thirty six: mini fruit tarts

In February, I made a resolution to make monthly posts. Even if today’s the last day of March, it’s not too late, no?

I’ve a story behind these almost light-as-air tarts. I was watching “Bake with Anna Olson”, and vanilla pastry cream was on the menu. Fun fact: I have a weakness for pastry cream and custard, and it irks me when I find a cream puff or eclair filled with whipped cream.

Watching Anna (yup, we’re totally on a first name basis here) whipping up those Strawberry Cream Tarts was good enough to make me want to create some for myself. I wanted to garnish the tarts with small morsels of Korean strawberries – if you haven’t tried any, get them now. They’re super sweet and definitely not oh-my-god-this-is-so-sour kind of… sour.


Alas, I couldn’t find any of those delicious strawberries last night, so I had to make do with kiwis and blueberries.

You can definitely make a normal sized fruit tart with this recipe. I bought a tart tin too, but decided to make mini ones since it was my first attempt in making pastry cream and tarts. Maybe next month’s recipe will feature a tart? Who knows…

Mini Fruit Tarts (adapted from Anna Olson’s Strawberry Cream Tarts)
makes about 45 mini tarts

(for the pastry cream)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (I used 1/2 tsp vanilla essence)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces

(for the tarts)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup graham/ digestive crumbs
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 unsalted butter, melted
  • Fresh berries (kiwi, strawberry, blueberry, etc)



  1. Prepare the pastry cream first. Heat milk and vanilla bean (or essence, if you’re lazy like me) in a medium-sized pot until just below simmer.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch.
  3. In another bowl, place butter and put a strainer over it.
  4. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the egg mixture, and then return it all to the pot.
  5. Whisk the mixture consistently over medium heat until it thickens and turns glossy. This will take about 2 minutes.
  6. Pour this immediately over the strainer, and whisk it through. Mix everything with a spatula until combined.
  7. Place a plastic cling wrap on the surface and cool it to room temperature. Refrigerate it completely and it is ready for use!
  8. For the tarts, preheat your oven to 350 F, and lightly grease your mini tart/ muffin pans.
  9. Combine flour, graham/ digestive crumbs, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  10. Add the melted butter and mix until it resembles an uneven, crumbly mixture.
  11. Spoon about a tablespoon of the mixture into each cup and press gently on the bottom and sides.
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes, and let it cool slightly.
  13. Use a skewer to remove the tarts. Pipe in the pastry cream (you may want to stir it slightly before placing it into the piping bag), and assemble the fruits as desired.

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