that you can make your own flawless creation exactly how you like it.
  • Balanced bites: This easy summer tart has a bit of fresh fruit and flaky pastry in every bite. All the textures and flavors play off of one another beautifully to keep the tart from being too sweet. Even Goldilocks would say it’s just right!
Flaky layers of puff pastry crust with fresh fruit topping.
My Top Pie Baking Tips
Everything you need to know about pies from a professional pastry chef!

Quick and easy fruit tart tips:

  • Cold puff pastry: Always keep your puff pastry cold while you are working with it to preserve its layers!
  • Pastry walls: The assembly of this tart hinges on creating little puff pastry walls. Those walls create a boat for your pastry cream filling to contain all that goodness!
  • Egg wash: The key to adhering two pieces of puff pastry together? Egg wash! All you really need is just an egg. Crack your egg into a jar or small container, put the lid on, and shake it up! Egg wash is such a handy baking trick I even made an Egg Wash Video Tutorial!

If you have spare egg wash, you can add it to an egg scramble for breakfast.

  • Dock your dough: Docking is just a fancy way of saying poking your puff pastry. I like to use a fork to poke holes in the base of the pastry at regular intervals. It is important that you dock your puff pastry because you want it to rise evenly. The holes let the steam know where to escape! If you’re curious, yes, you should also be docking some of your other pie crusts. The resident pastry nerd {me} made an entire post breaking down When to Dock a Pie Crust to help you out.

Ingredients

  • Whole Milk: The milk is the liquid in the pastry cream. Milk’s fat does add flavor but as essential in pastry cream as it is in other recipes. Feel free to use your favorite alternative or lower fat milk.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sugar is here for sweetness. When beaten with the eggs, it also protects them from the heat while providing some additional leavening.
  • Whole Egg: The egg in a custard such as pastry cream is integral for thickening. Whisking it first with the sugar protects it from the heat.
  • Egg Yolk: Eggs yolks in a custard are also thickeners, and add fat without the added moisture from egg whites. This makes a thick, rich custard.
  • Vanilla Bean: Vanilla beans are one of the most expensive ingredients on Earth, but they add an unmistakable flavor to vanilla fruit tarts. You’ll use the seeds in this pastry cream. Save the pods for infusing in vanilla ice cream, crème anglaise, pudding, or vanilla sugar.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a thickener like eggs, and protects the eggs while the custard boils.
  • Puff Pastry Sheets: I put together all the tips and tricks for homemade puff pastry and inverse puff pastry! But, if you’re short on time, puff pastry desserts with fruit would be gorgeous made from store-bought puff pastry.

You can most likely find store-bought puff in the freezer aisle, but it is also sometimes in the refrigerated section near the pre-made cinnamon rolls.

  • Bourbon: You can definitely taste the Bourbon in the pastry cream filling of this tart, so choose a bourbon that you enjoy. If you don’t like the taste of raw whiskey, then choose a liquor with an aroma that suits you or feel free to omit it!
  • Fresh Fruits: I used fresh mangoes, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries in my tart. You can use your favorite combination of fresh fruits or whatever is in season! Apples would be a beautiful addition come autumn!

Variations

  • Elaborate styling: I controlled the perfectionist pastry chef in me from using my tweezers to style the top too much. If you wanted, you could make an over-the-top fresh-fruit design on top. Red wine poached pears or mixed berry jam would also add striking colors!
  • Different filling: I developed this recipe with my vanilla bean pastry cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one you can use!  Might I suggest my caramel pastry cream, which is slightly less sweet and has a delicate caramel flavor? You could also use almond cream or hazelnut cream, but those need to be baked before use.

In order to use almond or hazelnut cream in this tart, you’ll need to bake the tart twice. Take the tart out of the oven when it is golden brown, pipe or gently spread softened almond or hazelnut cream in the puff pastry tart shell. Continue baking until the almond cream is golden brown and gives a little resistance when lightly touched. 

  • Endless flavor options: Try a tropical twist with mango, papaya and pineapple. Sprinkle it with toasted coconut for an elegant and delicious crunch. A mound of berries are always welcome, or used oranges, blood oranges and grapefruit for a pop of brightness in the winter!
  • Any size: The size I made for the pictures would be perfect for two people, but you could 100% make little individual ones! That would be super cute. Or, you could make a bigger one. Just be sure you have enough puff, and adjust the cook time accordingly.

Substitutions

  • Vanilla Bean: If you cannot purchase vanilla beans for this recipe, you could substitute them with vanilla extract! You will lose some complexity and depth of flavor, but it will still be delicious. If making one full batch of vanilla pastry cream, you can substitute the ½ a vanilla bean for a ¾ teaspoon of vanilla extract. If you boil your vanilla extract it will dampen the flavor. Therefore, if using extract you’ll want to add it when you add the bourbon or right before cooling.
  • Fresh Fruit: If you don’t have any fresh fruit on hand, I would not encourage you to make this recipe with frozen fruit. Frozen fruit, even when thawed, has a drastically different texture and will weep excess liquids into your tart. You could instead use dried fruit or nuts, but the tart will lose some of its curb appeal, balanced texture, and bright flavor.
  • Egg Wash: Some people put salt or milk in their egg wash, but I like to keep it super simple with only eggs. Instead of egg wash, milk or heavy cream could also be used to adhere puff pastry pieces together.

How to Make

Use these instructions to make the perfect puff pastry fruit tart every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!

Make the pastry cream:

Note: This is the smallest batch of pastry cream that I would recommend making. Any less makes it difficult to keep the custard from clumping and burning while cooking. In my (albeit professional) opinion even this size batch is tricky. Double it for an easier option. You can save the spare pastry cream for other desserts. It can be used as a filling for banana cream pie, éclairs, profiteroles, and countless other treats.

Step 1: Split and scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean pod. Save the pod for another use or throw it in!

Step 2: Heat the milk, sugar and vanilla beans in a medium pot and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Blanchir (whisk) the eggs and yolks in a bowl with cornstarch. Next, add the milk to the whisked eggs with a process called ‘tempering’. Temper your milk into the eggs by slowly adding the hot milk mixture while whisking. This allows the eggs to come up to the temperature of the milk without cooking them.

Step 4: Return the newly tempered mixture to the pot and turn the heat to medium. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Boil this mixture for 1 minute while constantly whisking.

Step 5: Pour out your newly made pastry cream onto a plastic-wrap lined baking pan. Cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap, poke holes in the top, and cool it completely. You can store it for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Assemble the tart base:

Step 6: If your puff pastry is frozen, allow it to warm up by placing it on the counter. You want it only warm enough to lay flat and be pliable. It should still be cold.

Always keep your puff pastry cold while you are working with it to preserve its layers!

Step 7: Using a ruler or a pizza cutter, cut the base of your pastry. It really isn’t important what size you make it.The one I made in the picture is 4×6 inches for reference, but you could make tiny tartlets if you like or large ones. Be sure you have enough puff pastry to cut strips for the 2cm-wide walls.

Step 8: Next, cut the strips to place on top to create a little puff pastry boat which will hold the filling. Cut 4 individual strips of puff about 2cm wide, one for each side. 

Step 9: Using a pastry brush or your fingers, adhere the strips to the top of the base with egg wash like a border. Egg wash is just one beaten egg, nothing fancy! You can also use half the egg left over from the pastry cream.

Chill and bake the puff pastry:

Step 10: Dock your dough by using a fork to poke holes in the puff pastry base. This ensures it rises evenly by giving the steam specific exit-points 

Step 11: Chill the dough completely, which will take at least 45 minutes. 

Step 12: After chilling the dough, quickly brush the top edge of the border with egg wash or a little water. Be careful that the egg wash or water doesn’t drip down the edges of the puff pastry, which would glue the layers together. {If these layers glue together, your puff pastry won’t puff!} Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.

Chill your dough again if necessary. If your puff no longer feels cold to the touch and has softened, pop it back in the fridge for a little bit longer!

Step 13: Preheat the oven to 375°F convection. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with nonstick spray and placing a piece of parchment paper on top. Bake your puff pastry boat on the prepared sheet for 12-20 minutes. The bake-time will depend on the size of the tart. You want your pastry edges to be golden brown, and your puff pastry layers visible on the sides.

Step 14: Allow the tart to cool completely.

Assemble the tart:

Step 15: Refresh your pastry cream by beating it again in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or by hand with a rubber spatula. This is when you would mix the bourbon in to taste. You want to beat the pastry cream until it is smooth and more easily spreadable. 

Step 16: Dollop some of the pastry cream into your completely cooled tart shell. Spread the cream with an offset spatula until it covers the whole base of the tart and comes just below the top of the sides. You don’t want to overfill it or when you add the fruit, the cream will squish out.

Step 17: Cut and arrange the fruit however you like! I chose to arrange it more daintily, but a towering pile of mixed berries would also be beautiful. Use the berries you like the best, or any fruit that is in season!

Step 18: Refrigerate before serving. It is best served the day it is assembled!

Puff pastry tart with decorative fruit including fresh berries and sliced mango along the center.

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

Use a ruler to cut your puff pastry! This will ensure you have an even border and straight lines. A chic finish is all about the details!

What to do with puff pastry scraps?

Inevitably when making savory dishes or desserts with puff pastry, you will have scraps. Here is a list of what to do with them: 

  • Combine your scraps: Combine your puff pastry scraps and re-roll them one time. Chill your new sheet thoroughly, and then make a dessert where the puff factor isn’t as important. My video tutorial for palmiers is a great example of this.
  • Make twists: Go in a sweet direction and bake cinnamon sugar twists. Or, head down a savory path, and make these cheese straws.
  • Create dessert décor: Cut out leaves or flowers of puff pastry with cookie cutters, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake. Use puff pastry shapes as garnishes for a dark chocolate pudding, tropical trifle or strawberry triumph pie. You could even put them on the top of your next puff pastry tart! Let me know in the comments what you choose to create!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store a fruit tart?

A fully-assembled fruit tart with puff pastry really is enjoyed best right after preparing it! If you need to, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. After about 8 hours, your baked puff pastry will begin to absorb moisture and it will start to lose its crisp, flaky finish. If possible, storage is actually best before assembly. Store baked puff in an airtight container at room temperature and prepared pastry cream in the refrigerator.

Do I need to chill the fruit tart shell before baking?

With laminated dough like puff pastry, it is best to chill before baking to ensure the layers remain separate for optimal flakiness. You can also bake it from frozen.

Can you make it ahead?

The tart shell can be baked a day in advance. The pastry cream can be made seven days in advance.

Will the recipe multiply?

This recipe will multiply for as much puff pastry as you have!

Can you freeze this tart?

I do not recommend freezing pastry cream. Puff pastry can be stored before it is baked in the freezer.

Do I need to dock the puff pastry shell?

In order to get even rising you need to dock the puff pastry shell prior to baking.

What fruit is best with this recipe?

I like to use a mixture of fruits! I stay aware of what flavors will pair the best with the pastry cream I plan to use. I also think about how I want the final tart to look. Do I want it to look chic and refined or rustic and robust? What colors do I want to pop? How much fruit do I want in each bite? It’s your tart, put your favorite fruits in it!

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

5 from 3 ratings

Puff Pastry Fruit Tart

This Puff Pastry Fruit Tart is an easy stunning dessert! The base is puff pastry, filled with pastry cream and topped with your favorite fresh fruits!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 
 

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream

Tart Shell

  • 1 sheet puff pastry homemade or store-bought
  • 2 teaspoons Bourbon optional
  • fresh fruits

Instructions 

Make the pastry cream:

  • Split and scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean pod. Save the pod for another use or throw it in!
  • Heat the milk, sugar and vanilla beans in a medium pot and bring to a boil.
  • Blanchir (whisk) the eggs and yolks in a bowl with cornstarch. Next, add the milk to the whisked eggs with a process called ‘tempering’. Temper your milk into the eggs by slowly adding the hot milk mixture while whisking. This allows the eggs to come up to the temperature of the milk without cooking them.
  • Return the newly tempered mixture to the pot and turn the heat to medium. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Boil this mixture for 1 minute while constantly whisking.
  • Pour out your newly made pastry cream onto a plastic-wrap lined baking pan. Cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap, poke holes in the top, and cool it completely. You can store it for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Assemble the tart base:

  • If your puff pastry is frozen, allow it to warm up by placing it on the counter. You want it only warm enough to lay flat and be pliable. It should still be cold. Always keep your puff cold while you are working with it to preserve the layers!
  • Using a ruler or a pizza cutter, cut the base of your pastry. It really isn’t important what size you make it.The one I made in the picture is 4×6 inches for reference, but you could make tiny tartlets if you like or large ones. Be sure you have enough puff pastry to cut strips for the 2cm-wide walls.
  • Next, cut the strips to place on top to create a little puff pastry boat which will hold the filling. Cut 4 individual strips of puff about 2cm wide, one for each side.
  • Using a pastry brush or your fingers, adhere the strips to the top of the base with egg wash like a border. Egg wash is just one beaten egg, nothing fancy! You can also use half the egg left over from the pastry cream.

Chill and bake the puff pastry:

  • Dock your dough by using a fork to poke holes in the puff pastry base. This ensures it rises evenly by giving the steam specific exit-points
  • Chill the dough completely, which will take at least 45 minutes.
  • After chilling the dough, quickly brush the top edge of the border with egg wash or a little water. Be careful that the egg wash or water doesn’t drip down the edges of the puff pastry, which would glue the layers together. {If these layers glue together, your puff pastry won’t puff!} Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.
  • Chill again if necessary. If your puff no longer feels cold to the touch and has softened, pop it back in the fridge for a little bit longer!
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F convection. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with nonstick spray and placing a piece of parchment paper on top. Bake your puff pastry boat on the prepared sheet for 12-20 minutes. The bake-time will depend on the size of the tart. You want your pastry edges to be golden brown, and your puff pastry layers visible on the sides.
  • Allow the tart to cool completely.

Assemble the tart:

  • Refresh your pastry cream by beating it again in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or by hand with a rubber spatula. This is when you would mix the bourbon in to taste. You want to beat the pastry cream until it is smooth and more easily spreadable.
  • Dollop some of the pastry cream into your completely cooled tart shell. Spread the cream with an offset spatula until it covers the whole base of the tart and comes just below the top of the sides. You don’t want to overfill it or when you add the fruit, the cream will squish out.
  • Cut and arrange the fruit however you like! I chose to arrange it more daintily, but a towering pile of mixed berries would also be beautiful. Use the berries you like the best, or any fruit that is in season!
  • Refrigerate before serving. It is best served the day it is assembled!

Video

Notes

Technique – I use a simple egg wash to adhere my pieces of puff to one another in order to make a perfect puff pastry boat!
Storage – This tart is best consumed the day it is made. If needed, it’s best to store the components separately!

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 189mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 373IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Calories: 500
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Before You Go!

I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed tart recipes!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Lost faith in you, Lindsey? Please. I love that I know a pastry chef in NYC! In fact, not only did you fail to disappoint…but you impressed with the addition of bourbon here. Anytime bourbon is involved, I’m a fan. Now I just need to keep from eating this whole tart in one bite. What are the odds of that happening?

    1. Well at least I know I have one fan left, David! Haha! Bourbon is always welcome! And I would never judge you for eating the whole thing! One bite might be tricky but I have confidence in your ability!

  2. This looks awesome! We had your healthy chicken tacos for dinner two days ago – everyone loved them. And also had your roasted lemon chicken on a bed of veggies last Saturday – also a big hit. Thanks!

    1. You are like my one-stop test kitchen! I’m so glad you enjoyed both of those! I made the lemon chicken last week too 🙂 Thank you!