This brown butter French fruit tart with stone fruit is as delicious as it is beautiful. The tart crust is crisp and buttery, nutty and decadent from brown butter and vanilla paste, sweet, fresh and flavorful from juicy, ripe peaches, plums and cherries. It's the perfect summer tart to use up any sweet seasonal fruits.
For the tart crust, I used my go-to Pâte Sucrée (sweet tart crust) and a 9"- 9.5" standard tart pan. It's easily prepared in a food processor and bakes up beautifully golden brown. It's buttery, tender and slightly sweet - a perfect crust for this decadent pastry cream.
Pastry cream is similar to vanilla pudding in how it's made and also it's texture. Pastry cream is a custard, thickened with egg yolks and cornstarch, while pudding is thickened with fewer or no eggs, and cornstarch. Both the tart crust and pastry cream aren't super sweet, just enough so that the flavors of the fresh fruit really shine.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- This fruit tart is easy to prepare, and all the components can be made in advance and assembled before serving.
- The tart crust is crisp and sturdy, buttery and almost-cookie like
- Brown butter pastry cream is silky and rich with the deep flavors of brown butter and vanilla.
- This recipe is so versatile. Any fruits you like can be used for this tart.
Fully baked tart crust - This recipe is my go-to.
Unsalted butter - Contributes to a luxurious and silky pastry cream, as well as flavor
Whole milk - Do not use reduced fat milk. Choice of milk effects the texture, flavor and body of the pastry cream. Whole milk provides the best flavor, with a thick and silky texture.
Light brown sugar
Fine sea salt
Cornstarch - helps to thicken the pastry cream
Vanilla bean paste - You can also use vanilla extract. I like vanilla paste for this recipe for those little flecks of vanilla and I think the flavor is a bit stronger.
Fresh fruit - peaches, plums and cherries
Toasted almonds - optional, for extra crunch
Demerara sugar - optional, for extra crunch and sweetness
- Make the brown butter first by placing the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Cook the butter until golden and fragrant. Allow it to cool while preparing the pastry cream.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and half of the brown sugar.
- Whisk in the cornstarch.
- Combine the milk, the remaining half of the sugar and salt in a saucepan and heated until simmering.
- Slowly whisk the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs. This ensures that the eggs are being heated gradually, and won't seize when cooking.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan to cook until bubbling and thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Whisk in the butter and vanilla.
- Strain the pastry cream into a bowl to catch any potential egg bits that might have cooked or curdled, and to keep it smooth and silky.
- Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on top. Chill the pastry cream for 3-4 hours or overnight until fully chilled.
- Once thoroughly chilled, stir the pastry cream and pour into the baked and cooled tart shell.
- Evenly spread the pastry cream over the tart shell.
- Slice the peaches and plums into thin slices, and fan them out over the pastry cream in little sections. Place some pitted and halved cherries, as well as some whole, stemmed cherries on the tart, down the center, or off to the side. Sprinkle some toasted almonds to fill in any gaps. Finish the tart by sprinkling with Demerara sugar. The sugar will cause the fruit to macerate and get juicer so be sure to add the sugar just before serving.
- All the components of this tart can be made in advance and assembled before serving. This ensures that any liquid from the fruit doesn't make the pastry cream watery or the tart soggy.
- Use any fruit you love or that is in season. This tart is also amazing with a mix of berries - strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Storage and Freezing
This tart is best eaten the day it's assembled. But, leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
The tart shell and the pastry cream can be frozen. Once the pastry cream is chilled, place it in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to two months. Defrost the pastry cream overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Cut off pieces of the fruit on all 4 sides, leave the core in the center. Cut each side into thin slices and fan out. Place onto the tart and repeat with remaining fruit until there are very few small gaps left. Fill the gaps with sliced or whole cherries.
Brush a thin layer of melted white chocolate over the crust, bottom and sides after it has been cooled. This creates a barrier so that moisture won't seep into the crust.
You can also brush egg white over the crust after it has been blind baked, just before its final 10 minutes of baking. This also creates a barrier, similar to the white chocolate technique.
If you this brown butter French fruit tart, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes and creations.
More Tart and Pie Recipes to Try
Brown Butter French Fruit Tart
- 1 recipe Páte Sucrée, fully baked
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
- 3 cups peaches (I used 3 peaches)
- 3 cups red plums (I used 3 plums)
- ¼ cup cherries
- Toasted almonds, for sprinkling
- Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
Brown Butter Pastry Cream
- Place the butter into a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter until deep golden brown, and the butter stops popping. Set aside to cool until warm.¼ cup unsalted butter
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk, ¼ cup of brown sugar and salt and bring to a simmer.2 cups whole milk, ½ cup light brown sugar, packed, divided, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and egg yolks and whisk until fully mixed, about 30 seconds.5 large egg yolks
- Whisk in the cornstarch until thickened, for about a minute.3 tablespoons cornstarch
- When the milk mixture is simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat. Carefully and slowly, whisk the milk into the egg mixture.
- Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking continuously until the pastry cream thickens and slow bubbles pop on the surface.
- Whisk in the brown butter and vanilla bean paste.2 teaspoons pure vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any curdled bits, and to smooth out the cream.
- Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap so that a skin doesn't form. Allow the pastry cream to cool to room temperature.
- Chill the pastry cream in the fridge until completely chilled, about 3 hours, preferably overnight before using.
Assembling the Tart
- Assemble the tart just before serving. Slice the peaches and plums into thin slices.3 cups peaches, 3 cups red plums
- Pit and halve the cherries, leaving a few stemmed and uncut. Set aside.¼ cup cherries
- Stir the chilled pastry cream. Pour into the cooled, fully baked tart crust.1 recipe Páte Sucrée, fully baked
- With an offset spatula, spread the pastry cream out evenly in the tart crust.
- Place the peaches and plums over the pastry cream. Top with cherries.
- Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the tart, filling in some of the gaps where the pastry cream is can be seen.Toasted almonds, for sprinkling
- Sprinkle the tart with Demerara sugar. Serve immediately.Demerara sugar, for sprinkling