Posted on August 30 2012

Tartine Baking Project: #70 Fresh Fruit Tart

First of all, did you know honey turned into beautiful dew drops when you drizzle it on fruit?!  DID YOU KNOW THAT?  Life changing stuff.

Second of all, it’s happening.  I should say it happened, for the most part – there are just two recipes left after this!  The onslaught of wild and crazy emotions are heavy, and somewhat surprising, as the final recipe approaches.  I felt quite like I did as a senior in high school as I was graduating, “This is the last time I will walk in this hallway.  This is the last time I will eat lunch with my friends.  This is the last paper I will turn in.”  Of course, since graduating high school I’ve walked down hallways, turned in countless papers since then, and have enjoyed many lunches with amazing friends.  I felt the same dramatic tendencies as I made this tart – “This is the last tart shell, the final batch of pastry cream, the final time I’ll need a rolling pin.”  I know I will do all of that so many more times, it’s not like when I spent months training then ran a half marathon and then stopped running for seven months after I finished the race.  Thinking in terms of lasts just seems to be the way I’ve begun to process the end of this project.

Now, let’s chat about the best tart I’ve ever made.  I had so much fun gathering up the necessities for this one.  Produce from Michigan is some high quality stuff.  Seriously, and I’ve lived in California!  We’ve got such amazing fruit, well, usually.  This year we were hit with really early heat.  In March, so much pale winter skin was exposed when we had a string of days that were warm!  The norm is to be bundled up, sometimes well into April.  It didn’t stick, and another freeze came.  The heat wave did stick long enough to trick fruit trees though, which meant a season with no fruit.  And for some, it killed entire trees permanently.  Apple orchards, the idol of fall in Michigan, will have weak crops and will likely have to ship in apples from out of state.  Sheesh!  So sad!  But, I did mention that this tart was the best tart I’ve ever made – I found some really good peaches at the farmers’ market.  Very exciting stuff, folks.

Pastry cream is probably my favorite thing to make, certainly my favorite thing to eat.  I know I’ve said this before, but if I could marry pastry cream I would, I just love it so much.  I’d like to ask Obama and Romney what their thoughts on that would be – I’m assuming neither party could get behind that.  I guess that’s a good thing.  This tart is one of the simplest recipes in the cookbook – sweet tart shell, pastry cream, and fresh fruit.  I added some mint from my backyard, and that magical drizzle of honey.  Dan wants me to add a disclaimer: “It’s really not simple.  I saw you make it, but then eating it – yes, so simple and one of my favorite things you’ve made.”  I’ve made so many tart shells and batches of pastry cream, and it doesn’t feel like a stretch to say it’s simple stuff to make, but to someone who’s never spent time baking I would venture to say it’s not the simplest thing ever.  Simply judging from eating it, such a simple, unfussy dessert.  Perfection, really.

I shared this with a handful of friends, and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser.  I keep just staring at the photos and smiling, the same way I look at baby photos of Jack.  It was fun to share with many friends, one of which is pregnant.  She liked it, like really liked it.  She was so excited, it actually made her blush the brightest shade of red I’ve ever seen a person as she let us know just how it made her feel.  Some people say burping after a meal is a compliment, I vote that her response is the highest compliment that ever has been or ever will be.

A giveaway comes along with the final three recipes of the Tartine cookbook!  You could win!!!  Leave a comment here letting me know the best dessert you’ve ever eaten.  All comments need to be left on this post by midnight on September 4th, and I will announce the winner on September 5th here!


UPDATE!  And the winner is…#19!

Craig says:

Beautiful looking fresh fruit tart…. Elegant…
The best dessert I’ve ever eaten is one I can still see how ever far it is from her in Australia and that is simply the Bread (Brioche) Pudding at Tartine…

Congrats!  Please send your mailing address to kastner (dot) emily (at) gmail (dot) com!  So excited for you!  Now you can make that bread pudding you love!


  1. NicoleD says:

    Your fruit tart is GORGEOUS!! Oh my! I love the way you arranged the fruit. Did you ever watch Pee Wee’s Playhouse when you were a kid? I remember he said he loved fruit salad and all of his playhouse friends said, “Then why don’t you marry it!” And then he did. A bowl of fruit salad with a tiny veil, ha.

  2. Charlotte says:

    This looks amazing!!! I am so impressed by this challenge you have almost completed! It is inspiring!

    I hardly ever meet a dessert that I don’t like! Blackberry Cobbler is my favorite fruity dessert, but chocolate has its own category!!!

  3. Heather in sf says:

    You have been having such fun with this, sorry to see it’s nearing the end. a very pretty tart!

  4. Megan says:

    I’ve never made pastry cream, but your love and that whole marrying it thing has me dying to make it! And this tart just looks perfect! I’m craving it for real.

    • Megan says:

      I forgot to say the best dessert I’ve ever eaten!

      At the moment the one that comes to mind is this awesome banana cream pie I had at Ronin. It had a nutter butter crust, whipped cream, and salted caramel on top.


    • Emily says:

      Thanks so much! Go make some pastry cream!

  5. Erin says:

    As usual, your photographs are gorgeous!! Buttermilk pie is my favorite sweet indulgence.

  6. Justine Navarro says:

    I have a thing for rectangle tarts, and that one looks fantastic! Probably the mos RECENT best dessert I’ve eaten was a Cherry Ganache Tart. High-sided shortbread crust baked in a loaf pan, filled to the brim with chocolate ganache and topped with pitted, stems-left-on cherries! It was beautiful and made me a little weak in the knees with every bite!

  7. rosanna says:

    dang i can’t believe you’re almost done! way to go.

    i love a good peach pie!

  8. Amy D. says:

    I started leaning forward trying to take a bite of the pictures.

    I am happiest eating dessert after a big adventure, like backpacking. But the best dessert that comes to mind (likely as a result of your Michigan fruit discussion) is my grandma’s apple pie. My family farms apples and other fruits along the Lake. The pie is so special coming from grandma, from the farm, eaten at the farm.

  9. Heather inSF says:

    Wow, it’s going to be sad when this adventure ends, I have been enjoying your pictures so much! This tart is especially pretty. xoxo @HeatherHAL

  10. Kim Gold says:

    That’s the most picture perfect dessert I’ve ever seen, Em!

    I would have to say the yummiest dessert I’ve had was a strawberry rhubarb pie I made from a friends recipe and, since I’m a choc-aholic, I covered it with dark chocolate ice cream and chocolate shavings. I didn’t realize how tasty rhubarb and chocolate could be together!

  11. Melanie says:

    I’m not sure I want to marry this tart, but I’d I’d like to take it home with me. Maybe get to know it a little better. Take it to the movies. Walk on the beach. Listen to music together. Find out its secrets. Become lifelong friends. Then love it every day. Ok, maybe I do want to marry it. Exciting, exciting stuff.

    • Emily says:

      Ha! I love you, Mel! So funny! I picture you and a bowl of pastry cream sitting next to each other at the movies, and I can’t stop laughing!

  12. Anne says:

    This tart seduced me. I was powerless in the face of its sunny, honey dew drops and precious vanilla-bean flecks

  13. kendra says:

    i once made a chocolate torte with peanutbutter and dark chocolate ganace.

  14. Nikole says:

    That crust looks perfect!

  15. sarah says:

    oh my lord those pictures are BEAUTIFUL! lawdy, girl! thanks for the chance to win this lovely cookbook, you lovely lady you.

  16. Lindsey Royal Anderson says:

    I love that tart mold. It’s funny, I often refer others to your blog “my acquaintance Emily writes this beautiful blog about cooking through the Tartine Cookbook,” (etc.) and I am feeling a little sentimental ’bout you closing the book. What will become of Tar-Tryin’? Whisk Bakeshop Extraordinaire?

    But anyway, the best dessert I’ve ever had changes on a constant basis, as my use of the superlative is fantastic! But, of late, my favorite dessert is flour-less chocolate cake with walnuts and whipped cream! YUM!

  17. Nora says:

    I’m with you on pastry cream! Such a classic. The best dessert I’ve EVER had?! Oh boy. I guess as of late, I’d have to say the best dessert I’ve eaten (and made, to boot) was a triple chocolate cake – w/layers of homemade pudding and buttercream frosting!

  18. Susan says:

    Favorite dessert..hmmm…I’ll have to say my Mom’s rhubarb pie. Or French Silk Pie…does it have to be just ONE?!! :D

  19. Craig says:

    Beautiful looking fresh fruit tart…. Elegant…
    The best dessert I’ve ever eaten is one I can still see how ever far it is from her in Australia and that is simply the Bread (Brioche) Pudding at Tartine…

  20. Sarah says:

    oh my, my favorite ever…that’s a tough question. I have such a bad memory to even remember all the things I’ve had, and I love all things sweet…so I’ll just pick one; my Grandma’s lemon meringue pie. What a wonderful, wonderful thing. :) It always had beautiful “tears” on the top, but she hated them. haha!

  21. sarah says:

    Wow, that looks amazing! My favorite dessert that I have ever made was a blackberry pie, made from scratch with fresh, handpicked blackberries. yum!

  22. catarina says:

    the best dessert i’ve ever eaten is probably this amazing panna cotta with red fruits made by a friend. it looks so simple coming from his hands, and tastes like heaven!

  23. Charlee says:

    Favorite dessert is such a tough one… I love anything in pie form so I will go with an old favorite: grasshopper pie! But I’m sure if I had a slice of that tart with the honey sprinkled raspberries.. I might have to give grasshopper pie a second thought!

  24. Kate C says:

    The passion fruit cheesecake at Cafe Alexander in La Paz or the lemon basil panna cotta w blackberry bourbon sauce at snackbar here. Em I’ve never entered before but I actually saw this giveaway!

  25. Kylie says:

    Gorgeous! I’d love to make some of these lovely desserts :)

  26. Meg says:

    Beautiful rectangle tart! The best dessert I’ve ever had is either the pretty red candy apple in Niagra on the Lake or a yummy coconut tart at dim sum! Though I’d try this tart!

  27. neda says:

    is there a recipe that I can follow? please and thank u :D

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