Italian Fruit Tart is an Italian dessert cake made with fresh fruits and pastry cream. A classic recipe of Italian pastry, greedy and elegant, which everyone loves.
You can make Italian fruit tart using fresh fruit of the type you prefer. You can use strawberries, kiwis, bananas, peaches, apricots … the important thing is that it’s all fresh fruit. The limit is only your imagination and your taste. The recipe we are going to show you is made with strawberries and berries.
You need to make an excellent shortcrust pastry, which we will teach you how to make. This will be the crust of your Italian fruit tart.
Finally you need to make the pastry cream. Italian Crema Pasticcera recipe is a classic of Italian cuisine too. We will show you how to make pastry cream in just a few steps!
So let’s see together how to make Italian Fruit Tart Recipe (Crostata di Frutta).
Italian Fruit Tart Recipe
- For shortcrust pastry: 15 Min + at least 1 hour to cool in the fridge
- For pastry cream: 15 Min
- For the fruit tart: 15 Min
- For shortcrust pastry: 20 Min + at least 1 hour to cool at room temperature
- For pastry cream: 5 Min + at least 1 hour to cool in the fridge
Yields: 6 people
These are the doses to make about 500 g (1,1 lb) of shortcrust pastry for a tart baked in a tart pan of about 22 cm ( 9 inch) in diameter
For Shortcrust Pastry (Pasta Frolla)
- 250 g (8,8 oz = about 2 cups) of “00” flour
- 100 g (3,5 oz = 1/2 cup) of granulated sugar
- 120 g ( 4,2 0z = about 1 stick) of unsalted cold butter
- 1 whole medium egg at room temperature
- 1 medium egg yolk at room temperature
- zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
- 1/6 teaspoon of fine salt
For Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera)
- 4 medium egg yolks
- 100 g (3,5 oz = 1/2 cup) of granulated sugar
- 40 g (2,5 oz = 3 1/2 tablespoons) of all purpose flour
- 500 ml (2 cups) of whole fresh milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean or zest of half lemon
For the Fresh Fruit Decoration
- 200 g (about 1 cup) of blueberries
- 200 g (about 1 cup) of strawberries
- 200 g ( about 1 cup) of raspberries
Note : Of course, you can choose the fruits you like best, about 600 g (3 cups)
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
One of the difficulties of Italian fruit tart recipe (or tart recipes in general) is to remove the tart crust, once cooked, from the tart pan. You have to do it really delicately in order not to break the shortcrust pastry shell. For this reason it’s very useful to use a tart pan with removable bottom. We recommend this set of 3 round tart pans, 11, 9 and 4 inch, the latter useful for making mini fruit tarts.
Another difficult thing to do in this recipe is to bake the tart case without it swelling. The first trick is to pierce the pastry with a fork. The second is to fill the tart case with special weights for tart crust. You can use even beans or rice. We used these pie weights beans made of food grade ceramic stoneware. It can even be an original nice little gift for a friend of yours who loves to bake!
Italian Fruit Tart recipe is basically made of two main preparations: shortcrust pastry and pastry cream. You can make these preparations the day before as the shortcrust pastry must be rolled out when it’s cold, so the longer it stays in the refrigerator the better. Pastry cream must also be cold, so it can be safely stored in the fridge.
That said, lat’s see first thing first how to make shortcrust pastry, then how to make pastry cream.
How to Make Shortcrust Pastry For Italian Fruit Tart
Step 1) – Place the flour on a work surface and make a hole in the center. Pour the sugar, lemon zest (optional), salt and eggs at room temperature.
Step 2) – Mix then add the cold butter. Knead quickly until the dough is homogeneous and non-sticky.
Step 3) – Form a loaf, cover it with cling film and let it cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
For more details, tips, methods and informations about shortcrust pastry, read our more detailed recipe: Pasta Frolla Recipe (Italian Sweet Shortcrust Pastry)
How to Make Pastry Cream for Italian Fruit Tart Recipe
Step 1) – In a saucepan mix the egg yolks with the sugar, using a wooden spoon. Then add the sifted flour a little bit at a time.
Step 2) – Keep stirring for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is blended. Then set aside.
Step 3) – Heat the milk and bring it almost to a boil. Then remove it from the heat and start pouring slowly into the mixture of sugar, eggs and flour. It’s very important to mix constantly. Put on low heat and cook, always stirring, for another 3-4 minutes.
Step 4) – When the cream is well thickened, immediately pour it into a cold container. Cover the cream with cling film and let it cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
For more details, tips, information and variants about Pastry Cream, read our more detailed recipe: Italian Pastry Cream Recipe (Crema Pasticcera).
How to Make Tart Crust Case
Step 1) – Take the shortcrust pastry from the refrigerator and roll it out to a thickness of about 5 mm (about a quarter of an inch).
Step 2) – Place the shortcrust pastry in a tart mold, lined with baking paper. Preferably with the removable bottom, so you will not have difficulty to pull out the tart case once baked.
Step 3) – Cut off the excess edges of dough with the help of a rolling pin as in the pictures.
Step 4) – Prick the bottom of the tart crust with the prongs of a fork. Then place a sheet of baking paper on the tart crust case.
Step 5) – Add rice, beans or the special ceramic weights beans for tarts and pies. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350 F) for about 15 minutes.
Step 6) – Lift and remove the parchment paper with the weights and let the tart crust bake for another 5 minutes. Finally, take it out of the oven and let the tart crust case cool completely. In the next steps we’ll see how to assemble all the preparations and make a terrific Italian fruit tart!
How to Make Italian Fruit Tart Recipe: Assemble the Preparations
Step 7) – Finally, only when the pastry shell is cold you can go ahead to fill your tart with pastry cream and fruit. First of all pour the cold pastry cream. You can do it with the pastry bag or with a spoon, leveling the cream very well.
Step 8) – Now you can complete your fruit tart with your favorite fruit. If you are preparing a berry tart, the secret to a perfect result is to decorate them with dried berries! So wash them beforehand with a damp cloth and dry them immediately! In this way they will remain firm without withering.
Arrange strawberries and berries as you like: either in concentric circles or randomly, trying to meow the types and colors and covering the spaces well. Keep Italian fruit tart at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.
Keep your Italian fruit tart for 1-2 days maximum in the refrigerator, possibly covered with a glass cake dome. Shortcrust pastry can be frozen raw, while freezing the finished tart is not recommended.
How to Glaze a Fruit Tart
Unlike the classical mixed fruit tart, on tart berries it’s not necessary to put the gelatin to preserve the oxidation of the fruit (for example for apples, pears and bananas), because strawberries and berries don’t deteriorate easily, especially if you use them whole.
But if you don’t use only berries, but also other fruit and you want to prevent it from darkening, you can brush over the fruit a simple apricot jam that give it a beautiful glaze.
Apricot glaze recipe is very simple: dissolve 6 tablespoons of apricot jam with the juice of one lemon and 3 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over low heat.
Bring to a boil without ever stopping stirring, then let it cool. You can even choose your favorite jam, based on the taste and colors of your fruit tart. Brush over your fruit tart with a pastry brush. Let it cool in the fridge.
How to Decorate a Fruit Tart
Choose always fresh fruit to decorate and enrich your fruit tart, creating each time a personalized tart, according to the season and your tastes. Have fun creating new compositions with fruit, alternating tastes and colors.
Finally, you can sprinkle your fruit tart lightly with icing sugar.
Another original idea for the final decoration consists in alternating the berries with large drops of pastry cream with the help of a pastry bag. The chromatic effect is very nice but the pastry cream must be really thick.
Instead of the pastry cream for your fruit tart, you can also try the delicious Italian Mascarpone cream, the one used for the famous Tiramisu so to speak. This cream also goes perfectly with berries and has a very delicate flavor.