Whether you're entertaining guests or just want a little something sweet, a plate of mini fruit tarts is an elegant dessert that's easy and fun to make. Here we show you how to make mini fruit tarts with step-by-step photos! The best part is you can prep most of it a couple of days in advance!
One of my favorite treats to order at a bakery is a fruit tart. There is something so perfect about the crisp, buttery tart shell, filled with luscious creamy pastry cream and topped with juicy fruit. While these are not hard to make, they can be time-consuming. You want to plan ahead when making these, it's not like a batch of cookies you can start to finish in 30 minutes.
This is also why I love these for parties. You can make the pastry cream a day or two ahead of time and just keep it in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. The tart shells can also be made ahead of time, I usually make them the day before and keep them in an air-tight container at room temperature. You can also wash (and slice) your fruit ahead of time. So when it comes time to serve you are just assembling them.
These fruit tarts are best served quite soon after assembling as the pastry cream can soften the pastry and eventually turn into a soft pastry shell. In the past, we have spread a thin layer of melted chocolate on the pastry shell and let it harden before filling it with pastry cream. This creates a barrier and gives the pastries a bit longer life.
You need three main components here:
- Tart Shells. I show you below how I roll out the tart shells but if you want to see an in-depth tutorial on how to make the sweet shortcrust pastry check out my sweet shortcrust pastry recipe page. You can make the shells a day or two before using them.
- Pastry Cream. The recipe card below describes how to make the pastry cream but again if you want to see an in-depth tutorial on how to make pastry cream check out my pastry cream recipe. You can make this a couple of days in advance. You'll need whole milk, egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract.
- Fruit. We often just use a selection of fresh berries; raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries. But adding slices of kiwi, mandarin oranges, or mangos are great too!
You can use individual tart molds or a mini tart tray. I have a Chicago Metal one that I bought from Williams Sonoma years ago, unfortunately, I cannot find it for sale online anymore. Aim for tarts around the 2-inch to 3-inch size.
If you would prefer one large tart then check out my recipe for a classic fresh fruit tart.
For ingredient quantities please reference the recipe card below. On the recipe card there is a button for US or M (Metric) measurements.
The pastry cream needs to be cooked and cooled so make sure you leave enough time to make it. And make sure you don't skip placing a piece of plastic wrap directly against the cream as this prevents thick skin from forming. Honestly, try not to eat it by the spoonful it is SOOO good!
Once you have prepared your sweet shortcrust pastry dough and it has chilled place it on a lightly floured work surface to roll out.
I roll mine into about a 12-inch circle so it's thin but not too thin.
Use your pastry cutter/ cookie cutter to cut out the tart shells. Cut as many as you can from the first rollout of pastry. My mini tart tin has tarts that are about 2-inches or so and so the cutter I used was about 2.5" or so. I would cut one tart shell and place it in your tray to see if you need to make larger or smaller pastry rounds.
I use a cookie spatula to help me transfer them from the work surface to the tin.
Reroll the scraps of pastry and cut out more rounds with the same thickness.
Place into your tart tin. If the pastry rips no problem, just add a bit more and press it together, this is very forgiving.
Prick the pastry all over with a fork and place in the freeze for 30 minutes to chill. Then cut out pieces of parchment paper into small squares that will sit on top of the pastry to prevent it from browning and rising while baking.
Place a piece of parchment on top of each shell and then add some pie weights, dried rice, or dried beans to weigh them down.
When ready to bake preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
Place the cold tart tin on a baking sheet and bake for 11 minutes then gently remove the foil and bake for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
Gently place the tart tin on a wire rack to cool completely before using, I like to use a small angled spatula to help me gently remove the tart crusts and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
The tarts are best served soon after assembly so I don't suggest assembling more than a few hours before serving. These are not freezer-friendly desserts.
Take one tart shell and fill it with pastry cream, but not too full as the fresh fruit will press the cream out. Add your fruit.
In a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave melt together some apricot jam with a splash of water to thin it out.
Once melted use a pastry brush to brush the fruit with the glaze.
Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
More party dessert ideas
My mini English trifles are always a hit! And you can prep these ahead of time as well.
For an extra fancy dessert that is sure to impress try this Dulce de Leche Napoleon.
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!Print
- 5 Large Egg Yolks
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar/ Caster Sugar
- 3 ½ Tablespoon Cornstarch/ Cornflour
- 2 cups Whole Milk
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 4 Tablespoons Butter, cold and diced
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste or Pure Vanilla Extract
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- 1 Tablespoon + 2 Teaspoons Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Large Egg Yolk
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 156 grams (1 ¼ Cup) All-Purpose Flour/ Plain Flour
- 80 grams (⅔ Cup) Powdered/ Icing/ Confectioners Sugar
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 4oz (8 Tablespoons) Butter, cold & cut into 12 chunks
- Fresh Fruit (Blackberries, Raspberry, Blueberries, Strawberries, Kiwi or Mango)
- Apricot Jam
- In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat add the whole milk. Let cook for a couple of minutes to warm it up - do not boil the milk.
- While milk is warming, in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, corn starch, salt, and sugar. Whisk for two minutes, the mixture should be much lighter in color.
- Once the milk mixture is warmed slowly add a little bit to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Then add all of the milk slowly and whisk to combine.
- Add mixture back to the pot and cook over low-medium heat for another couple of minutes, whisking constantly. The mixture will thicken up. You want it quite thick, the mixture will "burp" bubbles will pop on the surface- this shows it is done.
- Take off the heat and immediately add the cold butter and vanilla bean paste or extract. Then pour into an air-tight container, place plastic wrap on top, and push directly on top this helps prevent a thick skin from forming. Let chill in the fridge for at least two hours or up to three days. Rewhisk the pastry cream before using it.
- Mix together the egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Set that aside. In a large bowl or food processor add the flour, sugar, and salt, process until just combined, about 10 seconds.
- Add the cold butter chunks and pulse on high 10-15 times- you will have a crumbly texture with some chunks of butter. If mixing by hand use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until a coarse meal is formed. Don't overmix it you want small chunks of butter left.
- Gently stream in the cream/ egg mixture. If using a food processor the dough, will lump up into a ball, turn off, do not over mix. It does not need to be one cohesive ball as soon as you tip it out of the bowl you can gently press the dough together to form one cohesive ball.
- Place tart dough onto a clean surface and pat into a 6 inch round disc. Work quickly, you don't want to spend too much time working with the dough as the warmth of your hands can melt the butter. Wrap the dough disc tightly in plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 4 days.
- Once the dough has chilled for 30 minutes (if it is in the fridge for more than 30 minutes let the dough sit out to soften a bit before rolling out) place it on a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to gently and evenly roll the dough to ⅛" inch thick, about a 12-inch circle. Make sure to turn the dough multiple times to ensure an even dough. Use a cookie cutter that is large enough to fit your mini tart pan or mini cupcake pan. I got 20 tarts.
- Gently use your fingers to press the dough into the mold- if it cracks a little don't worry just press it back together. Use a fork to prick the crust all over then place it in the freezer for 30 minutes or up to two days (if freezing for longer than 30 minutes wrap the tin in plastic wrap). It is important for the dough to be ice cold when it goes into the oven.
- When ready to bake preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Use parchment paper pieces or lightly spray a piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray and gently press against the tart-greased side down. Fill with dry beans, rice, or pie weights.
- Place the cold tart tin on a baking sheet and bake for 11 minutes then gently remove the foil and bake for another 2-3minutes or until golden brown. Gently place the tart tin on a wire rack to cool completely before using.
- The tarts are best served soon after assembly so I don't suggest assembling more than a few hours before serving. Take one tart shell and fill it with pastry cream, but not too full as the fruit will press the cream out. Add your fruit.
- In a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave melt together some apricot jam with a splash of water to thin it out. Once melted use a pastry brush to brush the fruit with the glaze. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
- My mini tart tin has tarts that are about 2-inches or so and so the cutter I used was about 2.5" or so. I would cut one tart shell and place it in your tray to see if you need to make larger or smaller pastry rounds for your tart tin.
- Prep Time: 30
- Chill Time: 2 Hours
- Cook Time: 35
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: mini fresh fruit tarts, individual fruit tarts, berries and cream tart
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