This Summer Fruit Tart is one of my all-time favorite recipes — and it’s such a hit around here that I don’t only just make it in the summer. It’s quick and easy to make, you can change it up with any stone fruit that suits your fancy — peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, or even figs, or you can mix a variety of different fruits together. The crust is a sweet crust, so if you want to add a tartness to the overall taste of the tart, read some of the optional suggestions on mixing things up before your final preparation. I like it as is, but it’s always fun to experiment.
Ingredient List — Summer Fruit Tart
1 ½ Cups/355 ml flour
½ Teaspoon/2.5 ml salt
4 Tablespoons/59 ml sugar
11 Tablespoons/163 ml cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk, beaten
3 pounds nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, figs (or a mixture of many)
6 Tablespoons/88.5 preserves or jelly (fig, apricot, red currant, etc.)
Optional Ways to Modify (worth thinking about)
Red currant jelly glaze
Preparation Instructions — Summer Fruit Tart
To make this Summer Fruit Tart, I prefer a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, but any tart pan will do. In fact, you could even make it using a pie plate if you like. I think that recipes should be easily customizable to what you’ve got on hand, so don’tif you don’t have a tart pan with a removable bottom, don’t sweat it. Go loose, use what you’ve got, and it’ll be great.
Preheat oven to 375.
Step 1 – Crust Prep
To make the Summer Fruit Tart crust, mix flour, salt, and two tablespoons/29 ml of sugar in a bowl or food processor. Add 8 Tbs (one US stick)/118 ml cold unsalted butter that you’ve cut into cubes. I find it just as easy to mix this by hand as it is to drag out the Cuisinart, so that’s what I do. Use two knives, a pastry cutter, or your hands to get the mixture into a crumbly state where the butter is fully incorporated. Add 3 Tbs/44 ml of cold water to the beaten egg mixture, then mix a little at a time into your crust mixture. The goal is to get it to a state where it holds together, and you might need to add a bit more water to get it there.
Shape the dough into a ball, flour a rolling surface and your rolling pin, and roll the dough out to fit your tart pan (about 13”). Pick up the dough by rolling it back onto your pin, and putting it into the tart pan.
Line the pastry dough with a sheet of foil and add pie weights or some dried beans on top of the foil. Make sure the foil covers the crust entirely, not just the bottom. Bake for 12 minutes, remove foil and weights, then bake another 10 minutes or so, until your crust is lightly browned.
Note that there are a lot of variations of this Summer Fruit Tart recipe that don’t do the blind baking/prebaking step. The whole point of the blind baking is that this step helps avoid the crust getting soggy because, well, who likes a soggy crust? If you want to try this without blind baking, mix 2 tablespoons/29 ml of flour and one tablespoon/14 ml of sugar and sprinkle onto the crust before adding the fruit. I am a purist, I blind bake.
Remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.
Step 2 – Assembling the Fruit Filling
I’ve only tried making this Summer Fruit Tart with nectarines and peaches. I thought I was going to far prefer the peach version of the tart, but to my surprise the nectarine version was the winning version. I’ve not tried this with a mixture of different fruits, but that’s next on my list. When prepping the fruit, cut it into nice-side slices – I aim for eights with nectarines or peaches and if your fruit is smaller, go larger — only cut the fruit into quarters. The goal is for the fruit to not break down during cooking, so size matters.
Spread the preserves, jam, jelly — whatever you’ve opted to use on the bottom of the tart crust. I generally have fig preserves on hand, so that’s what I use most often.
Then, arrange the fruit for this Summer Fruit Tart standing up on end, in tight, concentric circles. This is what makes the tart so striking-looking. Here are the nectarines from the tart I made last night, just as I’m getting ready to slide it into the oven so that you can see what looks like before baking.
Ideas on Mixing Things Up
This is the point at which you can start mixing things up. If you want a little more of a tart tart (see what I did there?), add some lemon zest on top of your fruit. You could also toss your cut fruit in some lemon juice before arranging.
You could mix a variety of fruit, like nectarines, apricots, and maybe some berries, all together, add some lemon zest, dump it all in the tart crust, then top with some lightly sprinkled sea salt for a sweet/salty combo.
There are so many options, it’s really up to you. I tend to always start by making a recipe exactly as I find it, then modify only after I’ve tasted and considered what changes I want to make. In all honestly, this is so perfect for me as is, that I’ve not wanted to change it up other than switching between nectarines and peaches as my fruit of choice.
When you figure out what you want and your tart is assembled and ready to bake, this is the stage where you melt the remaining two tablespoons/29 ml of butter and brush it on the top of the fruit.
Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes and remove from oven. Let cool before eating. Serve as is, or pair it with some ice cream or créme fraiche. It also tastes really good with red wine. Or so I hear.
You can dust the finished tart with sugar if you like, but I don’t think it needs it. One final step that I do think is worth trying is melting about 3 tablespoons/44 ml of red currant jelly and glazing the finished tart with that. That idea comes courtesy of an old Pierre Franey recipe I ran across while falling in love with this tart. This recipe was inspired by Frances Fabricant’s Simplicity is the Mother of Confection. There’s never a reason not to try anything that Frances suggests you make. Ever.
Other stuff you should definitely make: