French fruit tart

French fruit tart

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Impress your mates at a dinner party with this stunning custard tart and its strips of different coloured fruits.


  • 500g/1lb 2oz puff pastry or packet of fresh, ready rolled all-butter puff pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 85g/3oz white chocolate, in pieces
  • 2 tbsp Poire William liqueur
  • 300ml/10fl oz full-fat milk
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 85g/3oz caster sugar
  • 2 heaped tbsp corn flour
  • 150g/5½oz blueberries
  • 2 medium plums, quartered
  • ½ mango, peeled, cut into small chunks
  • 1 small bunch seedless green and/or black grapes, halved
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam

Preparation method

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and cut out a rectangle measuring 36cm x 20cm/14in x 8in (alternatively use ready-rolled puff pastry). Place on a baking tray.

  2. Using a table knife, score a 1cm/½in border around the edge, making sure you don’t cut all the way through (hold the knife like a pen, place your index finger against the outer edge of the pastry and run the knife along).

  3. Brush the border with the beaten egg, taking care not to allow any to dribble down the sides because this will prevent the pastry rising evenly.

  4. Prick the base of the tart (not the border) with a fork and leave the pastry to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  6. Bake the pastry for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.

  7. Slide the pastry onto a wire rack and set aside to cool. Once cooled, gently press the centre of the pastry down to leave the frame around the edge.

  8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water), and brush the melted chocolate over the bottom of the pastry (not the border). Set aside until the chocolate has hardened

  9. Place the liqueur, milk and vanilla pod into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

  10. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture and whisk together. Pour this mixture back in the pan and bring to a simmer.

  11. Whisk the corn flour into the pan, stirring continuously to avoid any lumps, until the mixture has thickened. Pour the custard into a bowl and set aside to cool.

  12. Spread the custard mixture over the pastry base.

  13. Draw shallow lines in the mixture with a knife to create four sections and arrange each different fruit in a section on top so that each section is a contrasting colour.

  14. Heat the jam in a small saucepan and, with a pastry brush, glaze the fruit.

  15. Allow to set before serving.

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James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 10