Fresh Fruit Pastry Cream Tartlets

I love fresh fruit pastry cream tartlets and finally mustered enough courage to make them.  Got the recipe from The Joy of Cooking (pp. 866-867).

I tried the “pat-in-the-pan butter crust” (p.867) and love it.

Ingredients for the crust (makes about eight 3 1/2 inch tartlet crusts)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter softened, cut into 8 pieces
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream (I used 1% milk)


  1. Place the rack in the middle of the oven, preheat to 400’F.
  2. Whisk together flour and salt until combined
  3. Add butter.  Mash the back of a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Drizzle over top the milk (cream)
  5. Stir untill the crumbs look damp and hold together when pinched.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the tartlet pans. Pat evenly over the bottom and sides with your fingertips. Prick the bottom and the side with a fork
  7. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 18-22 minutes, pricking the bottom once or twice if bubbles.
  8. Let cool completely.  Glaze bottom with jam or syrup if desired.
  9. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set the glaze.

Ingredients for the pastry cream (Crème Pâtissière) – p.996:

1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoon s all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoon cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split (optional) or 3/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a medium bowl, beat on high speed until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes sugar, flour, cornstarch, egg yolks.
  2. Meanwhile, combine milk and vanilla bean in a medium stainless-steel or enamel saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Fish out the vanilla bean if you used it.  Gradually pour about one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring to combine.
  4. Scrape the egg mixture back into the pan and cook, whisking constantly and scraping the bottom and corners of the pan to prevent scorching, over low to medium heat until the custard is thickened and begin to bubble.  Then continue to cook, whisking, for 45 to 60 seconds.  Using a clean spatula, scrape the custard into a clean bowl.  If you have not used the vanilla bean, stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Cover the surface of the custard with a piece of wax or parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming.  Let cool, then refrigerate before using.  This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.

To assemble the tart:

  1. Spread the pastry cream evenly over the crust.
  2. Arrange over the cream some small berries, sliced strawberries, thinly sliced fruits
  3. If you wish, brush the fruit lightly with 2-3 tablespoons jelly, melted
  4. Or dust the tart lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
  5. If not serving immediately, store in the refrigerator for no longer than 6 hours.


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