This beautiful and delicious fruit tart is a classic Italian pastry recipe that everyone loves. We make a light, crunchy, and easy pie crust that we then fill with our dairy-free homemade custard.
We use simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry, then we top the tart with fresh seasonal fruit. This is an easy dessert that is perfect for any occasion.
On this page:
Check out our best vegan summer recipes collection!
What is a fruit tart?
Fruit tart, also known as "crostata di frutta" in Italian, is a classic Italian dessert made with a base of shortcrust pastry, filled with custard, topped with fresh seasonal fruit and covered with a thin layer of gelatine.
If you ever come to Italy, you'll find fruit tarts in every single pastry shop. They come in different shapes, from very small ones, to big ones. And they are top with all kind of fruits.
Here we show you how to make a fruit tart at home, with simple ingredient, and in just about 1 hour. You will love this dessert. The crunchy pie crust, combined with the sweet custard and the fresh fruit make the perfect dessert.
Ingredients & Substitutions
For the pie crust
- Flour: you can use all purpose flour, bread flour, wholewheat flour, or a gluten-free mix.
- Sugar: we use white sugar, but any sugar will work here.
- Oil: we use sunflower oil, but any vegetable oil will work. For a more neutral flavour, use a refined vegetable oil.
- Water: to keep the crust light and crunchy. We use cold tap water.
- Baking powder: this will help make the tart lighter and more crumbly.
For the custard
- Milk: we use either soy milk or almond milk. Any other plant-milk works too.
- Sugar: we use white sugar. You can replace it with any other sugar.
- Cornstarch: to thicken the custard, instead of eggs. You can replace it with potato starch, although you won't get the exact same result.
- Vanilla: either real vanilla or vanilla extract.
- Turmeric: this is optional, but we recommend to add a pinch of it to give the typical yellow colour to the custard. Do not add too much or you'll taste it. Just the tip of a knife.
For the fruit on top
You can really pick any seasonal fruit you have available where you live, as long as it's not too watery, or else it will make the fruit tart wet and soggy.
For this one we used strawberries, green kiwi, banana, blueberries, and apricots. But we often change the fruit on top, based on the fruit we find at our green grocer.
As an optional ingredient to protect the fruit from getting brown, we recommend using apricot jam mixed with water. This will add a protective layer to the fruit tart.
- Pie dish with removable base so that it will be easy for you to remove the tart out of the dish once it's baked. For this recipe we used an 11 inch, 27 - 28 cm one.
- Rolling pin to roll the shortcrust pastry.
- Whisk and small pot for the custard.
How to make a fruit tart
Make the pie crust
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Prepare your pie dish, oil the bottom and the side, then dust it with flour. This will prevent the pie crust from sticking.
In a bowl, add sugar, oil and water. Stir with a spatula for a minute, until some of the sugar has melted in the liquid.
Now add flour and baking powder, all at once. I sift them in so that the baking powder gets more evenly distributed.
Mix with a spatula for a few seconds till the flour absorbs al the liquids. Then transfer the dough on a worktop and knead for just about a short minute, bringing all the pieces together into a dough ball.
TIP: do not over-knead at this stage. Over-kneading will make your crust tough and less crunchy.
Dust your worktop with flour, then with a rolling pin, flatten the dough till it's large enough to cover your pie dish.
To make things easier, you can roll the dough on a piece of parchment paper, then you can transfer it from the paper to the pie dish.
Adjust the dough into the pie dish to make it fit snuggly, then trim excess dough, and make many whole on the base of the pie with a fork.
Now bake the empty pie crust in the oven at 350F (180C) for about 18 minutes. Once baked, take it out of the oven and let cool down completely.
For the custard
In a pot, off the heat, add all the ingredients: plant-milk, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and turmeric. Whisk well till all the lumps are gone.
Now on medium heat, stir till the liquid turns into a thick, creamy custard. It should take a couple of minutes.
Take off the heat and let cool down while stirring. To speed things up, you can fill up your sink with cold water, then put the pot with the custard in it and stir. The custard doesn't have to be completely cold.
Build the tart
Fill the pie crust with the custard, and distribute evenly with the back of a spoon.
Now prep the fruit, then arrange it in a circular manner, from the outside to the inside, making circles with different fruit types.
How to cut the fruit for a fruit tart?
- Kiwi, banana: peel then cut in discs
- Peach, nectarine, apricot: cut in half, remove stone, then slice in wedges
- Orange, mandarin: peel then use wedges
- Strawberries, grapes, cherries: cut in half
- Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries: keep whole
- Avoid watery fruit: we recommend picking any type of seasonal fruit you have available where you live, except watery fruit like watermelon, melon, etc.
- Do not over-knead. This is important when making pie crust. Over-mixing will product a tougher, less crunchy, less crumbly pie crust. You should really just knead for max a minute.
- Use a layer of apricot jam instead of gelatine
If you want the fruit on the cake to stay fresh for longer without loosing it's bright colours, then you should add a layer of apricot jam melted in a dash of water. It will add a sweet fruit flavour to the tart, while preventing the fruit from turning brown.
Our tip is to warm up 3 tablespoons of apricot jam with a spoon or two of water, bring to boil for a minute till it melts, and then brush over the fruit.
Frequently asked questions
Don't panic. Depending on temperature and humidity levels the dough will be more or less sticky.
To fix it, just add a bit more flour into the mix, or if you are already done kneading, sprinkle some extra flour on the board before and while rolling the dough. Also, don't forget to dust your rolling pin with flour too.
Yes, you can use most fruit for this tart. We recommend going with the season. You can even do a themed tart, for instance, a tropical one with mango, pineapple, papaya, dragon fruit and passion fruit.
Or a fall one with apples, pears, blueberries, figs, or pecan. We would recommend avoiding watery fruit like melons and watermelons.
For this recipe I took inspiration from classic Italian cuisine, more precisely from crostata di frutta con crema pasticcera. I believe that similar fruit tarts are also popular in the French cuisine.
Then you can either cut the fruit tart into the tray and only take out the slice you serve. Alternatively, you can cut 2 long and thick stripes of parchment paper and place them in a cross position into the pie dish under the dough.
When the tart is baked, let it cool completely and then you’ll be able to lift it out of the tray by pulling up the parchment paper stripes.
We recommend storing this fruit tart for a max of 24 hours. After that, it will start getting soggy. You can refrigerate the tart overnight if you need to store it.
Can you make fruit tart in advance?
You can make all the elements of the tart in advance. For instance, you could make the pastry ready in the pie dish and freeze it before cooking it.
You can make the custard and store it the fridge for a couple of days. Then on the day you want to serve the tart, just put it in and add the fruit on top.
We wouldn't recommend however, assembling the tart and freezing it, or storing it for more than a day before serving it. It'll get soggy and the fruit won't look as fresh.
Can you freeze a fruit tart?
No, we wouldn't recommend it. It would absorb moisture and get soggy. You can however prepare the shortcrust pastry base in advance, place it into the pie dish and then freeze it before cooking it.
Fitness fruit tart: for an healthier fruit tart, replace all purpose flour with wholewheat flour, white sugar with coconut sugar. A delicious and kind of healthy treat!
One-fruit fruit tart: you can make a delicious fruit tart even with just one fruit. In this case, we recommend a green kiwi fruit tart or a strawberry fruit tart. You just need to slice 4 to 5 kiwis and arrange their slices on top of the cream cheese. Same thing with the strawberries. You'll need about 1.5 cups.
Fruit pizza: another delicious and easy fruity recipe is our fruit pizza made with dairy-free cream cheese filling and a topping of fresh fruit. This one is even easier to make!
If you liked this fruit tart, you might also like:
For many more easy dessert ideas, check out our desserts category page.
- Pie dish with removable base, 11 inch, 27 - 28 cm.
For the pie crust
- 65 g sugar
- 55 g sunflower seed oil
- 60 g cold water
- 230 g flour all-purpose or wholewheat
- 6 g baking powder
For the custard
- 500 g soy milk or almond milk
- 50 g cornstarch
- 65 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch turmeric
For the fruit topping
- mixed fruit we used 3 kiwis, 12 strawberries, 24 blueberries, 1 banana, 2 apricots
- 3 tablespoon apricot jam optional
For the pie crust
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Prepare your pie dish, oil the bottom and the side, then dust it with flour. This will prevent the pie crust from sticking.In a bowl, add sugar, oil and water. Stir with a spatula for a minute, till some of the sugar has melted in the liquid.
- Now add flour and baking powder, all at once. I sift them in so that the baking powder gets more evenly distributed.Mix with a spatula for a few seconds till the flour absorbs al the liquids. Then transfer the dough on a worktop and knead for just about a short minute, bringing all the pieces together into a dough ball.TIP: do not over-knead at this stage. Over-kneading will make your crust tough and less crunchy.
- Dust your worktop with flour, then with a rolling pin, flatten the dough till it's large enough to cover your pie dish.To make things easier, you can roll the dough on a piece of parchment paper, then you can transfer it from the paper to the pie dish.
- Adjust the dough into the pie dish to make it fit snuggly, then trim excess dough, and make many wholes on the base of the pie with a fork.
- Now bake the empty pie crust in the oven at 350F (180C) for about 18 minutes. Once baked, take it out of the oven and let cool down completely.
For the custard
- In a pot, off the heat, add all the ingredients: milk, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and turmeric. Whisk well till all the lumps are gone.
- Now on medium heat, stir till the liquid turns into a thick custard. It should take a couple of minutes.
- Take off the heat and let cool down while stirring. To speed things up, you can fill up your sink with cold water, then put the pot with the custard in it and stir. The custard doesn't have to be completely cold.
Build the fruit tart
- Fill the pie crust with the custard, and distribute evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Now prep the fruit, then arrange it in a circular manner, from the outside to the inside, making circles with different fruit types.
- Optional: melt 3 tablespoon of apricot jam with 3 tablespoon of water, then brush the top of the fruit tart with it. It will create a shiny protective layer that will prevent the fruit from turning brown.
If you liked this recipe, you might also like:
Did you try this recipe at home? Let us know in the comments below, we love to hear from you!
Great recipe! Would definitely make this again. 🙂 I would not recommend making the custard ahead of time, however; refrigerating it turned it into a jelly-like block, which requires reheating on stovetop and still leaves tiny lumps/beads. It would be less effort to simply start it from scratch the day needed.
Cheers, srna, thanks for your comment! We're very happy you liked the fruit tart - you are very right about the custard. Have a good one. Best, Nico
Excited to make this for a friend’s birthday on Saturday. Was wondering if I can bake the custard with the tart or is it not recommended? I just want the custard to be firm enough as I’m just going to decorate the tops with a few berries. Thanks!
Hi Cassandra, yes, you can definitely bake the custard with the tart. This way the custard will be firmer. The only small downside is that the pie crust will be less crunchy this way. But still delicious!
This my 3rd time making this amazing fruit tart this spring/summer.
I have substituted all plain flour for combination of buckweet & almond for my friend on a glutan free diet. This kind of dough is very hard to transfer into the tin.
But otherwise, the cake was a big success at two birthday parties and I believe it will a success today at a welcome new baby too 🙂
Hi Miriamita, thank you for your message. We are so happy you like the fruit tart 🙂 It's also amazing to know that you managed to do it with buckwheat and almond, completely gluten-free! I can't wait to try that version myself. Ps. Hope the new baby party was a success!
Should the bake time change is making small tarts rather than one big one?
Hi Amy, if you make small tarts the cooking time should be around 20 to 25 minutes. You can also cook the small tarts without the custard filling for about 20 minutes, then when they have cooled down you can add the custard and the fruit on top.
Thank you for this recipe! Will this work with almond, oat or hemp milk?
Hi Arlene, yes, it would. You can use any of your favourite plant-milks 🙂
I made this for my mom’s birthday and she absolutely LOVED IT! Everything turned out perfectly!
Thank you so much for the comment Angie! I am so happy your mom loved it 🙂
Best fruit tart I've ever had. Thank you for the amazing recipe!
Thank you so much Michelle! It makes us so happy to know you liked it 🙂 Cheers!