Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream

We’ve got fresh fruit tart on the dessert menu today! I’ve been waiting for the weather to warm up to make, shoot, and post this beauty. It’s been gray and rainy all month, but when the sun finally showed up– I broke out my hand mixer, chopped up a million pounds of fruit, and decided mascarpone + vanilla bean is all you really need in life.

How to make homemade fresh fruit tart with buttery pastry crust and mascarpone cream filling! Recipe and step pictures on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The wonderful thing about this classic dessert is that there’s minimal bake time. The crust is only baked for about 15 minutes or so, then you let it cool and fill with the good stuff. And it’s the kind of dessert that looks like you poured your heart and soul into it, when in reality you made the pastry crust yesterday (make ahead! YAY!) and spent most of the time sampling all the fruit you were cutting. Muhaha.
There are 3 components to this recipe:
  1. The Make Ahead Crust
  2. The Zero Effort Cream Filling
  3. The Sparkly Fruit


Ingredients:

CRUST
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) cold heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (167g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
VANILLA MASCARPONE CREAM
  • 8 ounces mascarpone, at room temperature1
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (30g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean (or use an extra 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
FRUIT & GLAZE
  • assorted fresh sliced fruit
  • optional glaze: 2 Tablespoons orange or apricot preserves mixed with 1 Tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Whisk the heavy cream, egg, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. There are two options for this step: by hand using a pastry cutter or using a food processor. You can do it either way. To use a pastry cutter: Whisk the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Place the cubed butter on top and cut in using the pastry cutter until the entire mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs-- a few larger crumbs is OK. Pour the wet ingredients on top and stir to combine. You can use your hands to really get it all combined if needed. To use a food processor: Place the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs-- a few larger crumbs is OK. Add the wet ingredients, then pulse until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
  3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days. (See make ahead tips.)
  4. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a 9-inch circle. Place into a greased 9-inch tart pan and press it down into the pan and up the sides until it is even all around. Refrigerate as the oven preheats or for at least 10 minutes. Cold dough is important.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Remove crust from the refrigerator, line the inside with foil, and fill with pie weights. The pie weights prevent the crust from puffing up, shrinking, and/or losing shape. (Alternatively, you can freeze the dough and bake from frozen without using pie weights. It will take about 20 minutes to bake if frozen.)
  6. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, remove crust from the oven, reduce oven heat to 350°F (177°C), and carefully remove the foil and weights. Use a fork to prick a few holes into the bottom of the crust and bake, without weights, for 5-6 more minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely before filling.
  7. For the cream filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the mascarpone for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Then, very slow add the heavy cream with the mixer running on low. Do not add it all at once, the mascarpone could curdle. Next, add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Spread into cooled crust. Refrigerate until ready to garnish with fruit or garnish right away.
  8. Garnish the tart with fresh fruit. Whisk the optional glaze ingredients together, warm for about 15 seconds in the microwave, then brush on top of the fruit. Slice and enjoy! Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.
Make ahead tips: Prepare the crust through step 3 and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then let sit at room temperature until easily rollable. You can also prepare and bake the crust, then let the crust cool in the pan to room temperature. Put the tart in the freezer for about 1 hour to let it firm up, then wrap it in plastic and freeze it for up to a month. When ready to serve, unwrap the crust and let it thaw before filling and decorating. The mascarpone cream can also be prepared ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days before using.
How to make homemade fresh fruit tart with buttery pastry crust and mascarpone cream filling! Recipe and step pictures on sallysbakingaddiction.com