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Easy to make and utterly delicious, this Berry Tart is the perfect way to make the most of fresh summer berries! Featuring a buttery shortbread crust, dreamy vanilla custard, and a medley of colorful and juicy fresh berries, this dessert is sure to capture your heart with every delectable bite!
Easy Berry Tart Recipe
There’s something truly special about the arrival of fresh berry season! Whether they’re baked into a strawberry cobbler, blended into a refreshing smoothie, or simply used to garnish mini cheesecakes, fresh berries have a magical way of elevating recipes. So, I decided to honor this berry season by making an incredibly delicious fresh berry tart with a buttery shortbread crust filled with creamy vanilla custard!
But before you start dreading the idea of making pastry or custard, here’s the best part – this berry tart recipe is easy to make! Unlike traditional pie crusts that require meticulous rolling and careful handling, the shortbread crust in this recipe comes together effortlessly in a food processor and is simply patted into the tart tin. Plus, you can easily use store-bought custard or even a vanilla pudding mix if you prefer. You don’t need to be a pastry chef to whip up this yummy homemade tart!
Why You’ll Love This Berry Tart
- Easy Elegant Dessert! Surprisingly easy to make, this beautiful dessert features a simple shortbread crust that requires no fancy pastry skills, and you can even use store-bought custard! With this recipe, you can have an elegant tart ready in less than an hour!
- Fresh Berry Delight! This tart is the perfect way to showcase the deliciousness of fresh berries. With a buttery shortbread crust filled with vanilla custard and then topped with an assortment of colorful berries, each creamy and refreshing bite is pure perfection.
- Versatile Dessert! Whether you’re hosting a weekend brunch, afternoon tea, or a special event, this tart is a crowd-pleaser. It’s a dessert that not only tastes incredible but also looks like a work of art, making it perfect for any gathering.
- All-Purpose Flour – Creates the perfect base of the tart shell. You can try substituting regular flour with gluten-free flour if you prefer.
- Butter – Makes the shortbread crust buttery. While I usually use unsalted butter, I did use salted in this recipe, so if you don’t have salted butter, add a pinch of salt to the crust. You can also use vegetable shortening or cold coconut oil as non-dairy alternatives.
- Granulated Sugar – Adds a touch of sweetness to the crust and contributes to its tender texture.
- Egg Yolk – Provides the crust with another layer of richness and flavor.
- Ice Water – Helps the dough come together by providing just the right amount of moisture.
- Vanilla Custard – Also called pastry cream, it’s commonly used to fill fruit tarts. You can use store-bought or homemade vanilla custard.
- Fresh Berries – You can use an assortment of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, like I did, or just one type if you prefer. It’s totally up to you! Just make sure to choose vibrant, ripe, and ready-to-eat berries.
Making a homemade tart is super easy with this foolproof recipe! From making the simple shortbread crust to filling the tart with creamy custard and fresh berries, anyone can whip up this yummy dessert!
Before you make the dough for the crust, you need to preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) so that it’s ready for blind baking! If the oven isn’t properly preheated the crust won’t bake evenly.
Now, you can start making the tart! First, add the all-purpose flour, cold cubes of butter, and granulated sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Then pulse the mixture together until it resembles coarse sand. Next, add the egg yolk and pulse the dough again until it comes together.
If your dough seems too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water to achieve the right consistency. However, do this slowly as adding too much water can result in a dense crust.
After you’ve made the dough, transfer it into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Then use your fingers to press the dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Then prick the bottom of the crust with a fork to prevent it from puffing up during baking. Finally, put the formed crust in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill.
After chilling the crust, place it in the preheated oven and bake it for 12 to 15 minutes or until it turns a light golden brown color. Then remove it from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. You must cool your crust before proceeding to the next step.
Once cooled, it’s time to fill your perfectly baked tart shell! To begin, make sure your custard is also cool. Now, spread it evenly over the crust and then arrange the fresh mixed berries on top.
This step is totally optional but adds a nice touch of elegance to the tart by giving it a shine. First, warm some apricot jam. Then use a pastry brush to gently brush the warmed jam over the berries, making sure to cover each berry with a thin layer to create a glossy finish.
Once you assemble the tart, place it in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. This step gives the tart time to set, which results in a more refreshing and flavorful dessert.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different type of crust?
Absolutely! While the shortbread crust is a classic choice, you can make this tart with a traditional pie crust, a graham cracker crust, or even store-bought crust.
Can I use frozen berries?
I don’t recommend using frozen fruit because of the excess liquid and texture. However, if you choose to use frozen berries, make sure to thaw and drain them before arranging them on top of the custard.
Can I make the tart in advance?
The tart is best enjoyed fresh, but you can prepare the crust and custard a day in advance and then assemble the dessert just before serving.
Do I have to use a tart tin?
While a tart tin with a removable bottom is the best choice, you can use other baking dishes like a pie dish or a springform pan if you don’t have a tart tin. The recipe will still work well with these alternatives.
- Cold butter matters. To achieve a tender crust, the butter must be cold and cubed before mixing it with the flour. The small chunks of butter create pockets of steam, which creates a light texture.
- Prevent the crust from puffing. Don’t forget to prick the crust before blind baking to stop air bubbles from forming. You can also use pie weights or dried beans if you like in addition to pricking the crust.
- Chill the crust. Before baking the crust, you need to refrigerate it for at least 15 minutes. This step is not optional. Chilling helps to prevent the crust from shrinking during baking.
- Prevent a soggy bottom. Brush a thin layer of melted white chocolate on the bottom of your crust before adding the custard and berries. This simple technique creates a protective barrier and helps to keep your tart shell crisp.
You can store leftovers for up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. However, I don’t recommend freezing the berry tart as it will alter the texture of both the custard and the fresh fruit.
Discover Other Delicious Desserts
- Fig Tart
- Bakewell Tart
- Pear and Almond Cream Tart
- Canadian Butter Tarts
- Egg Tarts (Hong Kong Style)
- Lemon Bars
For The Filling
- 2 cups vanilla custard (store-bought or homemade)
- 1½ cups mixed fresh berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- To make the crust, combine the flour, butter, and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and pulse until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of cold water.
- Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let it cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once the crust is cooled, spread the vanilla custard evenly over the crust.
- Arrange the mixed berries on top of the custard.
- Optional: You can brush some warmed apricot jam over the berries to create a shiny glaze. Using a pastry brush, brush the warmed apricot jam glaze over the top of the berries. Be sure to cover each berry with a thin layer of the glaze.
- Chill the tart in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Crust Variations: Feel free to use store-bought pie crust or graham cracker crust if you’re short on time.
- Vanilla Custard: Ensure that the custard is completely cooled before filling the tart shell to prevent a soggy crust.
- Fruit Toppings: This tart is versatile! Use a mix of seasonal berries or your favorite fruits for topping.
- Make-Ahead: You can prepare the crust and custard a day in advance. Assemble with berries just before serving for maximum freshness.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.