Rustic French Fruit Tart Recipe

July 24, 2019

Learn this simple method for making a classic French fruit tart recipe. This recipe is beyond easy and can be adapted to work with any type of jam or fruit!

Rustic French Fruit Tart Recipe (dairy free)

Hoping to make a basic French fruit tart? This technique is not only authentic, but is also incredibly easy and adaptable! This French fruit tart recipe can be used to make any type of fruit tart! All you need is flour, oil, jam or jelly, and fruit!

Note, this French fruit tart recipe is not your typical cream based tart. Instead, this recipe simply requires a jar of preserves and fresh fruit. Since the crust is made without butter, this is a great dairy free dessert!

My aunt comes up to visit us a couple times each year, and we make a point to spend at least one of the days she is here in the kitchen. Sometimes we cook from an old cookbook passed down to us from my great aunt or grandmother. Sometimes we make something new from one of the cookbooks in my collection, but often times she teaches me something that her aunt taught her, like this authentic French crepe recipe.

I love when she shares the stories of how she learned the recipe, because I know someday I will get to pass this wisdom down, and I cherish every moment.

On her last visit she brought her tart pan, and taught me how to make a French fruit tart using the recipe and technique she learned from her French aunts.

She said she remembered her aunts pressing the dough into the tart pans, chattering away, getting ready for guests. My aunt described this tart recipe as the perfect thing to serve to girlfriends with a glass of wine on a lazy summer afternoon. Nothing sounds quite as perfect as a slice of fruit tart with a glass of wine and good girlfriends!

Need more brunch recipes? Try these blueberry lemon scones or an apple galette! They’re a reader favorite!

I hope you enjoy this French fruit tart recipe! I have included two versions of this recipe: a traditional method, and a flaky crust method. The traditional recipe is dairy free!

My aunt was taught by her aunts to make this recipe with oil. So that is how we made it. It is delicious and the perfect consistency!

If however, you prefer more a pie-like crust, instead of oil, use butter.

Tips for making a French fruit tart:

  • If using butter, work quickly so that the butter melts minimally. Ideally, you’d like it to stay very cold up to the second you put it in the oven. The air bubbles formed when it melts in the oven is what makes the crust flaky.

  • If using oil, you can shape the crust into the tart pan by pressing the bottom of a glass into the pan, tamping the dough into place.

  • Refrigerate the tart before placing it in the oven.

  • Sprinkle the top of the tart with sugar and a little cinnamon if desired, this will crystalize and make the tart that much more beautiful!

  • Use fresh fruit, and do not slice it ahead of time to prevent browning. If you would like to slice it prior to baking, drizzle a little lemon juice over the fruit (which will help preserve the color).

  • You can use any type of jam or jelly to make a French fruit tart! This is the easiest way to make a tart! Use apricot, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, or any other type of jam! You can even mix and match flavors such as apricot jelly with blackberries on top!


French Fruit Tart Recipe


Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1/3 cup oil or cold butter

  • dash of salt

  • 1 T sugar

  • 3-5 T ice water (plus more if necessary)

For the filling:

  • 8 oz. jam or jelly, any flavor

  • sliced fruit for topping, any type of fruit!

Traditional French Method:

Preheat oven to 375 F

  1. Combine flour, pinch of salt, sugar, oil, and ice water into a large bowl. Use your hands to crumble the mixture and work until it forms into a dough. If the dough is too crumbly, add 1 teaspoon oil and a 1 tablespoon water and work until it holds together like wet sand. *This is a “little more of this, little more of that until it’s perfect” kind of recipe. See the photo examples below.

  2. Use your hands to press the dough into the tart pan. Use the back of a cup to press the dough firmly and evenly. Use your fingers to press some of the dough into the side of the tart pan creating a lip of crust.

  3. Pour 8 oz. of jelly directly over the crust. Use the back of a spoon to spread the jelly evenly over the crust.

  4. Slice fresh fruit and adorn decoratively over the jelly. Sprinkle sugar, and if desired, cinnamon over the top.

  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the jelly is bubbling.

  7. Cool and enjoy any time of day with a glass of French wine! ;)

Flaky Crust Method:

This method is nearly identical to the method described above, except it uses butter rather than oil, and the crust is rolled out rather than pressed into shape. This will result in a crust that resembles pie crust. This is not the method my aunt was taught, or shared with me, but I thought I would share with you in case you’d prefer to use butter.

The most important part of this method is to work quickly, and keep the butter as cold as possible.

Preheat oven to 375 F

  1. Combine flour, pinch of salt, sugar, butter (cut into pea sized pieces), and ice water into a large bowl.

  2. Use your hands to crumble the mixture and work until combined into a dough. Work quickly! Add more ice water as needed to form the dough. *Alternatively, you may use a pastry cutter or food processor here rather than combining with your hands.

  3. Ball up the dough, and transfer to a flat surface. Form the dough into a disc shape and roll out like pie dough. Add a bit more flour if needed to prevent sticking. Roll the dough 1/4-1/8” thick. Carefully transfer the rolled out dough to a tart pan.

  4. Use your fingers to press the dough into the tart pan creating a lip. Then trim off any excess dough that overflows from the edge of the tart pan. Do not stretch the dough, or it will shrink while cooking. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork to prevent the crust from puffing up while baking.

  5. Pour 8 oz. of jelly directly over the crust. Use the back of a spoon to spread the jelly evenly over the crust.

  6. Slice fresh fruit and adorn decoratively over the jelly.

  7. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the jelly is bubbling.

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