Fruit and Cream Mini-Tarts

fruit tart post red

Make your next celebration memorable with these colorful and tasty tarts while there is an abundance of fresh fruit available.

We’re back! We’ve been out of the country and now we’re in recovery mode.

While I’m putting together a few of my favorite food shots from the Holy Lands, I thought I would share some easy fruit tarts we served at a wedding shower recently.

large fruit tart red

Make  small tarts or a larger one if you prefer.  A dab of currant jelly adds sparkle.

You might notice this is one more way to dress up cream pie filling–an obsession with me here lately.  It’s just so easy with a microwave!

assembling fruit tarts

Make them easy with this recipe for the shortbread crust. (Pink molds available at World Market.)

 Note regarding the crust:

A few people have reported some difficulties with the crust, so I went back to another favorite recipe originally published here. I like the texture better and hope you do too. Nevertheless, they are still somewhat tedious and not recommended for people who have never made a pie crust. Store-bought, pre-baked mini crusts are readily available and highly recommended if you are a novice baker or trying to make these in quantity.

Keep the following things in mind if you decide to proceed:

1. Unless you are using silicone molds (I totally love ’em) like those pictured, you must grease and flour your molds generously. Baker’s Secret is perfect for the job.

2. Freezing the tart crusts before you bake them is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. Otherwise, they will shrink and melt the minute they hit the oven.

3. Place foil inside crusts, pressed down into the shape of the crust. This will keep them from rising up in the middle. No other weight is necessary. Save foil. It’s reusable.

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. On the other hand, they taste like a cookie so the broken ones make great eating all by themselves. (The crusts NEVER sticks to the silicone molds. I can’t recommend them enough.)

I have included this picture from my post about Chocolate Ganache Mini-Tarts to illustrate the process of making the tart crusts.

rolling out chocolate tarts

Never mind that the dough is chocolate in these pictures. The process is the same.


Fruit and Cream Mini-Tarts
Serves: 13-14 tarts
These shortbread-crusted tarts are filled with a light, creamy custard and topped with fresh fruit of your choice.
Tart Crust:
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • ⅓ 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:
  • 2-3/4 cups milk (I use 2-1/2 cups nonfat milk + ¼ cup whipping cream but any type will work)
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup currant jelly
  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Cut butter into 8 slices and add to flour, pulsing several times until mixture resembles oatmeal. Add egg yolk mixed with cream. Pulse until all ingredients are moistened. Then allow machine to run a few seconds until dough starts to stick together. (Add additional drops of cream if dough seems too dry.) Press dough into a roll like refrigerated cookie dough. Wrap in plastic and chill 30 minutes.
  2. Spray molds generously with Baker's Secret or something like it. (Baker's Secret is an aerosol spray that mixes flour and oil.) If using silicone molds, no greasing is necessary.
  3. Slice roll of dough into 12 pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll dough between two pieces of plastic wrap into a circle slightly larger than tart molds. Press into mold with fingers being careful to keep thickness consistent. Use a knife to trim off any extra at the top. I usually have enough scraps to make another tart or two. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, overnight or up to a month.
  4. Place frozen tart shells on cookie sheet and press a small square of foil down into each crust that molds to shape of crust. See picture above. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until golden brown, usually about 3-4 minutes.
Cream Filling:
  1. Add milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks, (in that order) to blender. Blend 5 seconds and pour into 2-quart glass microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 6 minutes on HIGH, whisking until smooth after 3 minutes, then every minute thereafter.
  2. Add butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  1. Fill each baked tart shell with cream filling. Top with fruit of your choice. Melt ¼ cup currant jelly and use a brush to dab some shininess on each piece of fruit. It's OK if some drips onto the cream.
1. If dough in 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.


Banana Cream Pie
Chocolate Cream Tart (Made in the Microwave)
Glazed Fresh Strawberry Pie
Amazing Microwave Custard for a Pie or Tart and My Favorite Cookie Crust
Lemon Curd (Microwave)
Chocolate Ganache Mini-Tarts

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

alefia September 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm

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


Paula September 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm


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.


alefia September 25, 2012 at 6:13 am

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 long before do u prepare it .. thanks


alefia September 25, 2012 at 6:09 am

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


Paula September 25, 2012 at 7:45 am

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.


ana September 5, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Can corn flour work and replace cornstarch


Paula September 6, 2012 at 10:45 pm

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.


Kay August 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

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!




Paula August 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

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.


Lise August 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

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?


kinda August 1, 2012 at 12:09 am

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?


Paula August 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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. 🙂


Aliisa July 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm

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!


Paula July 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm

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


Angie July 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

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


Jessica July 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

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.


Paula July 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

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.


Michelle June 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm

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


Paula June 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Glad to hear it Michelle!


Erika June 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm

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


Paula June 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm

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.


Erika June 27, 2012 at 8:46 am

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 🙂


Analida December 9, 2014 at 8:05 am

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


Erika June 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

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 🙂

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 🙂


Jenny June 17, 2012 at 7:57 am

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


Monya June 16, 2013 at 11:09 pm

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 🙂


Judy June 16, 2012 at 6:23 am

I am making these for a church bakesale for tonight after mass. Do I have to fill them just before . Can I do it this morning or will they get soggy by 4:00 pm today? Also should I put them on a bed of ice cubes until they sell at the bakesale, or are they ok for an hour or so while the sale is underway?


Jenny June 16, 2012 at 2:15 am

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.


sim June 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

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….


Paula June 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm

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


sparkling74 June 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm

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….


Cherry May 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

And I have to give your recipe 5 stars


Paula May 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks Cherry,

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


Cherry May 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm

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.


Cherry May 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

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.


Paula May 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm

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. 


Adeline May 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

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?


Paula May 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

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


Ashley May 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm

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


Jenny April 14, 2012 at 7:51 am

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!


crystal April 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

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?


Paula April 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm

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


Adrienne March 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm

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.


Makayla March 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

How many mini tarts does this recipe make?


Not Betty Crocker March 3, 2012 at 6:59 am

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 :/


Paula March 3, 2012 at 9:54 am

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


Emily December 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm

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?


Gauri August 24, 2011 at 5:48 am

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.


Paula August 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm

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


Lori August 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm

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!!!!!!!


Paula August 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm

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


Thanh Buu Tran July 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm

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


Betty @ scrambled hen fruit July 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

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!


Karen July 5, 2011 at 7:26 am

Looks stunning and very yummy!! 🙂


tasteofbeirut July 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm

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


Ispahan July 3, 2011 at 7:40 am

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


Katie July 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

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


Denise June 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm

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.


Paula June 30, 2011 at 5:38 pm

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


Snippets of thyme June 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

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.


Kristen June 30, 2011 at 3:27 pm

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


Megan June 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

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!


Mimi June 30, 2011 at 10:32 am

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


The Café Sucré Farine June 30, 2011 at 6:26 am

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!


Tracey@TheKitchenisMyPlayground June 30, 2011 at 6:02 am

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


Suzanne June 30, 2011 at 2:51 am

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


Der June 30, 2011 at 1:22 am

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


Nina June 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm

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


Maggie June 29, 2011 at 9:34 pm

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


Lorraine June 29, 2011 at 8:42 pm

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


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