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Fresh Strawberry and Kiwi Fruit Tart (with Pastry Cream)

Sunday, November 13, 2011 | Labels: , , |

I know that it's no longer spring/ summer in the Northern hemisphere but as you know, it's the opposite in the Southern hemisphere so when I saw some pretty-looking strawberries (from Australia) at the local grocery store, I thought of making something I have not tried making but have always wanted to - the classic and ever-popular fruit tart.  These tarts are probably one of my favourite things to buy when I go into any pastry shop. To be honest, I have been 'cheating' lately and have not baked from scratch for quite a few months so I thought it was about time I made something that didn't call for 'store-bought' and I wanted to make sure my baking 'skills' were not too rusty. There are three main components in a classic fruit tart, the crust, the pastry cream (crème patisserie) and the final assembly of the fruits. This is a dessert best assembled right before serving especially if you're like me and you're not fond of brushing the fruits with glaze. The pastry shell however can be made beforehand and either frozen at the point right before rolling or pre-baked (but of course this will not taste as good as freshly baked ones).

Strawberry and Kiwi Fruit Tart (with Pastry Cream)

For the pastry cream, it is quite very important not to multitask when you're cooking it as you have to remove it from the heat right as it starts to thicken and firm up, if not your pastry cream will most probably end up lumpy.  I actually made my pastry cream twice today as the first time, my cream turned into a lumpy mess since I was too busy trying to do something else at the same time so I only have myself to blame for that. I used strawberries and kiwi fruit for the topping as their natural tartness helps cut into the sweetness and richness of the pastry cream and crust.  Patience is definitely a virtue for this but it was such fun to make not to mention very pretty and delicious.  Admittedly, I did hesitate when slicing the tart as it took such a long time to assemble and it was such a labour of my love baking.  As you can guess, I was hanging out in the kitchen most of the day today and almost contemplated cancelling on my friends, claiming (genuine) fatigue but got dragged out nevertheless.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Notes/ Tips from Jen:

When making the crust, anytime you see that the dough is getting too soft, place it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before continuing to roll.  The pastry shell I made today was blind-baked which should help to keep sogginess at bay but another thing you can do is to brush the insides of the pastry shell with apricot glaze before adding the pastry cream.

When making the pastry cream, be sure to remove it from the heat immediately as it starts to thicken and firm up to avoid lumpiness.  No amount of whisking after that will help the lumpiness unfortunately.

If you are not serving the fruit tart right after assembly, you can either brush the tops of the fruits with an apricot glaze (see below) or you can lightly toss the fruits in the apricot glaze before placing on the tart.
Serves 4-6

You will need a tart pan (9 inch) preferably with a removable bottom, a rolling pin, some baking paper and baking weights/ uncooked rice (the uncooked rice once used cannot be used to cook rice but you can keep it in an air-tight container and use it as baking weights again)

For the crust: (Recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine)

1 1/2 cups (225g) all-purpose flour
115g salted butter, at room temperature (if using unsalted butter, add about 1/8 tsp salt)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
Butter, for greasing the tart pan or use a spray


Firstly, sift the flour (and salt if using) together into a large bowl.

Beat the butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the beaten egg and mix until incorporated. Add flour mixture and shape into a ball. With your hands, lightly press it into a disc shape and cover with clingwrap. Place in fridge for about 20-25 minutes.

Prepare two pieces of baking paper (large enough for rolling out the dough). Roll the dough in between the two pieces of paper for easier rolling and also to avoid messy, floury counter tops. Roll the dough into a circular shape by turning the dough after every few rolls. Roll the dough into a thickness of about 3mm.

Place on a tray still covered with the baking paper and refrigerate for about 10 minutes or longer if it still seems too soft. Grease the tart pan with some butter lightly (bottom and the sides). Line the pan with the dough and trim off the edges. Lightly pat the dough into the pan if needed. Prick the base of the dough at a few places with a fork. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate again for another 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and remove the tart pan from the fridge. Place a piece of baking paper on the dough and fill with baking weights/ uncooked rice. This is called blind-baking and is to avoid the crust from being soggy once the filling is added. Blind-bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the paper and baking weights/ rice and then continue baking until golden for another 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in pan completely.

For the pastry cream:

Ingredients: (Recipe lightly adapted from Corner Cafe)
2 cups whole milk
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolks
1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsps corn flour (corn starch) and 1 tbsp custard powder
50g salted butter


Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the milk, sugar and vanilla essence in a large bowl.  Mix in the cornflour, custard powder.

Bring the rest of the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan on medium heat.  Pour the milk in a small stream into the mixture above while whisking all the time.  Once incorporated, pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan.

On medium heat, cook the mixture while whisking all the time.  Watch closely and once the mixture thickens and starts firming up, remove from heat immediately to avoid lumps.  This took me less than 5 minutes to do so be careful.  Once removed from heat, add butter and whisk in to incorporate.

Pour the hot custard into a bowl and bring down to room temperature by cooling in another bowl of iced water.  Once cooled to room temperature, cover with clingwrap touching the top of the custard to avoid the development of a 'skin' much like how we make the 'tangzhong' starter.  Place in fridge until you need it for assembly of the tart.

For assembly:


16 strawberries, sliced
6 kiwi fruits, halved and sliced
2 tbsps apricot jam plus 1 tbsp water, heated for glaze (optional)


Once the crust is completely cooled, you can assemble the tart but I suggest for you to assemble right before you're serving the tart.  Pour the pastry cream above into the pastry shell and smooth with a spatula.

Arrange the slices of the kiwi fruit and strawberries on the pastry cream according to your preference, either in a circular manner as I did today or just scatter as you wish.  You can substitute with other fruits like mango, lychee, apricots, nectarines, peaches, blueberries etc.

At this point, you can glaze the fruits with the apricot mixture if you wish.  Alternatively, if you want to keep the fruits fresh for even longer on the tart, you can lightly toss the slices in the apricot glaze before assembly.


Strawberry and Kiwi Fruit Tart (with Pastry Cream)


kelvinwu said...

Looks like a lot of effort! :p 

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

haha, you can tell?!

Xiaolu said...

Wow beautiful topping!  I'd love to have a big slice of this :)

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Please help yourself dear!! thanks :D

Fern @ To Food with Love said...

Nicely decorated with plenty of fruit! I can see that your tart shell looks thin and crispy! :)

Mullally51 said...


Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Thanks Fern! It has been awhile since I baked my own pastry shell...I feel out of practice :)

PeterH said...

Wow this looks perfect! Your baking skills are definitely not 'rusty' :)

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Haha - thanks for your kind compliments, Peter!

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...


PeterH said...

^ You're welcome Jen! Just being honest :)

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...


Littlecornerofmine said...

How pretty, you assembled it very well.  Yup yup lots of hardwork/love in making this.  :)

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Thanks Jane! Yeah haha

Christine's Recipes said...

Lovely tart. I've been craving something like this for the hot weather these few days.

Jeannie said...

What a pretty looking tart, I would hesitate to cut into it too if I were you....great job for a first time making this!

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Thanks Jeannie! :)

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Beeeeeeeeeeeeautiful Jen!!!  It will take me hours to decorate this tart.  lol.  I love it!

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Aww thanks dearie! I did hang out quite awhile in the kitchen for the whole tart hah xoxo

Reem | Simply Reem said...

God this is one beautifully and artistically done tart....
I can really enjoy a slice of this goodness now.

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Thank you for your kind compliments :)

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Thanks Christine!

sara said...

Wow, what a gorgeous tart! Amazing!! :)

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Thanks Sara! :)

Christine said...

Hey Jann, your Tart
recipe has been selected by Knapkins in our Recipe Guessing Game. Invite fans
to play:

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