Fresh Berry Tart

I do not like summer. Really, what’s all the fuss? It’s just hot, and I don’t like being hot. Of course, if I lived somewhere other than the South, I might feel differently. Here, our summer seems to last half of the year.

I don’t mean to be start out being so negative, but all of my summer-related whining does have a point. There are a couple of things that I like about summer. Well, now that I think about it, there may just be one: fresh berries.

Tarts like this just aren’t the same in any other season. All those berries piled on top of a lovely, cool pastry cream. And all that on top of sweet cookie crust.

This is a bit unlike my usual recipe offerings. It is a bit more involved, although I wouldn’t classify it as difficult. Quinn and I teamed up on this one, and that made the process much easier.

Turn fresh berries into a sweet, beautiful dessert with this Fresh Berry Tart.

Any berries can be used on the tart. We chose raspberries and blackberries because they were the freshest, prettiest ones we could find. This is the cover recipe for The Pie and Pastry Bible. That tart is covered with a much bigger variety of berries. I like the adaptability of recipes like this. You can change the berries as the season progresses or as your tastes demand.

By the way, normally I would proudly display a photo of a slice of this tart. But, as it was consumed fairly quickly, all we have are photos of an intact tart taken right before it was served. Hopefully, you will enjoy them anyway.

Fresh Berry Tart

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Fresh Berry Tart


    For the crust (pâte sucrée):
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 scant cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • For the whipped pastry cream:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups half-and-half, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 to 1 & 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • For the topping:
  • about 1/4 cup fruit preserves, such as apricot, raspberry, or currant for glazing (optional)
  • 3-4 cups fresh berries, rinsed, hulled (if necessary), and dried


To make the crust:

Place butter and sugar in a food processor. Pulse about 15 times until sugar disappears. Add flour and salt and pulse again about 15 times until butter is no larger than small peas.

Stir together egg yolk and cream. Add to the food processor and pulse about 8 times, just until incorporated. The dough should be in crumbly pieces. Transfer dough to a platic bag and press from the outside just until it holds together.

Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap, knead the dough a few times until it becomes one smooth piece. Flatten into a 6-inch disc. Wrap well and refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes until firm enough to put into the tart pan.

Roll dough between lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap into an 1/8-inch-thick circle. Work quickly so that dough does not soften. If it becomes too soft, place it (in the plastic wrap) on a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. For a 9 & 1/2- by 1-inch tart pan, cut dough to an 11-inch circle. Lift the dough using the plastic wrap. Invert the dough and drape it evenly into the tart pan. Remove plastic wrap and press dough into the sides of the pan. The dough should come about 1/8 inch above the rim of the pan because it will fall during baking.

Bake at 425° for 5 minutes. When the dough starts to puff, prick it lightly with a fork. Then bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes.

Baked crust will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

To make the pastry cream:

Whisk together eggs and cornstarch. Gradually add 1/4 cup half-and-half. Whisk until smooth and cornstarch is dissolved.

Place sugar in a medium heavy nonreactive saucepan. Stir in remaining 1 & 3/4 cups of half-and-half and salt. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Whisk 2 tablespoons of hot mixture into egg mixture. Pass the egg mixture through a strainer into a small bowl.

Bring the half-and-half mixture to a boil again. Quickly add egg mixture and whisk rapidly for 20-30 seconds. The mixture should become very thick. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Immediately pour into a bowl and place a piece of greased plastic wrap down into the bowl directly over cream to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature (about an hour). Then refrigerate until cold. May be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month.

Whip desired amount of heavy cream. Fold into pastry cream. For this recipe, I used roughly equal amounts of pastry cream and whipped cream.

To assemble:

If using preserves with whole fruit or seeds, microwave until liquid and bubbling, stirring once or twice. Strain. This should yield about 3 tablespoons. Brush onto the bottom and sides of cooled crust.

Spread pastry cream evenly into the crust. Place fresh berries on top. Refrigerate 1-3 hours before serving.


Recipe adapted from The Pie and Pastry Bible.

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  1. Mandy June 3, 2008 Reply

    Tell me about the summer heat. We have just moved down to the south. I can’t imagine how hot it will get in the coming months. I need berries dessert like this to cheer up my days. :p

  2. magpie June 3, 2008 Reply

    Ohhh I adore fresh berries too. That tart is beautiful :)

  3. Tanya June 4, 2008 Reply

    That looks delicious. I love raspberries and blackberries on a fruit tart.

    By the way, I live in Chicago, where winter goes on forever. Cold, nasty winters. I’m jealous of people who live in warm weather climates!

  4. peabody June 4, 2008 Reply

    I hate Summer. I write about how much I hate Summer all the time. That tart on the other hand I love.

  5. rachel June 4, 2008 Reply

    Oh yum! I love summer berries too! And am not a fan of the heat. My mother on the other hand LOVES hot, humid weather.

  6. Bridget June 4, 2008 Reply

    If summer never happened, I’d be happy. I’ve lived in the northeast and the midwest, and summer is no better there than anywhere else, trust me!

    Like you though, I think that berries are the best part of summer!

  7. Patricia Scarpin June 4, 2008 Reply

    Jen, don’t worry – the photos you posted are enough for us to drool!! :)
    I don’t like summer, either – too hot. I prefer milder days, like the ones we have in the fall and spring.

  8. Elizabeth June 4, 2008 Reply

    I’m not a fan of July and August – but I do enjoy the milder summer times. Your tart is gorgeous and the pictures are fantastic!

  9. Amanda June 4, 2008 Reply

    I’m all about spring. Cold nights where a comforter is needed, but warm afternoons when lying in the sun is necessary. By the way, how is that Pie & Pastry Bible book? I’ve been debating on my next baking book. Between The Cake Bible & The Pie & Pastry Bible, I’ve got a lot of options here.

  10. Oh, I’ve always wanted to make the cover recipe from this cookbook! Your photos are lovely and I agree. A cool, fruit tart is a perfect dessert to enjoy on the dog days of summer.

  11. giz June 4, 2008 Reply

    Great photos, great ingredients – (great because I have them in my fridge) – just printed the recipe – oh yeah!!!

  12. The Spotted Apron June 4, 2008 Reply

    Wow. How crazy. I just made a very similar fruit tart! Yours looks delicious. It’s such a great idea for the summer.

  13. megan June 4, 2008 Reply

    Those are very tempting.
    Beautiful berries!

  14. Sophie June 4, 2008 Reply

    OOOH! I completely agree with you about Summers in the South! I currently live in Texas; it’s been 100 degrees for more than half the week already, and I’m dying!!! The only thing I like about summer are the tasty berries, too, and you’ve captured these beautifully :). Lucky for me, this is my last summer here in TX for awhile, since the hubby and I will be moving to the Boston area this coming July…I will miss the summer berries though; they don’t go in season over there until Fall :(.

  15. Nan (and Jim) June 4, 2008 Reply

    So good! Sorry you had no chance for photos of this one since we gobbled it up! This may be one of my favorite things you have ever made. It is so light and cool–perfect for summer. This one’s a keeper!

  16. jennifer June 4, 2008 Reply

    Mandy, I feel for you and your first summer in the South. Just wait until July and August.

    Thanks, magpie!

    Tanya, most days I’d take cold weather over the endless hot days. I’m sure too much of either one is tough.

    Thanks, Peabody. Glad I’m not alone.

    Rachel, I don’t get how people like being hot. To each his own, huh?

    Bridget, I could definitely pass right over summer and go straight from spring to fall.

    Thanks, Patricia! I’m beginning to think no one likes hot weather!

    Thanks, Elizabeth! I’m fine until it gets 80+. Then, I just know it’s going to get worse.

    Amanda, I’ve marked several recipes to try from this book. This was my first one to make. It looks like a fantastic book, though.

    Thanks, Sandie!

    giz, I hope you like it!

    Spotted Apron, great minds, right? :-)

    Thanks, megan!

    Sophie, we haven’t quite made it to 100, but these 90s are bad enough. I’m sure your Boston summers will be much more pleasant, even without the berries.

    Thanks, Nan! Glad you liked it.

  17. brilynn June 4, 2008 Reply

    I just made fruit tarts in baking class last week and now I see them pop up everywhere, it looks great!

  18. Maria June 4, 2008 Reply

    I’m from Australia and have never heard of half & half could you explain what it is so maybe I could use something similar to it.

  19. kelley June 4, 2008 Reply

    i literally want to pick those berries right out of my computer screen.

  20. jennifer June 4, 2008 Reply

    brilynn, I guess it’s just the season for berries!

    Maria, half-and-half is equal parts whole milk and cream. Hope that helps!

    Thanks, kelley! I’ll take that as a compliment.

  21. Kelly June 4, 2008 Reply

    This looks really yummy–especially for fruit lovers! I’m new to food blogging, and I am glad I found yours! I’ll definitely be coming back!

  22. LorY June 4, 2008 Reply

    I did not miss the summer until I moved to NY. I hated it because it was no different than any other season in South Texas. However, now that I live in NY I try to enjoy being outside as much as I can. However, don’t get me wrong I do enjoy the a/c on high when I get a chance. Do you think this recipe can be used with frozen berries?

  23. Jessica Starr June 4, 2008 Reply

    Your Berry Tart looks amazing! My dad is coming home from a trip to India on Friday, and now I want to make him something with fresh berries to welcome him home. Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. Emiline June 5, 2008 Reply


  25. stacie June 5, 2008 Reply

    I’m also a Chicago girl and wish I lived south, althouh you are right, I’d get sick of the warmth before I know it, I’ll have to aim in between if I ever move. The tart looks so delicious!

  26. RecipeGirl June 5, 2008 Reply

    Slice picture not needed at all… the other pictures are amazing!!

    Other than Florida in May, I’ve never been to the south. So I don’t think I’ve experienced the miserable heat you describe. We have pretty nice, mild weather here in San Diego with pretty much zero humidity. You should escape here for a vacation!

  27. jennifer June 5, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Kelley! I’m glad you found me.

    LorY, I could put up with most any weather if I lived in New York! 😉

    Jessica, hope you and your dad like the tart!

    Thanks, Emiline!

    stacie, it wouldn’t take long to get tired of the hot weather. It’s only June and I’m already wishing for October.

    Thanks, RecipeGirl! I’d love zero humidity. I wouldn’t know what to do! I’d love to visit San Diego some time.

  28. Deborah June 5, 2008 Reply

    I love summer, but mostly because I hate the winter so much. And here in Utah, the winter seems to last about 8 months. But this tart is gorgeous, and makes me crave some fresh berries!

  29. Mrs Ergul June 5, 2008 Reply

    I love tarts and I love berries. This is a perfect recipe for me! And about the heat, tell me about it! It’s summer all year round here in Singapore :(

  30. Jamie June 5, 2008 Reply

    This looks delicious. I’m pretty sure I gained half a pound just drooling over the photos. Time to pay a visit to the produce section of the grocery store and see what they have in the way of raspberries (my favorite!)

    I hate the summer, too. It’s like living in an oven for 7 straight months; I enjoy baking, but not like that.

  31. jennifer June 5, 2008 Reply

    Deborah, I guess we all want what we can’t have. You want summer and I want more winter. 😉

    Thanks, Mrs Ergul! I don’t think I could take year-round hot weather!!!

    Thanks, Jamie! Raspberries are my favorite, too. I agree about summer – it’s hard to turn the oven on when it’s so hot.

  32. Heather and mynda June 7, 2008 Reply

    Summer in the Northwest is what we wait for. Take a long vacation in this direction. You will once again love summers.

  33. Kim June 7, 2008 Reply

    Jennifer- Your tart looks wonderful! I hate the summer too and swear I am going to move to get away from the heat every year. My body is already registered at 200 degrees, so the heat kills me. We can complain together. Fabulous photos.

  34. hannah June 7, 2008 Reply

    Every single one of your recipes are beautiful!

  35. Tartelette June 7, 2008 Reply

    On their recent visit my aunt and uncle asked about our seasons and I replied “we have summer and less summer”…today was already scorching hot and it’s not summer yet! The tart however reminds me of all the good points about summer like berries…lovely!

  36. jennifer June 8, 2008 Reply

    Heather and mynda, I may have to do just that some time!

    Thanks, Kim! Rest assured I’ll be complaining about the heat for the remainder of the summer. :-)

    Thanks, hannah!

    Tartelette, that’s an apt description. It certainly feels that way to me.

  37. Elle June 9, 2008 Reply

    Oh, this is gorgeous! We’re in a heatwave right now in NH, and yuck! it’s hot. I hate it. Give me cool fall days or a blizzard any day!

  38. jennifer June 9, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Elle! I’ll take those kinds of days, too. But, I’ll have a long time to wait to get there….

  39. I hear ya girlfriend! This Florida girl is no fan of summer either. What’s to love about 95 degree temps and humidity?

    I am, however, a big fan of beautiful and delicious looking fresh fruit tarts! It looks to die for!

  40. the caked crusader June 10, 2008 Reply

    I agree that there is nothing quite like a good raspberry or strawberry. Great minds must think alike – I made raspberry and coconut cupcakes this week!

  41. nina June 10, 2008 Reply

    Oh, this looks absolutely scrumptious. The berries are so beautiful, you could pick them off the screen…

  42. Patti June 11, 2008 Reply

    Your picture of that tart looks absolutely beautiful! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a berry look so heroic in my life…

  43. jennifer June 11, 2008 Reply

    Susan, all that heat is definitely not for me. Yuck.

    caked crusader, I love raspberry and coconut together. I’ll bet those cupcakes were delicious!

    Thanks, nina!

    Thanks, Patti! I don’t think I’ve ever heard a berry described as “heroic.” 😉

  44. Constance June 15, 2008 Reply

    Mmmm, love the berries too. Plus ice cold watermelon, fresh corn on the cob and sun ripened tomatoes. So summer has some blessings.

    But our summers here in Philadelphia are much like yours, hot, hazy and humid. Though they don’t last quite as long as yours (thank goodness).

  45. jennifer June 15, 2008 Reply

    Constance, summer does have a few good points. I might like it better if it were the same length here as there. :-)

  46. Sophie June 20, 2008 Reply

    We’d like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me,, if you’re interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details. (Click on my name in the message to visit our blog. :)

  47. Debbie September 19, 2008 Reply

    An absolutely beautiful tart. Looks too good to be eaten!!!!

  48. Sunny December 6, 2012 Reply

    I made this a while ago and I must say it is delicious! It came out with a little too much cream, but i’m not complaining! (: Thank you!

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