Mini Fruit Tarts Recipe with Pastry Cream and the BEST Shortbread Crust

Home » Mini Fruit Tarts Recipe with Pastry Cream and the BEST Shortbread Crust

Sneak Preview: These mini fruit tarts are filled with vanilla pastry cream inside a homemade shortbread crust and topped with fresh fruit. Perfect for a crowd.

fruit and cream mini tarts

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Why are mini fruit tarts an outstanding choice to serve a crowd?

  • Mini-tarts are pre-portioned. Avoid the hazards of slicing a pie with a crumbly or tough crust, a runny or frozen filling, or customizing the serving size.
  • Small enough to eat out of hand–forks not required
  • Choose fruit according to what’s least expensive.
  • Not too much crust, not too much filling. The ratio is ju-u-u-ust right.
  • Make the crusts ahead of time.

The shortbread crusts are so fresh and tasty when they are homemade. When I first started making tarts, I made plenty of ugly ones. However, my boys were always standing by to eat them. Well-l-l-l, I ate my share, too.

The pastry cream comes together quickly in a microwave, even if you have an old or small microwave oven. Top each tart with the fresh fruit of your choice. Add sparkle with a touch of glaze (currant jelly).

Don’t miss the tip at the end for an easy way to freeze the egg whites leftover from making the vanilla pastry cream.

Is this recipe easy enough for beginners?

The filling is easy enough for anybody who can operate a blender and a microwave. If you haven’t tried making pudding or pie filling with a microwave yet, don’t worry. I’ll hold your hand.

Making the cream pastry is so easy with a microwave!

Here’s why?

  • No worries about scorching the milk or letting it boil over
  • No tempering the eggs
  • No lumps if you use a blender and whisk according to the directions
  • No double boiler needed (thank goodness since I gave mine away years ago)

Note: If you don’t want to use a blender, use a whisk and a bowl. Combine all the ingredients and give them a whippin’. If your final product has any lumps, run it through a sieve.

About the crust…

These mini-crusts are somewhat tedious and may be challenging for people who have never made a pie crust. However, store-bought, pre-baked mini crusts are readily available if you are a novice baker or trying to make these in quantity.

By way of encouragement:

You can make the crusts ahead of time. The raw dough pressed into the molds can be kept in the freezer for over a month. Planning will give you plenty of time to practice and build your confidence.

Why won’t the pastry cream get thick?

If you have cooked the pastry cream according to the directions and it is still not thick, keep cooking.

Remember, microwaves vary wildly in how fast they cook. Differences in the starting temperature of your ingredients are another variable.

It may take less time than I have suggested if you have a relatively new and powerful microwave. On the other hand, it may take even longer than the recipe states if you have a smaller or less powerful microwave oven.

Your pastry cream mixture will get thick if you cook it long enough and follow the recipe precisely.

What fruit is best for fruit tartlets?

Small strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and kiwi are my favorite. The fresher and sweeter they are, the better. Stay away from watery fruits like melons.

How can I keep the fruit on top of the tart fresh as long as possible?

Don’t wash fresh fruit under running water. Instead, wipe the fruit off with a damp paper towel or cloth. Dry fruit will help the glaze adhere and keep the fruit looking lovely longer.

Can I make these mini fruit tarts ahead of time?

Crusts: If more convenient, make the tart shells 1-2 months ahead of time and store them in the freezer. Freeze individually shaped tart shells (unbaked)or the entire rolls of dough. Prepared crusts, whether frozen or not, can be baked the day before.

Filling: Make the custard at least 3 hours ahead so it can firm up as it cools. If you make the cream pastry a day earlier, give it a good whip before pouring it into the shells.

Putting tarts together: Assemble the mini pies the day you want to serve them. If you do it the day before, the crusts will absorb moisture from the custard and lose their crispness.

Add the fruit as you’re getting ready to serve them. The fruit will eventually leak juices that will affect their appearance.

 assembling fruit tarts
Make the pastry shells yourself with this recipe for the shortbread crust. Molds are available from Amazon.

4 secrets for making miniature shortbread crusts:

 

1. Grease and flour your molds generously.

If you use silicone molds like the ones shown in this post, you won’t have to worry about this. Otherwise, Baker’s Secret is perfect for the job. Another option is homemade pan release or GOOP.

2. Freezing the raw tart crusts is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.

Otherwise, the tart shells will shrink and melt the minute they hit the oven.

3. Place foil inside crusts before baking.

Press the tiny squares of foil down against the crust. The foil will keep crusts from rising in the middle while they bake. No other weight is necessary. If you have trouble with the foil sticking, use non-stick aluminum foil.

Save the used foil if you want to. It’s reusable with your next batch of crusts.

4. Turn the crusts out of the pan within 3-4 minutes after coming out of the oven.

Do it quickly but gently.  These are a bit fragile when warm. As mentioned before these shortbread crusts taste like shortbread, so the broken ones are great for eating by themselves. (The crusts NEVER stick to the silicone molds. I can’t recommend them enough.)

variation--a full-size fruit tart with vanilla pastry cream filling
Make small tarts or a larger one if you prefer.  A dab of currant jelly adds sparkle.
storyboard showing how to roll out crusts

How to make mini-tart crusts:

This picture from my post about Chocolate Ganache Mini-Tarts illustrates the process of making the tart crusts. Don’t miss the video on this post.

How to make vanilla pastry cream in a microwave:

Combining ingredients into a blender
Step #1: Pour the milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks into a blender. Blend for 5 seconds.
pouring uncooked custard into a microwave-safe batter bowl
Step #2: Pour the filling into a 2-quart microwave-safe Pyrex bowl or pitcher.
Using a whisk to stir custard while cooking in a microwave
Step #3: Microwave on HIGH for 6-8 minutes, stopping halfway to stir and again after every minute.
filling gets thicker
Keep microwaving until your cream starts to thicken as seen in the picture above.
Whisking in butter and vanilla.
Step #4: Whisk butter and vanilla extract into the cream filling until smooth.
As the pastry cream cools, it will get thicker, but it won’t get firm until the mixture is thoroughly chilled.
cooked pastry cream is covered with plastic wrap to prevent a skin.
Step #5: Fill tart shells with warm pastry cream. If you’re not ready to assemble the tarts yet, cover them with plastic wrap. Press the wrap next to the surface of the cooked filling so it won’t form a skin over the top.

Kitchen tip: How to freeze leftover egg whites:

Since you only need egg yolks to make the cream filling, I like to freeze the whites. The silicone molds I recommend for these tarts are the perfect container for one egg white.

As soon as the egg whites freeze solid, you can peel the silicone away from the egg white. Then, collect them in a zippered plastic bag and stash them in the freezer. When you accumulate enough egg whites, try these Spicy Pecans, Coffee Angel Food Cake, or this Chocolate and Vanilla Angel Food Cake.

More mini-tart recipes for pie lovers:

  • Chocolate Ganache Mini-Tarts: Fill chocolate or vanilla crusts with a decadent but easy bittersweet chocolate ganache.
  • Pumpkin Pie Mini Tarts: These mini-tarts are easy to carry to Grandma’s house or add to the dessert buffet. The small size makes them easy to grab and eat.
  • Mini Lemon Tarts: Make these tartlets with lemon curd and homemade créme fraîche. Pile the filling into homemade shortbread crusts and decorate with fruit. It’s a little bit rich but the perfect size for satisfying an after-dinner sweet tooth.
  • Mini Strawberry Tarts with a Homemade Shortbread Crust–what a great way to display and enjoy fresh strawberries!
  • Mini Lemon Tarts: These no-bake cheesecake tarts will be the talk of your party. Mascarpone cheese is the secret ingredient.
  • Chocolate Cream Tart (Made in a Microwave): Chocolate cream pie with a filling made in the microwave, then nestled into a graham cracker pie crust.

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula


Mini Fruit Tarts with Vanilla Pastry Cream

These shortbread-crusted tarts are filled with a light, creamy custard and topped with fresh fruit of your choice.
5 from 201 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Chill Time 3 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Desserts
Servings 13 -14 tarts

Ingredients

Mini-Tart Crust:

  • cups unbleached flour
  • cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter - 1 stick, chilled
  • 1 egg yolk - from a large egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Cream Filling:

  • cups milk
  • cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks - from large-size eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze

  • ¼ cup currant jelly

Instructions
 

Crust:

  • Combine 1½ c flour, ⅓ c sugar, and ¼ t salt in a food processor.
  • Cut ½ c butter into 8 slices and add to flour mixture, pulsing several times until the mixture resembles oatmeal. Add 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 T cream.
  • Pulse until all ingredients are moistened. Then allow the machine to run a few seconds until the dough starts to stick together. (Add additional drops of cream if the dough seems too dry.)
  • Press dough into a roll like refrigerated cookie dough. Wrap in plastic and chill 30 minutes.
  • Spray molds generously with Baker’s Secret or something like it. (Baker’s Secret is an aerosol spray mix of flour and oil.) If using silicone molds, no greasing is necessary.
  • Slice the roll of dough into 12 pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap into a circle slightly larger than tart molds. Press into a mold with fingers being careful to keep the thickness consistent. Use a knife to trim off any extra at the top. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, overnight or up to a month. (See video for this step.)
  • Place frozen tart shells on a cookie sheet. Press a small square of foil down into each crust and mold it to the shape of the crust. See the picture above.
  • Bake at 400˚F or 200˚C for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until golden brown, usually about 3-4 minutes.

Cream Filling:

  • Add 2 ¾ c milk, ⅔ c sugar, ¼ c cornstarch, ⅙ t salt, and 4 egg yolks, to a blender or food processor bowl. (You can use a bowl and a whisk if that's all you have.)
  • Blend 5 seconds and pour into a 2-quart glass microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave 6-7 minutes on HIGH, whisking until smooth after 3 minutes, then every minute thereafter. (Keep microwaving if not thick after 7 minutes.)
  • Add 2 T butter and 1 t vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  • If not ready to assemble, cover the top of the warm custard with plastic wrap and smooth it to touch the surface. This prevents a skin from forming on top of the cream.

Assembly:

  • Fill each baked tart shells with cream filling. Top with fruit of your choice.

Glaze:

  • Melt 1/4 cup currant jelly in a microwave or on top of the stove and use a brush to dab some shininess on each piece of fruit. It's OK if some drips onto the cream.

Video

Notes

NOTES:
1. If dough in the food processor seems too dry to press into a ball, add a teaspoon or two of milk or cream.
2. Tarts are best eaten the day they are assembled.
3. A dollop of whip cream makes these even better.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Mini Fruit Tarts with Vanilla Pastry Cream
Serving Size
 
1 tart
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
208
Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11
g
17
%
Saturated Fat
 
7
g
44
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
101
mg
34
%
Sodium
 
155
mg
7
%
Carbohydrates
 
24
g
8
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
17
g
19
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keywords: #mini-tarts #tarts #desserts #shortbread crust #cookie crust #celebrations #parties #showers #weddings #fresh fruit #sweets #custard in microwave
Like this recipe? Thanks for leaving a 5-star rating inside the recipe at the top! 🤩
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Recipe Rating




166 Comments

  1. Beautiful! The little tarts looks amazingly delicious and your photo is over the top gorgeous! Such clarity!

  2. These are gorgeous! I want to eat one right now. So festive for the upcoming holiday weekend.

  3. 5 stars
    Welcome back! These look so delicious, Paula. I adore the mini-pink molds. Have a great holiday weekend!

  4. And just when I think your pictures of food can’t get any better, you make these beauties!!!
    Welcome home!!!

  5. Oh dear…major impulse to bite the screen! So beautiful Paula, and yet simple too. Thanks for sharing these.

  6. Tracey@TheKitchenisMyPlayground says:

    Gorgeous! I love to serve ‘little bites’ for dessert, and these are perfect. Love the use of seasonal berries, too.

  7. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Hi Paula! Welcome home! Love these tarts, so pretty and being the shortbread lover that I am, I think I could eat at least 4 or 5 of these in one sitting! Thanks for the tip about where to get the tart shells, so cute!

  8. I love the mini pies, they are so cute. I can’t wait to hear about your trip.
    Have a great holiday weekend.
    Mimi

  9. 5 stars
    I’m making some mini tarts for a wedding I’m doing in November and I’ll be remembering this recipe! I know I’m making chocolate and pumpkin but I might I have to add a vanilla too! Your little tart crusts look perfext!

  10. Oh my goodness don’t these look fab? Yum!

  11. Snippets of thyme says:

    Saw your little tarts on FG and just wanted to pop in to say how cute they are. They are adorable and that filling looks really yummy.

  12. Beautiful! Glad you arrived back safe and sound. These photographs are mouth-watering!

  13. Welcome home….we missed you! So glad you were able to visit the Holy Lands. We toured Israel in March of 2006 and it was breathtaking and overwhelming to see. Many goosebump moments. Thank you for sharing through your blog…I enjoy your insights, photos and recipes.

  14. These tarts look so beautiful. You arranged the fruit perfectly. Your photographs made me very hungry!

  15. Looks adorable… To make the cream in the microwave … I have to try it…

  16. tasteofbeirut says:

    Beautiful and the technique of making pastry cream in the microwave is a novel idea for me! Will try it one of these days!

  17. Looks stunning and very yummy!! 🙂

  18. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit says:

    These tarts are the perfect way to serve all of the beautiful fruit that’s in season right now. Your little pink tart molds are adorable too! 🙂 Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

  19. Thanh Buu Tran says:

    omgg these are amazing!
    I will def try these out at home!

  20. So, my missionary farewell is this Sunday. I am expecting 300+ for brunch. I am doing every bit of it myself since it is Sunday, I can’t hire anyone. Just finished making the pastry cream for the tarts. So delightful and easy. I am hoping it is okay to keep it chilled in the fridge until I fill the shells. I have a box of premade pidi shells from a company in New York. I plan on filling them with your pastry cream and decorating them with the fruit and jelly like you said to. I need to make these the night before, and hope they will hold up, as our church meeting is at 8:30 A.M. and we will be eating about 11:00. I will let you know how they turned out. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!!!!!!!

    1. Oh my goodness, I’m kinda nervous for you. Praying that everything turns out perfectly! I actually am making these myself right now for a party at my work tomorrow. I am baking the shells tonight and also preparing the cream. I’ll put the cream in my tarts in the morning and top with the fruit before I head to work. Can’t wait to hear how it all goes for you. paula

  21. 5 stars
    Hi Paula,
    I stummbled upon your blog….and i’m speechless !!
    I love these tarts !!! I haven’t seen anything better looking and inviting than these !!!
    They are simply DELISH !!!
    I love your food photographs…..why don’t you share some food photography lessons to your blog !! Would love to take some lessons from you.
    Great place.

    1. Thanks for your kind words Gauri, I’m still learning on the food photography. Not even close to giving lessons myself. 🙂

  22. I tried making the Cream Filling. I did everything it says on the directions, but my filling ends up liquid filling instead of thick filling like yours. What am I doing wrong?

  23. Not Betty Crocker says:

    I doubled the recipe because I needed to make around 30 of these… and I couldn’t get my cream to thicken, even after adding an entire 6.5oz container of corn starch. Guess next time i’ll try to separate batches :/

    1. Hi Ms. Not Betty Crocker,
      If you were making it in the microwave, you should almost double the cooking time. That’s why microwaves are best for small batches. Other than that, I’m not sure what went wrong although an entire container of cornstarch would make it inedible, I would think. YIKES! I do hope you’ll try it again with a single batch and I think you’ll be happier with the results. pr

  24. How many mini tarts does this recipe make?

  25. 5 stars
    Great recipe for the cream filling! It was so easy and turned out perfect in the microwave. I’m never going to slave over a stove for pastry cream again. One note for those that didn’t get it to set up – I had to microwave mine for 7 minutes instead of 6 before it thickened.

  26. Hi,
    I am making these for supper club tomorrow and was wondering if I can make the shells and the filling ahead of time? would I just cover the shells with foil overnight? would i put saran wrap over the cream and refrigerate overnight? If I let the cream stay in the fridge all night, I was wondering how I will fill the shells tomorrow, because won’t it be a lot thicker once it gets cold?
    thanks!!
    crystal

    1. Hi Crystal,
      Yes, you can make it all ahead of time, just don’t assemble until and hour or two before eating. You can store the shells in an airtight container, like cookies. And yes, Saran wrap over the cream will work fine. Yes the cream gets thicker but no problem. Just use a whisk and whip it up good and it will loosen up.

      Hope all turns out well. paula

      1. Shannon Nerantzis says:

        Can I make the tarts about 2 weeks ahead of time? Should I freeze them cooked or uncooked?
        Thank you!

        1. Shannon,

          You can make the tart crusts ahead of time but don’t bake them. I would wait to bake them a day or two ahead. That will still save you a lot of time at the last minute. I would wait to make the filling. Once you make the filling and add it to the shells, the filling will eventually make the crust a little soggy–after about 20-24 hours (still very edible, however). Like any cream pie. Put the fruit on top at the very last minute. After a few hours, the fruit will start to weep and run over the pastry cream.

          So here is my schedule. 2-4 weeks ahead of time: make tart crusts and freeze the shaped tarts raw. Day before: Bake tart crusts. Morning of the day you want to serve them: Make pastry cream and fill baked tarts. Chill the rest of the day. Prepare fruit by wiping with a damp cloth or paper towel. Decorate the tops of your tarts as you are serving them or up to a couple of hours ahead of time. After you do this a time or two, it goes pretty fast. If you’ve never made them before and you are planning for a big celebration, I would advise a practice run. You won’t have any trouble finding people who will help you eat your practice tarts.😜

  27. Could you tell me what size your tart molds are? We don’t have a World Market near here and they are not on their website. There are so many sizes of molds I wanted to make sure I got as close to yours as possible. Thanks!

  28. 5 stars
    Umm they look really good cant wait to make them for the next holiday.Cant wait 🙂

  29. Hi Paula. I tried making your tarts for my mom’s Mother’s Day dessert, but the tarts just crumble and fall apart whenever I pull them out of the molds! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Can you help?

    1. Adeline,
      Since I didn’t watch you make them, I can only guess. Did you make any changes or substitutions to the recipe? Are they sticking to the molds? If so, spray them with Pam first. I REALLY like the silicone molds because nothing sticks to them. Be sure the crust is an even thickness when you make them and be sure they are cooked long enough. You can always buy pre-baked tart shells if necessary. Hope this helps. PR

  30. Hi Paula:
    I have the same problem as Adeline. I made the mini fruit tarts, but the crust just fell apart. I was able to get a few good ones, but when I put fruits in, the strawberry slices are a bit heavy and broke the edge too. Is there anything I can change to make the crust more firm? THanks.

    1. Cherry, I am so sorry to hear this.  It sounds like the edges may be too thin and therefore, too delicate.  You could also try using the whole egg instead of just the yolk to make the crust a little more sturdy. 

  31. Happy mother’s day. I took your suggestion and used a whole egg and they turned out very good. The filling is amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe, they are delicious. I’m bringing these for the mother’s day gathering tonight.

  32. 5 stars
    And I have to give your recipe 5 stars

    1. Thanks Cherry,

      So glad they turned out for you. I will add a note to the recipe.

  33. sparkling74 says:

    I just made these and the custard is amazing. I used skim milk and was doubtful that it would thicken but it absolutely did. Wow. Now, if I had only waited until the custard was cool before trying to fill the mini tarts….

  34. 5 stars
    thanks for such an accurate recipe n simple too! best tarts ever!!!my family just licked all the leftover cream filling !!!i know i ll have to make these more often now….

    1. Hi Sim, Yep, the cream filling is the best part. It’s just pudding really, but oh so good!

  35. What does 1-1/2 cup mean?
    does it mean 1 cup to 1/2 cup or 1 and a half cups?
    Sorry if this seems like a bit of a stupid question
    Im still sort of a baking noob.

  36. Also could I use this tart crust recipe to flatten, cut out with a cookie cutter, and then put it into a muffin tin?

    1. I did this with mini-muffin tins and it definitely works great. I cut little triangles on four different sides of the circle cookie-cutter, that way when I settled it into its little nook the edges fall nicely together. Just make sure you don’t cut too much out otherwise the edges won’t touch and then fuse and therefore will be prone to busting when your guest goes for the delectable little dessertysert. DO it 🙂

  37. You’ve probably already seen this from the trackback, but I just wanted to let you know that I tried these with my cousins and loved them! They’re now on my blog 🙂 http://panprinandproprin.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/miniature-fruit-tarts/

    We were a little wary about microwaving the cream filling, but it was AMAZING and now my go-to tart filling! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

  38. 5 stars
    Also, do you ever stab the crusts with a fork? Would that keep them from puffing?

    1. Erika,
      I don’t stab the crusts although if it works for you, do it. If they are puffing, I just open the oven door and use my thumb to push them down.

      And thank-you so much for the link. Glad you liked them. I couldn’t agree more about the cream filling.

      1. Ah, I see–I made a raspberry tart last night but froze the crust for about 20 hours beforehand…that definitely kept it from puffing! I probably didn’t freeze it long enough last time 🙂

        1. Thanks for the tip on freezing the crust before baking. I will this next time.

  39. 5 stars
    Saw these on Pinterest, fruit tarts are my favorite! They turned out so good, thanks for the recipe!

    1. Glad to hear it Michelle!

  40. 1 star
    Hi, I was following this recipe step by step and it did not turn out at all. I have baked a lot before so, for the most part i know what im doing. I dont have a food processor nor do i have any means of getting one so i tried both my mixer and blender and still nothing worked well. They look amazing in the pictures but the recipe just did not work out.

    1. Jessica, Tell me more. Was it the crust or the filling that did not work? What exactly was not like you expected? What did you try to make in the mixer? I hardly know where to start but would love to help you. The tarts could be made by hand and you can use a whisk for the cream filling if you don’t have a blender. If you only had trouble with the crust, you might look for some ready-made ones. The homemade shells are somewhat labor-intensive, but the taste is worth the trouble. Look forward to hearing from you.

  41. I used all nonfat milk, and the cream never thickened. Any ideas?

  42. 5 stars
    Hi! I just made these tarts, and everything worked beautifully. I followed your instructions to the T. I am so pleased with my delicious little desserts!

    1. Allisa,
      Thanks for coming back to say so. Glad you enjoyed them.

  43. Hi Paula! thanks for sharing such a wonerfull recipe I have a question If I want to make a whole tart instead of small tarts am i supposed to use same ingrediants?

    1. Kinda,
      Yes, same ingredients exactly. The cream recipe will probably be a little too much as it is with the small tarts. It’s not too difficult to eat the leftover cream with a spoon. 🙂

  44. Help, I just made the cream and it’s not thick at all. Is it suppose to be thickening at all after the 6 minutes in the microwave or does it start to thicken after? And if it only thickens after, do I cool it in the refrigerator or room temperature?

  45. Hi Paula,

    You said that pre-made crusts work great for this recipe–which brands do you recommend (and which grocery stores carry them)? I can’t seem to find them anywhere!

    Thanks!

    Kay

    1. Kay, I’ve seen them at my local Krogers and also at Central Market. Sorry I can’t recommend a particular brand. I always make my own.

  46. Can corn flour work and replace cornstarch

    1. Hi Ana,
      I honestly have no idea. Guess you can try it. The ingredients aren’t very expensive so no big loss if you have to throw it out.

  47. hi i just wanted to know , whats the best time to assemble it before a party and do we refrigerate it after assemling the tart… how long can we prepare it before hand and keep it… especially if u want to prepare it for a friends party and u have to transport it to her house.. thanks

    1. Alefia,
      I recommend assembling the same day you want to eat it. Then store in the fridge. It won’t hurt for them to sit out a little while during transit or on a serving table. If you need to do all the work ahead of time, make the crusts and the filling. Store separately. The day of the party, put the filling in the crusts, then the fruit on top. If the filling sits in the crust too long, the crust will soften but that takes anywhere between 12-24 hours. Hope this helps. Write back if you still have questions.

    2. @Paula, can the tart crusts be baked then frozen in advance?

      1. Yes, but be sure to double wrap to keep them as fresh as possible.

  48. since i noted a tart should be cold when serving so how dou transport ad serve it cold at friends party, especially when u make in big quantities ..how long before do u prepare it .. thanks

  49. hi , thank you for replying… i had trouble with transporting the filled tarts, and some said the tart were not cold ,like some store bought tarts have that cooled taste. do u have to keep it in the fridge before serving?
    my tart shells also came out very thick, like a biscuit, it was nice but too thick for a tart..would luv some advice on this…
    lovely reciepes..
    thank u again

    1. Alecia,

      Yes, I would keep the tarts chilled as much as possible. Transporting them can be a challenge. Maybe use a big ice chest.

      Regarding the thickness of the tarts: this is something you will figure out with experience. It is very hard for me to advise you since I don’t know the size of the pans you are using. If you make them too thin, they will tend to break so you have to experiment with the specific tart pans you are using. The more you make them, the easier it will be.

      Thanks for writing and letting me know how they turned out.

  50. I’m making these tarts for Thanksgiving for my boyfriends family, I am making them the day before. Will they still be good tomorrow? Any tips for how to keep them longer?

  51. it was so good i loved it thank you for this great recipe 🙂

  52. Hi Paula, these tarts look amazing! Fruit tarts are one of my favorite desserts, so I had to try them. However, the cream filling never set for me. It was runny as milk. I followed your directions exactly. Any idea why this may have happened?

    1. Kristin, Microwaves vary a lot. Perhaps yours is a lower power than mine and you just need to cook longer. The other possibility is that you accidently left out the cornstarch. Otherwise, I’m not sure. pr

  53. Your fruit tarts are very beautiful. I love to see them very much. Thank you very much for your wonderful recipe. I will try to do as your instruction once day and i hope the fruit tarts that i make by myself will very delicious and good looking like yours. Thank you and wish you much more famous on the world.

  54. Can I make the filling over stovetop since I need to make a large quantity?

  55. I tried making the filling and did exactly what you said but it’s not thickening. Do I wait or leave in the fridge for it to thicken? I microwaved it for 6 mins and it’s still liquidy:/

    1. Nancy,
      It will get much thicker when it is chilled but I suspect you need to microwave it a little longer. It should coat a spoon rather heavily, just like it would if you cooked it on top of the stove. Microwave ovens vary greatly, so it is difficult to specify an exact time to cook. Also, it can thicken in a matter of 10 seconds so watch it closely as it cooks until you know exactly how long it will take in your specific oven.
      (p.s. Sorry for the duplicate answer but I wanted to put this on the blog for others who might have the same experience as you.)

  56. Hi Paula,

    I just tried out your tart crust recipe and it’s absolutely delicious! Your tarts look amazing! I’m looking forward to making more fruity tarts now that I have a finally found a great cookie recipe. Thanks for sharing! 😀

    Rebecca

  57. O M G these were so amazing and so easy to make. I just had a little trouble finding the molds but right when I was ready to give up I found them…..you were right the molds make it much easier. They are so good I even put little marshamellow’s in before I put the cream I made these for our church’s breakfast everyone loved them and are asking for more thank you so much.

  58. Colleen B says:

    I am wondering if you have instructions anywhere to make the cream on the stovetop. We don’t use a microwave for health reasons, but these sound amazing! Let me know if you do! Thanks!

  59. I have tart dough in the refrigerator now and was looking for a great filling– I have found it here– thanks! Also, it’s my good luck that I have the same molds from World Market and I appreciate your photos showing how to fill them with dough. I hope mine turn out nearly as pretty as yours.

  60. Hey there, this recipe looks great! I’m looking to make these for mother’s day and I just have one question..
    If I don’t have the shaped baking molds like that, can I just use a mini muffin tin and press the dough into it instead?

    1. Hi Sara,

      I can’t honestly say I’ve tried the mini-muffin pans. Thinking that is a bit too small. Perhaps better to use regular muffin pans. The crusts will shrink a bit. Be sure you spray them well with Bakers Joy or something similar. Also, be sure unbaked crusts are frozen hard when you put them in the oven.

  61. Hey, I liked the recipe very much. But there is a problem I’m pure Vegetarian. Can I try this recipe without the eggs. Would there be a major difference in the taste or not. Please guide me.

    Regards
    Shagun Handa

    1. Shagun,
      Oh dear. I am not vegetarian and I LOVE eggs so I can’t be trusted to give you advice. I would think there is a major difference without eggs. Seems like the pudding would be like sweet gravy. But surely there are recipes for vanilla pie filling/pudding on the web you could Google.

  62. casey johnson says:

    Using the silicone you mention, what is the thickness of the crust that I should make?

    1. Casey,
      Hmmm. Good question. All I can say is that I get about 14-15 individual tart crusts from one recipe. They aren’t very thick but have not actually measured them.

  63. I tried these and the chocolate cases with ganache and they were an absolute hit!!! Thanks a million for the recipe .. I was able to prepare them in advance as in freezing the shells etc so not much work on then assembly day!

    1. Hi Leanne,
      So glad to hear they were a hit! Thanks for writing.

  64. hi I was having the same problem a few of u mentioned, my filing wouldn’t thicken, even after about an hr of working on it. so I put that same filing in a sauce pan n began to cook it on the stove low flame while stirring it n right away it began to thicken

    1. Glad the stove worked for you Jezabel. Microwave ovens are wildly different from each other so it’s difficult to specify an exact time because the same time won’t work for everybody. paula

  65. Hi Paula your fruit tart looks good. I’ve made this tart, but at the end of the day the fruits looks wilted. How do I make it look fresh all day?

    1. Hi Mariter,
      I’m sorry I don’t really have a good answer other than to use the freshest fruits possible and don’t wash them until minutes before you put them on the tart or just wiping them is even better. That’s why I wrote in the recipe that the fruit is best added just before serving. It’s the nature of the beast. The melted jelly helps them look fresher too but I assume you did that already.

  66. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I tried it today and it came out really well. I have a 1000 watts microwave and 6 minutes did the trick. I don’t have a website but I put in a link on pinterest of the tarts I made following your recipe. I found silicone molds at Walmart (6 for 2 dollars) and it was so easy to remove them. Thanks again 🙂

  67. When I put my custard filling. It sat in the fridge for about 3 hrs before serving
    It went to much the custard made it soft I could not pick the tart out of is container I had to eat it with a spoon

    1. Hi Lynn,
      I’m not sure I understand what you did. After you bake the tarts, you should take them out of the molds to cool. They become very crisp like a shortbread cookie. If you leave them in the molds, the moisture put off while cooling and the moisture from the cream filling would most likely make the crust soft. These tarts are best the day they are made.

  68. I did not take them to cool but the custard I made I folded whipped cream in to it then spooned it in after few hrs we had it after lunch within 4 hrs it was very soggy please share your custard recipe with me thank you

  69. I did not take them out of the container to cool but the custard I made I folded whipped cream in to it then spooned it in after few hrs we had it after lunch within 4 hrs it was very soggy please share your custard recipe with me thank you

  70. Please send me a nice smooth custard recipe

    1. Lyn,
      The custard recipe included with these fruit and cream mini-tarts is wonderful, in my opinion. I have found nothing better or easier.

  71. It is great tnx.
    I made the big one the crust was perfect but I have changed the filling. I really liked it because it was my first time and it was ok.

  72. when we fill tart with cream ,cream must be cold or hot? , after filling how many hour can stay? please reaply me thank u!!

    1. I let the cream cool down a little bit but it is still warm when I pour it into the tart shells. They are good the day you make them but the crust will begin to get a little soggy the next day–although it wouldn’t prevent me from eating them. 🙂

  73. Hello
    What can I replace the heavy cream with?

    1. You might try using the whole egg instead of just the yolk. I don’t think the tarts are quite as tender when substituting egg white for heavy cream, but they are still quite wonderful and perhaps a little more sturdy.

  74. YoungBaker says:

    I’m making these cute mini fruit tart for a school event and the cream came out a little weird. Its yellow and very thick. Is the cream suppose to be a light beige, similar to the picture? Is there a way for me to make it more smooth?

  75. I am soooo not a baker but I found your cream recipe so easy to follow and delicious! Will be using it again and again. Thankful I found your website!

  76. Made your recipe for a graduation party yesterday. It was outstanding. I am amaze how easy it was to make the filling in the microwave. No risk of scorching or constant stir like traditional method.

    This will definitely be my go to recipe from now on. Thanks!

  77. Hi. I tried making this recipe and the only problem I had was with the instructions for the custard filling. I followed the instructions and measurements just how it was written and my custard didn’t thicken at all in the microwave. I even microwaved it a few minutes longer and still nothing happened. It was very upsetting as it was planned for a dessert that day and it never hardened in the fridge. After following the instructions, I looked back at the pictures and saw that custard was really thick and the instructions never explained how to make the custard thick. Very disappointed.

    1. Laura,
      I am so sorry about your custard. I am have made this recipe many, many times with great success as have others. My only guess is that perhaps your microwave is not very powerful and it needed to be cooked much longer or that you left out the cornstarch. Also, the pudding does get much thicker as it cools. Again, my regrets.

  78. Beautiful but too much work.

  79. Charlotte Brandin says:

    The recipe looked tasty, so I tried it. Can not get the cream filling to thicken. I noticed the same comment from Emily back in Dec 2011, no reply. By chance can you think of what may be going wrong?

  80. These are absolutely delicious! Everything turned out beautifully and everyone loved them! I have to make more for my mother. She is crazy over them. I just served them with a little sliced banana and Hershey’s chocolate syrup. I am anxious to try other fruits.

  81. Please share an eggless version for the cream filling. Thanks ?

    1. Hi there, ill be making these cute tartes this week but ill be using disposable golden fluted tarte cups. I would like to know if i need to flour the cups before adding the crust, and do i need to prick with a fork on the bottom of each cup.
      Thank you.

      1. Marie,
        No need to flour the cups. There’s plenty of butter in the crusts. I’m wondering what size cups you will be using. After getting your question, I tested using the small “nut cups”. Wow! Those are small. Won’t hold more than a tablespoon of cream, if that much. You will be eating mostly cookie. Not all bad.

        Or are you using a standard cupcake size? I didn’t try those. With the small cups, you don’t need to prick the bottom as long as you freeze the crusts solid before baking, which you should always do anyway. If using the large cups, I would line the inside of the crusts with non-stick foil as I describe in the recipe.

        I always recommend a practice run on the crusts unless you are a highly-experienced crust maker.

  82. 5 stars
    Welcome back! These look so delicious, Paula. I adore the mini-pink molds. Have a great holiday weekend!

  83. 5 stars
    I’m making some mini tarts for a wedding I’m doing in November and I’ll be remembering this recipe! I know I’m making chocolate and pumpkin but I might I have to add a vanilla too! Your little tart crusts look perfext!

  84. 5 stars
    Hi Paula,
    I stummbled upon your blog….and i’m speechless !!
    I love these tarts !!! I haven’t seen anything better looking and inviting than these !!!
    They are simply DELISH !!!
    I love your food photographs…..why don’t you share some food photography lessons to your blog !! Would love to take some lessons from you.
    Great place.

  85. 5 stars
    Great recipe for the cream filling! It was so easy and turned out perfect in the microwave. I’m never going to slave over a stove for pastry cream again. One note for those that didn’t get it to set up – I had to microwave mine for 7 minutes instead of 6 before it thickened.

  86. 5 stars
    Umm they look really good cant wait to make them for the next holiday.Cant wait 🙂

  87. 5 stars
    And I have to give your recipe 5 stars

  88. 5 stars
    thanks for such an accurate recipe n simple too! best tarts ever!!!my family just licked all the leftover cream filling !!!i know i ll have to make these more often now….

  89. 5 stars
    Also, do you ever stab the crusts with a fork? Would that keep them from puffing?

  90. 5 stars
    Saw these on Pinterest, fruit tarts are my favorite! They turned out so good, thanks for the recipe!

  91. 1 star
    Hi, I was following this recipe step by step and it did not turn out at all. I have baked a lot before so, for the most part i know what im doing. I dont have a food processor nor do i have any means of getting one so i tried both my mixer and blender and still nothing worked well. They look amazing in the pictures but the recipe just did not work out.

  92. 5 stars
    Hi! I just made these tarts, and everything worked beautifully. I followed your instructions to the T. I am so pleased with my delicious little desserts!

  93. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    I made the custard filling. Oh wow wa sit easy and delicious!! Looked for many recipes for this typr of cream before. Perfect for eclairs or Japonesas ?

  94. Rachel Bastow says:

    Does the filling set or stay runny?

    1. The filling should coat a spoon rather heavily. Keep cooking until it does. The custard will also thicken as it cools.

  95. I make this every year for my boyfriends birthday. It’s his favorite!!! Literally the best to pack for a picnic and the cookie crust is so delicious. The custard is so easy to make and taste creamy and amazing. BEST FRUIT TART RECIPE EVER!!!!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Khy. I agree that the custard is creamy and amazing.

  96. We went cherry picking over the weekend so I wanted to make cherry tarts. I took the crust recipe from this post and filled it with cherry filling. Made this in a muffin pan and it turned out really good. I must have done a better job in buttering the pan in some but not all because I had a really hard time lifting them out without the crust breaking apart. I only succeeded with 8 out of 12. It was also a little difficult to put the crust in the muffin pan because the dough broke easy. Is that how its suppose to be? I’ll be making this crust again and experiment with different fillings. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Hi Nerissa,

      I’m sorry you had a hard time getting the crust out of muffin tin. The crust should not be crumbly when you are putting it into the muffin pan. Are you using a food processor or stand mixer? Mix it longer until it no longer crumbles. To be honest, I have never used muffin pans. The silicone molds are WAY EASIER. They are quite inexpensive on Amazon. I don’t know where you are–maybe not available where you live? My last suggestion is to spray your pans well with Baker’s Joy. It is so much better than butter. There’s really no homemade substitute although you can try greasing with butter, then coating with flour. Shake pan upside down to get rid of the excess flour. Good luck.

  97. Can we replace the heavy cream with milk? Because they don’t sell heavy cream where I live.

  98. How many tarts would it make if I just used the frozen individual tart shells?

    1. Hi Deb,
      It depends on how much the frozen tarts hold. For reference, the silicone mold I use holds about 3 ounces without the crust in them. With a crust, I’m guessing 2 ounces. They measure 3 inches in diameter at the top and are 1-1/4 inch in depth.

      The recipe for the pastry cream makes more filling than you can use with 1 batch of the homemade tart recipe. So unless your store-bought tarts are really big, you should get more tarts that the recipe says.

  99. I was wondering if instead of using a microwave to heat the filling we could use a stove top?

    1. Yes, you absolutely can use a stove top. I recommend a double boiler for the process. If you don’t have one, perhaps you can use a smaller pan or pyrex glass bowl inside a larger pan that holds boiling water. You don’t want to scorch it, which is easy to do on the stove.

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  102. You mention a video a few times in your text, but there is no video anywhere on this page. Any tips about freezing the crusts?

    1. Hi Deb,
      I just checked and there is a video on that post about making the crusts. You might have to close out the post and open it again. I’m sorry if you can’t get it to work. I would send it to you, but I know from experience that those things won’t go through email.

      About freezing the crusts, I assume you’re talking about after they are baked. I’ve never done that because I don’t have the freezer space. My suggestion would be to double wrap them and store them in a hard-sided container as the crusts are quite fragile. If you’re talking about unbaked crusts, that’s a different story. Stack and store them in a plastic bag. Once they are frozen hard, they aren’t fragile at all. I freeze mine for a month or two just so I can have some on-hand whenever a dessert emergency arises.

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  105. 1 star
    Followed the recipe, cream was in the fridge overnight, whipped it in the morning like it said, still just soup, never thickened after putting it in the fridge, only got thinner

    1. Hi Kristina,

      I’m sorry this didn’t work for you. Did the pastry cream coat the back of a spoon heavily when you finished cooking it? That’s what you’re going for. I normally tell people to keep cooking until this happens no matter how long it takes. If you measured correctly, it will happen but may take longer due to differences in microwaves.