Baking a rustic free-form fruit tart is an easy way to use up ripe summer fruit and make a memorable dessert. It’s nothing more than fresh fruit tossed with sugar and baked in a pie crust that’s loosely folded around the filling. Now is the time to experiment with flavors and fruit combinations, using what’s ripe and luscious at the farmers market as inspiration. Trust your instincts – anything goes!
The best crust is one you can buy
Don’t let the challenge of making a proper crust stop you. Our all-butter pie dough bakes up buttery, flaky and tender and it’s easy to use. A package of pre-rolled disks of dough is perfect for two rustic tarts.
Best fruit fillings for tarts
Strawberry Rhubarb: Equal parts diced rhubarb stalks and hulled, halved strawberries (about 2 cups total), 1 tablespoon cornstarch, ½ cup sugar, pinch each of salt and nutmeg.
Summer Berries: 1 1/2 – 2 cups (1 pint) fresh berries, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, pinch lemon zest and salt, crumbled shortbread cookies (optional).
Stone Fruit: 1 ½ -2 cups sliced apricots, plums, peaches or nectarines, or halved (or pitted cherries); ¼ to ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 tea almond extract, pinch salt.
Apple: Two large or 3 medium apples (local Gravensteins are in season, but use whatever variety is crisp and flavorful), peeled, cored and sliced; 1/2 cup granulated sugar, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon and vanilla, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Toss fruit with sugar and spices, arrange on crust, dab with 3 tablespoons softened butter before baking.
Fig Almond: 1 pound ripe figs, stemmed and quartered lengthwise, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon each lemon zest and vanilla. Toss figs gently with sugar and flavorings. Under filling, spread a layer of 3 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds combined with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
How to assemble the tart
- On a lightly floured work surface, lay one circle of U-bake pie dough flat – or use homemade pastry dough for a single-crust pie rolled out into a circle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Optional: Sprinkle a thin layer of finely crumbled cookies, biscotti or cake crumbs on the dough to add flavor and soak up fruit juices.
- Now, gently spread your fruit filling over the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border. Lift and fold the edge, letting dough pleat as you work your way around.
- Chill the tart for 20 minutes before baking to help the dough hold shape.
- Lightly brush the crust with egg wash (an egg mixed with 2 teaspoons water) and sprinkle with sugar for a shiny, sweet finish.
- Bake your tart in center of a preheated 375 degree oven until crust is golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Let cool completely before serving; juices will thicken as it cools.
Visit our online store to order Grand Central Bakery’s all-butter U-bake Pie Dough and browse other ready-to-bake items available for pick up or delivery.