The yellow raspberries I harvested from the allotment recently were so beautiful I wanted to make something pretty enough to do them justice. Having filled a couple of tubs with blackberries too, a fruit tart seemed an ideal way of putting both to good use.
I've peered through the windows of countless patisseries, admiring the artful creations – fruit oh so neatly arranged over crème pâtissière, in little pastry cases. I've eaten a fair few too. But until now, I've never remotely considered making my own.
A quick Google revealed thousands of recipes, but I liked the quick and easy nature of a James Martin recipe for French fruit tart, which I used as a starting point.
Blackberry, Golden Raspberry, Banana and Chocolate Fruit Tart
Adapted from a James Martin recipe
packet ready-rolled puff pastry (approximately 400 grams)
1 egg, beaten
50 grams dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
170 ml double cream
170 ml fresh custard
small punnet blackberries
small punnet raspberries
1 banana, halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced
4 tablespoons plum jelly (I used some I'd made a week or so earlier, from allotment plums)
- Preheat the oven to 200 C.
- Divide the ready rolled puff pastry according to the size and number of tarts you want to make. I divided my sheet into two.
- Lay the puff pastry rectangles on a baking tray covered with either a silicon baking mat or baking paper.
- Using a sharp knife, score a frame around the edge, making sure you don't cut the pastry all the way through and prick the base of the tart (excluding the border) with a fork.
- Brush the border with a wash of beaten egg.
- Bake the pastry until golden brown and crisp (20-25 minutes).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, gently press the centre of the pastry down to leave a raised frame around the edge.
- Melt the chocolate using short bursts of 10-20 seconds in a microwave, or using the traditional bain marie technique.
- Brush the melted chocolate over the bottom of the pastry. Be delicate as a heavy hand will cause layers of the pastry to come loose and shift.
- Leave to the side to allow the chocolate to set.
- In the meantime, mix the vanilla extract into the double cream and whip to stiff peaks. Fold the custard into the whipped cream.
- Spoon and spread the cream mixture over the pastry base.
- Arrange the fruit on top as you like.
- Heat the plum jelly and, using a pastry brush, glaze the fruit generously but gently.
- Allow the tart to set before serving.
The tart was magnificent, if I do say so myself, and by far the prettiest thing I've made, even though I know it looks messy next to the work of skilled patisserie makers, amateur and professional alike.
I was particularly happy with the invisible chocolate layer which added both a thin layer of solid bite and a lovely flavour too.
And the plum jelly worked better than I could have hoped for as a thick, protective and glossy glaze.
I was a little too free-handed when adding the custard (hence the amounts above). I'd adjust the ratios slightly back in favour of the whipped double cream, to give a slightly stiffer texture to the finished cream filling. It tasted fabulous but was a touch runnier than ideal.
Other than that, I can't wait to make these again with whatever berries and fruits I have to hand.