Thursday, June 4, 2009

Birthday Fruit Tart

My 22nd birthday was yesterday and it was amazing! To celebrate, I was originally planning on making an ice cream cake. I didn't get started until late Tuesday evening and I realized I only had enough cream for one small batch of ice cream, not nearly enough for a whole cake. So, not wanting to walk across the street to Kroger while it was storming, I decided to abandon the ice cream cake idea (though I did make a delicious batch of vanilla bean ice cream). Then I got the idea to make a fruit tart. I have wanted to make my own fruit tart since I worked in the bakery at Fresh Market a year ago.

This was my first full size fruit tart. I modified a recipe I have actually made on a number of occasions as mini tarts. The hubby and I both love this recipe and so have those who tried it. I wanted to do more of a traditional fruit tart, but I didn't have the time to make pastry cream and I didn't want to try a whole new recipe and foreign techniques when I was pressed for time and needed a guaranteed delicious dessert. I ended up sharing this tart with friends and family at what was my first ever surprise party and my first birthday party since I was little. The day was unforgettable!

Shortbread and Lime Curd Tart
serves 8

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used homemade)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt

2 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons lime curd
4 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Various fruit toppings (I used blackberries, strawberries, and golden kiwi)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush 9 1/2 inch tart pan with melted butter.

In the bowl of an electric mixter, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt until just combined. Press dough into prepared tart pan. Place in freezer for at least 10 minutes. This lets the dough rest and will help it hold its shape while baking. Poke holes in crust with tines of fork. Place a piece of parchment paper over the tart shell and fill with pie weights, dry beans or rice. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes, until edges are lightly golden brown and set. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the pie and place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until center of tart is golden brown.* Place on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, move tart shell to the refrigerator until ready to fill and decorate.

*Baking time may vary. According to my oven thermometer, it is always under temperature. The tart may brown quickly and be ready after 20 minutes in the oven. Mine took almost 30 minutes to finish browning.

Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Next, beat in the lime curd until smooth. If the filling is too tangy, beat in 1 tablespoon sugar at a time until desired sweetness is achieved. If more tartness is desired, add one tablespoon of lime curd at a time until pleasantly tart. Refrigerate until ready to assemble tart.

Fill cooled crust with filling and level top until smooth. Decorate with desired fruit(s). Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

My husband and I have always loved this recipe in mini form, but I must say I prefer the full size version as it is quite breathtaking with the beautiful fruit. This recipe is pretty versatile. You can adjust the tartness of the filling to your liking, and try making it with lemon or lime curd. And there are about a million options for fruit toppings. This is a great, fast recipe as the different components come together very quickly. Let me know what you think if you try it!


  1. Pretty tart! Question ... how did you make the lime curd? And happy birthday!

  2. Thank you!

    Since I was in a hurry when I made the tart, I used store bought lime curd for the filling. I used Dickinson's brand, which was delicious. They also carry lemon curd, if you prefer to try it with lemon. Here is a recipe for lime curd, if you wanted to try making your own for the tart. I haven't tried it before though, so I can't comment on the taste:

    8 egg yolks
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
    3 limes, zest grated and juiced

    Place the ingredients in a double boiler over boiling water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken ever-so-slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate to thicken. Keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

  3. Beautiful! I hope you had a wonderful birthday too! I will definitely try this recipe soon! I have never attempted fruit tart, and it looks DELICIOUS! xx

  4. Dusky Ledoux:
    Thanks! Let me know how you like the tart if you try it.

    Thank you!

  5. I didn't know you could buy lemon or lime curd at the grocery store. Where do you usually fine it? Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Ninette,

    At my local Kroger the lemon and lime curd are both located in the baking isle somewhat near the baking soda and baking powder. I wouldn't be surprised if it may also be located with jams and marmalades in the condiment isle. If you have trouble finding it in your local grocery, ask an employee to check if they carry it.

    On the Dickinson's website you can actually search to see what stores near you carry it. Go to their website and click the "Search for Our Products at a Store Near You!" button at the top right of the page. From there select fruit curds, then whichever flavor you prefer as well as your zip code and it will tell you where you can purchase the curd in your area.

  7. Your tart is beautiful. I received one of your necklaces for Mother's Day and love you work! I'll definately check out your booth on the 4th.

  8. The dough was extremely difficult to deal with! It was too gooey to press in the pan and then was too hard after being in the freezer for 10min. The dough came out of the pan (and I used 11in) and leaked into my oven, causing it to smoke. When I took the weights out, it stuck to the parchment paper. I tried to salvage what was left in the tart pan... but finished product was badly beaten and cracked. Flavor of the pieces were good but I will definitely not use this recipe again for shortbread.

  9. Frustrated-

    I am so sorry you had trouble with the dough! I have used this dough NUMEROUS times for a 9 1/2 inch tart as well as mini tarts made in a muffin tin and have never had any problems with the dough whatsoever. It is a relatively soft dough since it is a shortbread dough, but this is a pretty standard shortbread recipe. Have you ever worked with any other similar doughs in this manner?


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