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Vanilla Cream Tarts with Fresh Raspberries

Delicious Vanilla Cream Tarts with Fresh Raspberries have a sweet shortbread crust, vanilla cream filling and fresh raspberries on top! This recipe makes 6 – 3 inch mini fruit tarts, or 1 -10 inch tart.

a Vanilla Cream Tarts with Fresh Raspberries sits on a white plate

About this recipe:

This recipe is one of my most popular recipes on my site! And with good reason. These tarts have a delicious shortbread cookie-like crust, a creamy simple vanilla pastry cream filling and fresh raspberry topping. There’s just something SO DELICIOUS about the combination of shortbread and creamy vanilla custard.

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Makes 6 – 3 inch tarts, or 1 -10 inch tart.

There’s just something so elegant and charming about tarts, isn’t there?! You can make this recipe as 6 mini fruit tartlets or one large tart. And while they may seem daunting to make they’re really not. These tarts are not hard to make at all, and trust me, they are well worth the effort, your friends + family will love them. They are perfect for a special occasion, a dinner party or really, any time you’re craving a vanilla cream tart!

Raspberry Vanilla Cream Tarts Recipe Tips

  • ORDER OF PREPARATION:
    The recipe is split into 3 parts, so make it in this order:
    • the crust
    • vanilla cream filling
    • berry topping
  • BERRIES: This recipe uses raspberries but you can use any of your favourite fruits or summer berries such as: fresh strawberries, blueberries with fresh lemon zest, sliced kiwi, sliced banana…the possibilities are endless!
  • VANILLA: This recipe calls for a vanilla bean, but this is optional. You don’t have to add it if you don’t want to. Just leave it out and proceed with the recipe as is. If I have a vanilla bean I will add it because I like the little flecks it adds to the vanilla cream and it does add nice vanilla flavour, but it’s not crucial to add. Also, if you have vanilla bean paste you can use that instead, about 1/4 tsp.
  • MAKING THE CRUST: I like to use my food processor to make the crust, it’s so simple and turns out beautifully.
  • PAN SIZES: For small tarts use 3-inch tart pans. For 1 large tart use a 10-inch tart tin with a removable bottom.
  • PRESSING THE CRUST INTO THE PAN: To prevent the custard filling from spilling out of the pan, when pressing the crust dough into the pan, make the sides slightly higher than the centre. To do this, press the mixture up towards the edge of the pan, which creates a slight indentation in the centre of the tart pan.
  • TO CHILL OR NOT TO CHILL. This tart can be served right after you make it, but I do prefer to let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour before cutting into it. The warmer this tart is, the more likely the pieces are to fall apart when you cut it.
  • CAN I MAKE THIS AHEAD OF TIME? Yes! You can make this a day ahead of when you want to serve it. I would recommend adding the raspberries later, right before you want to serve it. So I would make the crust and filling ahead of time, cover and refrigerate, then add the fresh berries right before you serve it.
  • TIP! WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER EGG WHITES? This recipe will leave you with 4 egg whites, so if you’re looking for some recipe ideas for what to do with them, I wrote a whole post about it!

Serving Suggestion

Once you have assembled the tarts, dust them with powdered sugar. Sometimes I like to serve these with whipped cream on the side too.

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Vanilla Cream Tarts with Fresh Raspberries

Delicious Raspberry & Vanilla Cream Tarts

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5 from 17 reviews

These Delicious Vanilla Cream Tarts with Fresh Raspberries have a sweet shortbread crust, vanilla cream filling and fresh raspberries on top! This recipe makes 6 – 3 inch tarts, or 1 -10 inch tart. Please note that it’s best to make the tarts in this order: Crust first, then the cream.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 small tarts or 1 large tart 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Units Scale

Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (cut into chunks)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 (3 inch) mini tart pans (or 1 large tart pan)

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk (3%)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (split down the centre to expose the seeds) – optional
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Fruit Topping:

  • fresh raspberries
  • icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Instructions

Making the crust:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, process the flour, sugar and salt for about 10 seconds, then add the chunks of butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. If you don’t want to use a food processor, feel free to mix this with a pastry cutter like you would use for making pie crust.
  3. Add the egg yolks and process again until the egg is thoroughly combined.
  4. If you are making mini tarts (tartlets), separate the mixture into 6 – 3 inch tart pans, and press the dough into the pans, making the sides slightly higher than the centre. Bake for 12-15 minutes, making sure to prick them with a fork several times, as the dough tends to puff up. Watch them carefully, as they go from not done to overcooked very quickly! The tart crust should be lightly golden brown when done.
  5. If you are making one large tart, press the tart dough into a 10 inch tart pan (making the sides slightly higher than the centre) and bake for about 15-18 minutes. Again make sure to prick the tart with a fork several times while baking, and watch it carefully. The tart crust should be lightly golden brown when done.
  6. Let cool completely on a wire rack before adding the filling.

Making the vanilla cream:

  1. Using a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the milk and the vanilla bean if you are using one, bring to a simmer. Then remove the vanilla pod.
  3. Pour about half of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, and stir.
  4. Then return this milk/egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan, and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the custard is thick and slightly bubbly. Make sure to whisk constantly so that the mixture doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  6. Cover the custard with a sheet of parchment paper or a piece of plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, then it set aside to cool.

Putting the Tarts Together:

  1. Once the tart shells and custard have cooled, add about a 1/4 cup of the custard to each shell.
  2. Top with fresh raspberries, and a dusting of icing sugar.
  3. Enjoy!

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33 Comments

  1. Hello!
    Just wondering whether I can refrigerate the cream, or just leave it out and covered – so I can pre-make everything and then put the tarts together just before serving?

  2. I wish I could leave a good review for these, they look really good and I was super excited to try them. I’ve never made custard before but I decided to give it a shot. Terrible decision. I was stirring for probably an hour but it never thickened. I gave up- then decided to keep trying so I put it back on the heat- I turned the heat up this time. And it curdled. So disappointed- I was so excited 😞 these look so good though so I might try again. Could you maybe give me some more instruction on how to make the custard? I would love to be able to try these tarts. Thanks 😊

    1. Sierra;

      You need to pay attention, be very patient, it takes time and it has to be on low heat.
      I have made many custards etc. and you need to be patient and follow exact directions or else the whole thing will be ready for the trash. The recipe is fine.
      Sue

  3. I made these tarts as dessert for Sunday dinner. I used raspberries fresh from the garden and made a glaze for the tarts with boiled raspberries and sugar. They were a big hit!






  4. I am making these tonight! I have an event this weekend I’d like to make them for so I wanted to do a practice run with them first. Do you know if they freeze well? I might try to make them in advance if I can. Thank you!

    1. Hi Katie! I wouldn’t freeze these, I don’t find that puddings/cream fillings freeze well. But you could always make the tarts and the filling separate and just put them together when you are ready to serve them.